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CSA Approval

CSA Approval

CSA Approval

**I have posted this in the code issues forum as well**


We have some electrical equipment (doesn't really matter what) that is built to CSA/ESA.  However, to get total CSA/ESA approval the inspector is saying the meters (Crompton ammeters, just the most basic kind), located on the door, need a CSA stamp on them...

These meters do not have a CSA label on them.  I don't know of any that do... do you?  What is the reasoning for needing a CSA sticker on such a device?

Hell, there are insulators inside that have no UL/CSA sticker etc...I don't even think there is a CSA standard for Inuslator (again, I haven't seen any with the CSA label on them)... I think it would be more important to have approval on items such as these that could realisticly produce a large amount of damage to the equipment and the personnel if not applied correctly?


RE: CSA Approval

I have encountered this problem frequently, not with Crompton in particular, but generally if the item is included in an approved assembly individual inspections per device aren't required.  There are other markings beside "CSA" that are acceptable, for example "cUL" and a host of other approval agencies that have approval to perform "CSA" assesments and approvals.  (The markings seem to always include alittle c for Canada)  A list of these other markings is available from the inspectors.

Inspectors have a lot of power to delay projects, and sometimes I'm afraid they use the "Special Inspection" stickers as income generators.  I'm not saying to avoid them, rather develop a good relationship with your local inspector.  Make them mad and you may be purchasing Special Inspection stickers by the roll.

Name withheld to protect the innocent.

RE: CSA Approval

This inspector may want CSA on the meters and the next one may not. That is their choice if the panel, itself, was not tested as a complete unit. He could also force you to have cUL instead of CSA if he chooses. Although, this would be unlikely in Canada since he is an inspector in Canada.

If the panel carries a CSA or UL approval then the meters should not matter as long as they were tested with the panel as a complete package. Obviously, this must not be the case. He can not require you to have CSA on the meters if the panel was tested with the meters in place. I would argue the last sentence all the way to his superiors and CSA themselves if I thought it would help but generally it will not.  

As pointed out, a good working relationship with the inspector should be the highest priority. Like it or not, these people have a lot of power and some like to play it that way just because they can.

RE: CSA Approval

I have to say that I know that the equivalent UL mark for CSA (cULus or cUL) is not always accepted by provincial inspectors. Although, if you ask CSA they are supposed to accept it but they have no way to enforce acceptance of an equivalent UL mark. The two agencies do have an agreement in place where the two should be considered equivalent. I used to have more than one customer call me and tell me they were not doing this so I spent a great deal of time on the phone with CSA and UL. I finally got them to say that because the two agencies agree has nothing to do with what the inspectors want to do. It is still a political mess and more times than not, the products eventually carry both marks.
In my discussions with them and based on my own experience, the UL testing goes one step further by mandating flame burn tests (where applicable)of enclosures (even enclosures without a NEMA or UL rating). Whereas, CSA does not. SO sometimes the inspector in the US may point this out on a product that only carries CSA and may rightfully require a UL mark. On the other hand, the US inspector could just require a UL mark and not accept CSA regardless of anything else, similar to the provincial inspector in Canada only accepting CSA.
Both agencies will test to the others standards. If you tell UL that you want a CSA mark as well, they will work with CSA (CSA will review the report and tests) to get both marks at once. You would think this would be cheaper than sending a product to EACH agency but this is often not the case.
The inspector still has the last call and can call it anyway he/she wants.
BTW, the standard, for the sake of the discussion above,  I worked in was UL508.

RE: CSA Approval

In Canada, CSA has no jurisdiction, they are only an approval body.  The seperate provinces have the jurisdiction and decided what approvals are acceptable or required.  If a province sees fit they could reject CSA and require only UL.  In Ontario, where I am, the provincial authority, ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) has provided a list of all accepted marks, so there is no ambiguity as to what markings are acceptable.  (See previous link)  (The inspectors work for ESA)

Also of note, becuase a piece of equipment is made of all approved components, the assembly/unit still needs an approval from one of the inspecting agencies.

RE: CSA Approval

 I agree with everything you last said, it is simply stated different.
  I wish I could remember the province, but I know there were at least two cases where cUL was not accepted in place of CSA by a provincial inspector. This was about 4 years ago so maybe they got their ducks in a row now.
  As far as the link to the agreement between UL and CSA, the memorandum of understanding was around at least five years ago, maybe its been revised.

RE: CSA Approval

  We recently shipped a machine to Canada.  The electrical enclosures had our stickers with the UL and cUL symbols on them.  The inspector is refusing them because there is no CSA sticker.  We seem to have this problem when we ship machines to Ontario.  We seem to have the most trouble in the Toronto area.  The inpector was generous enough to offer a paid inspection though.
  From the information I've been able to gather from our Canadian dealers, it's pretty much up to the inspector which standard (UL, CSA, or provincial code) that he/she wants to go by.  If they want to "hang you", they will.  
  It's like speeding tickets... they aren't concerned that people are breaking the law, just that there's money to be made in it.

RE: CSA Approval

I don't know your particulars, but because an enclosure (the box itself) is CSA ur cUL approved doesn't mean the assembly is.  Even if every component is CSA or equivalent the assembly still needs to be approved.  (Just because the individual components are approved doesn't mean you've made a safe assembly out of them!)

I would add that if the item was purchased in the US ESA has no jurisdiction over you, only the purchaser, but if you sold the item in Ontario and ship from the US your on the hook (have an Ontario office/salesman).  (Aside from vendor buyer agreements)

You don't have to use ESA to get an assembly approval sticker, see my previous link for companies which are approved to do inspections for equipment installed in Ontario.  It may be worth while to print out the page from his own website for him, with some tact of course.  Inspectors have bosses, if you have an approved ASSEMBLY from cUL, you may want to take it up the ladder, but do your homework first.

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