When you look at the new lead-free brass ball valve (VBB02) on DirectMaterial.com, you see a lot more information on the body than the standard pressure rating and connection size.
You can see from all the certification marks on the body and tag that the VBB02LH (and the non-locking version, the VBB02) have gone through extensive testing.
There are certifications and listing notices up and down the body – UL, CSA, FM and UPC. There are even more on the accompanying plastic tag hung around the valve stem – ANSI and NSF.
That’s great. The more testing done to a part, the better, right? But do you know what each of those markings means? In this article, we are going to take a look at the various certifications and approvals you might find on this and other industrial valves.
Let’s start with being UL Listed. Underwriters Laboratories is a product safety testing company which traces its roots back to 1894. It is a worldwide leader in product and workplace safety and has been on the cutting edge of new product safety since its inception.
To be UL Listed, a representative sample of the part must be tested and meet the safety requirements set forth by UL. You can find UL marks on products ranging from computer equipment to bullet-resistant glass and sprinkler systems.
Products with the UL mark are covered by the Underwriters Laboratories follow-up program, which tests products periodically to ensure they continue to be manufactured to UL’s standards.
A CSA mark includes and goes beyond the UL listing. CSA stands for Canadian Standards Association, but helps develop and test standards for all of North America. The CSA mark on the lead-free ball valve is specific to electrical, plumbing and/or mechanical products used in Canada and the United States of America.
A CSA mark indicates that the product has been tested for quality measures set up under U.S. law as well as by independent organizations like UL, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and NSF International. The CSA Group tests thousands of products each year and their codes are accepted by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
A UPC shield and logo indicate that the product has met the requirements of the Uniform Plumbing Code. At times, such as with the mark on the lead-free brass ball valve sold by DirectMaterial.com, the shield will also have the text “low-lead,” indicating it has been approved as such.
UPC testing is done by The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Research & Testing facilities. That group has developed the uniform plumbing code, which is used in countries around the world.
An NSF/ANSI Standard 372 notation on plastic tags accompanying VBB02 and VBB02LH parts indicates that the valve has been certified for meeting a weighted average lead content of ≤0.25%, as dictated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The valve also contains a NSF/ANSI 61 notification, meaning it has been certified as meeting the “leachate” requirements for all contaminants (metals and non-metals).
The valve is also FM Global approved up to 600 psi. The FM mark indicates that Factory Mutual Insurance Company (a.k.a. FM Global) has tested the valve to make sure it meets the safety and property loss prevention standards of an international insurance carrier. Testing is done by an independent testing arm to make sure the approvals are driven by the qualities of the product and not the insurance company’s bottom line.