NSF, ETL, or UL Mark: What’s the Difference?
Atkore’s acquisitions of Heritage Plastics, Ridgeline Pipe and American Pipe and Plastics (API) over the last couple of years have expanded our nonmetallic product portfolio considerably and changed us from a regional supplier into a market leader with a national presence in PVC conduit and plastic pipe. The integration of these strong brand names with our existing Allied branded PVC conduit has led to some questions about PVC conduit markings and the difference between UL and ETL certification.
Is all of your Schedule 40 and 80 Rigid PVC conduit listed? If so, to what standard? Rigid PVC conduit supplied by Atkore may be branded Allied/Heritage/Ridgeline, Allied/Heritage/APPI or Allied/Heritage. It is all listed to UL Safety Standard 651 but may be marked with a certification mark from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).
What do the NSF, ETL, and UL marks stand for? The UL, NSF, or ETL mark on our PVC conduit verifies that it has been independently tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) and is compliant with the appropriate safety standard (UL 651). In addition, the mark indicates that the manufacturing site has been audited by the testing agency and meets follow-up inspections for verification of continued conformance to the standard.
What is a NRTL? A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory is an independent laboratory recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to test products to the specifications of applicable product safety standards such as UL or ANSI standards. The function of a NRTL is to provide independent evaluation, testing, and certification of any electrically operated or gas and oil fired products. Intertek (ETL mark), NSF, and UL are all Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories.
Rest assured that no matter which certification mark is on the conduit you receive, it has been tested and certified to UL 651 and has periodic follow up inspections to ensure that it continues to meet the product safety standard. The only difference is in the organization that conducted the initial certification testing and performs the follow up inspections. The ETL listing mark means that the initial certification testing and follow up inspections are performed by Intertek; the UL listing mark means that the initial certification testing and follow up inspections are performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL); the NSF listing mark means that the initial certification testing and follow up inspections are performed by National Sanitation Foundation.
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