Purchase of Unlisted Furnace Delays Project and Increases Costs
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA

Date: 

Topics:  Electrical, Contracts and Procurement, Laboratory

LLNL recently purchased a laboratory furnace that was not "listed" by a Nationally Recognized Testing
Laboratory (NRTL). The ensuing field evaluation by LLNLs Electrical Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
revealed several significant safety issues requiring correction. These corrections were extraordinarily
extensive and would be costly and negatively impactful to the schedule, so the furnace had to be returned
to the vendor.

Among the problems found:
-Hazardous voltage exposed and accessible at the bottom of the cabinet - these conductors would have to be covered with two layers of protection.
-Signal wires tie wrapped to power cables - signal wires would have to be rerouted away from
power conductors.
-Non-listed wire used throughout the cabinet - all power conductors would have to be replaced.
-Ground wires not run with the power conductors - ground wires would have to be added as
appropriate.
-Internal components not "recognized" or "listed" - internal components including heater elements
and transformers would have to be replaced.
-Metal hardware not properly matched and is some not properly installed, leaving components partially attached and sometimes hanging by a single bolt - appropriately sized metal hardware would have to be purchased or manufactured. The equipment would have to be disassembled and re-assembled with the new hardware.

The total cost of the corrections listed above was determined to be significantly more than the purchase price of this furnace.

Lessons Learned: Purchase only "listed" electrical equipment (equipment that is listed by a Nationally-Recognized Testing Laboratory).

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