Providing an equipment package with third party safety approval is smart. When an equipment package includes an electrical control panel, providing the control panel with a UL508A Label is a simple low cost way do do it.
Documented third party safety approval makes it’s easier for another third party to approve the equipment package. This is important when an Inspector must approve a new equipment installation before anyone can use it.
Why is a UL508A label helpful ?
- Building Inspectors are delegated with the authority to determine, mandate, and enforce code requirements. They have the authority to, as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), Approve or Reject any new equipment installation in their jurisdiction using any reasoning they choose.
- Building Inspectors use documented adherence to generally accepted safety standards to determine whether or not to approve your newly installed equipment package.
- Building Inspectors will generally Approve your newly installed equipment package with a UL508A label on your control panel because it certifies your adherence to a generally accepted safety standard.
What is a UL508A Panel ?
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent testing company that provides product safety standards and third party product safety certification. A UL508A Panel is an electrical control panel with a UL508A Label. This certifies it meets the UL508 safety standard and was produced by a UL Listed Panel Shop.
The “c” and “us” in the cULus Mark certifies adherence to safety standards for Canada and the United States.
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is an independent testing company similar to UL. CSA certification is often preferred in Canadian projects, but in Canada the cULus Mark is the legal equivalent to the CSA Mark.
What if an Inspector rejects my equipment ?
If an Inspector rejects your new equipment installation, the questions is why. 1) Is there a safety issue ? 2) Is your equipment package missing documented adherence to a generally accepted safety standard. If the answer is 2) and adding a UL 508A Label to your equipment control panel will satisfy the Building Inspector, you have options.
- Option 1 – Contact UL’s Field Evaluation Services at 877-854-3577. Tell them your situation and ask them to schedule a field evaluation. Cost will vary, but it will probably be more than $2,000.
- Option 2 – Contact a UL Listed Panel Shop. Tell them your situation and have them evaluate the work required to make the existing panel conform to UL standards. Send them your control panel and have them make it conform and apply a UL 508A label. Cost will vary, but it will probably be less than a UL Field Evaluation.
- Future – Do some Electrical Panel Shop shopping. Select the best UL Panel shop for you and have them produce UL Panels for your equipment. Cost will vary, but it shouldn’t be more expensive than a non UL Panel.
What is a UL 508A Panel Shop ?
UL provides a certification program that allows panel shops to become a UL 508A Panel Shop. The initiation fee is ~$15K. The annual cost is ~$4k. This certification allows a panel shop to independently design and produce UL Panels and apply a UL label. Each Label certifies adherence to a known safety standard and is traceable to the panel shop that produced it.
- UL508A is generally accepted safety certification for industrial control panels.
- UL698A is generally accepted safety certification for industrial control panels with intrinsically safe (IS) circuits.
UL 508A panel shop list
Every UL Listed Panel Shop is listed in the UL online certification directory. Go there and use the following information to see the list. Enter a UL Category Name in the Keyword field or a UL Category Code in the UL Category Code field. A quick search indicates there are~5,000 UL 508A Panel Shops and ~600 UL 698A Panel Shops.
|What you call it||UL Category Name (Keyword field)||UL Category Code|
|UL 508A||Industrial Control Panels||NITW|
|UL 508A for Canada||Industrial Control Panels Certified for Canada||NITW7|
|UL 698A||Industrial Control Panels Relating to Hazardous Locations||NRBX|
|UL 698A for Canada||Industrial Control Panels Relating to Hazardous Locations Certified for Canada||NRBX7|
You can add other search criteria to look up a specific panel shop.