New electrical safety requirements for importing, manufacturing and selling submersible pumps came into effect in December 2021.
The new requirement applies specifically to submersible pumps sold online or over the counter to the general public. Several recent electrical fatalities and injuries involving submersible pumps have triggered the reclassification of these items into the higher safety category of level 3 electrical equipment.
Submersible pumps previously only required marking with the regulatory compliance mark (RCM) to indicate the importer or manufacturer of the pump had evidence to show it was safe. Now, submersible pumps must also be independently checked by a recognised certifier and have a valid certificate of conformity to obtain an RCM, and the importer or manufacturer must register themselves and the certificate. This certification ensures the pumps have been proven independently in a test laboratory to meet Australian Safety Standards.
It is often overlooked that both the power plug and the supply cord of the submersible pump already have a long-standing electrical safety requirement to be independently marked and referenced with their own certificate of conformity before the pump can be sold. Cords should not have joins in them and should have legible markings to help identify the manufacturer.
The increased regulatory requirements mean retailers and wholesalers of submersible pumps must ensure they buy from a registered responsible supplier. They also will need to look for the RCM, and check the pump model’s registration at https://www.eess.gov.au/ or risk fines.