Changes in UL 858 Require Appliance Wiring to Comply with VW-1 Flame Rating

According to Consumer Reports magazine, 40% of home fires can be traced back to cooking appliances. Appliance manufacturers, along with industry trade organizations, have worked toward reducing this number significantly. One of the key initiatives, after finding internal wiring a leading cause of fire, is to require all wiring to have VW-1 flame rating.

VW-1 is a vertical flame rating that measures the resistance of insulating materials to the propagation of a fire. The test involves mounting lengths of wire vertically in a ventilated chamber and attempting to ignite the wire with a gas flame. Through a series of 15 second direct burn intervals, the sample wire must self-extinguish within a measured time to achieve VW-1 status. This rating is significantly more difficult to achieve than standard Underwriters Laboratory (UL) horizontal ratings.

The latest guidelines in UL 858, which address the construction of home appliances, clearly states: all insulated wiring shall comply with VW-1 ratings by 2018. With thousands of current wiring harness designs in production and many new designs every year, compliance to this standard is no small task. Adding to the difficulty of complying with this regulation is the limited number of insulating materials available that pass the tests. When designing high temperature, cooking equipment harnesses, the choices become even more limited.

Radix Wire has focused exclusively on high temperature wire for over 70 years. UL audits their products and facilities frequently, guaranteeing the highest standards are met.

VW-1 Rated 200C, 250C, High Volt and 450C products are available. Radix can make any color utilizing custom blending systems and a highly experienced engineering team to design a product for your application.

Contact your industry expert, Gary Wasch, Appliance Market Manager at Radix Wire today.

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