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FAQs About Safety Certification for Reconditioned Equipment

Understand the scope of reconditioning, the recent related changes to the 2020 National Electrical Code® (NEC®) and the UL Rebuilt Certification Listing Program.

Equipment of electrical switchgear panel take off for maintenance shutdown.

To help ensure the safe operation of rebuilt equipment, a revision to Section 110.21(A)(2) of the 2020 National Electrical Code® (NEC®) now requires reconditioned equipment to be identified as “reconditioned” and the original Listing Mark removed. Equipment will now be required to bear a rebuilt equipment Listing Mark of an approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) such as UL. These marking requirements provide assistance in determining the details of the equipment reconditioning provider and the report on what was completed by that provider during this process. 

To gain a better understanding of the scope of reconditioning, the recent related changes to the 2020 NEC and the UL Rebuilt Certification Listing Program, read our FAQs.

What is the difference between reconditioning, rebuilding, refurbishing, remanufacturing and renovating?

While these terms may refer to different processes by the company performing the work, the terms do not change how the product listing (certification) is performed. Additionally, the NEC defines the term “Reconditioned” and this term is used interchangeably with the terms rebuilt, refurbished, remanufactured or renovated.

Is the original UL Listing (Certification) label still valid after refurbishing?

The original UL Mark attested that the equipment met the applicable UL Standards when the product first left the factory. After a modification, UL does not know if the product continues to meet the applicable requirements unless the modification or rebuilding has been specifically investigated by UL.

When UL investigates products as part of a UL rebuilt (refurbished, reconditioned or remanufactured) Certification (Listing) program, the original Listing Mark is required to be removed. In addition, 2020 NEC 110.21(A)(2) also requires the original Listing Mark to be removed.

Can all UL Listed (Certified) equipment be rebuilt?

UL Listed (Certified) equipment can be rebuilt if both of the following conditions are met: 

  • The rebuilder is able to demonstrate that their rebuilding process results in compliance with the same requirements (Standard Edition) that would apply to a new production of the same equipment; and
  • UL has established rebuilt equipment programs in those categories for the involved equipment. To find more information regarding UL’s reconditioned electrical equipment program or to search for Certified (Listed) reconditioned electrical equipment please visit UL Product iQ™.

In addition, several sections in the NEC specifically prohibit product types that are not permitted to be reconditioned or rebuilt. 
 
The general UL guide information for each product category with a rebuilt certification program identifies the applicable requirements and the specific marking for products rebuilt under the program. Only rebuilt products that bear the UL Mark, together with the word "Rebuilt," "Refurbished," "Remanufactured," "Reconditioned" or "Renovated," have been investigated by UL to the applicable certification requirements.

For example, rebuilt hazardous location motors may be Certified (Listed) under the product category Motors and Generators, Rebuilt for Use in Hazardous Locations (PTKQ). The guide information for PTKQ details that products covered under the category will be identified with the UL Mark and the phrase “Rebuilt Electric Motor for Hazardous Locations.”

What if the product was never Listed to begin with? 

For reconditioned equipment to be Listed (Certified), the original equipment must have been previously Listed (Certified).

However, for field labeled (field evaluated) reconditioned equipment, previous product Certification/Listing is at the discretion of the Field Evaluation Body (FEB).

What edition of the Standard must be used to evaluate a reconditioned product? 

Rebuilt equipment is evaluated for compliance with the same requirements (Standard Edition) that would apply to a new production of the same equipment. (See NEC Informative Annex A which provides a list of product safety standards for product listing/certification where listing is required by the NEC).

Who is authorized to rebuild or refurbish the equipment? 

Either the original manufacturer or another UL authorized party having the necessary facilities, technical knowledge and manufacturing skills to rebuild products that comply with the latest edition of the end product Standard. (See NEC Annex A for applicable standards)

UL Certification programs for rebuilt equipment require the rebuilt equipment facility to pass an initial UL investigation to demonstrate compliance with all program requirements. 

Once equipment rebuilders demonstrate compliance with all UL program requirements, they will be authorized by UL to work within the specific rebuilt equipment program.

Equipment rebuilding facilities are also covered under UL’s factory surveillance program to verify ongoing compliance with UL program requirements.

  • Acceptability of materials
  • Proper measurement and testing equipment
  • Verify the manufacturing is suitable for the type of rebuilding work
  • Explain the requirements of the program, including the methods and procedures to be employed during the rebuilding process

What about commonly rebuilt products with no UL program? 

A Field Evaluation is one way to determine if a rebuilt product complies with UL safety requirements. For more information on UL field evaluations or to obtain a quote, please visit www.ul.com/field.

UL is able to create new rebuild programs as necessary for industry needs. Learn more about obtaining certification on rebuilt products.

What is considered “reconditioned” or “rebuilt”? Is converting a luminaire to LED reconditioning? Does changing blown fuses, circuit breakers, motor starters or motor control buckets in a motor control center qualify as reconditioning?

Reconditioned is defined in NEC Article 100 as “Electromechanical systems, equipment, apparatus, or components that are restored to operating conditions. This process differs from normal servicing of equipment that remains within a facility, or replacement of listed equipment on a one-to-one basis.”

Normal maintenance and servicing of equipment or replacement of Certified (Listed) equipment on a one-to-one basis is not considered reconditioning. For example, replacing a fuse, circuit breaker, motor starter or motor control bucket identified on the equipment markings or installation instructions does not qualify as reconditioning. Other field modifications require a field evaluation to determine if the modified product complies with UL’s requirements.

An exception regarding field modifications is installing a Certified (Classified) retrofit kit in accordance with the kit installation instructions such as converting a luminaire to an LED light source. NEC Section 410.7 specifies that a retrofitted luminaire shall not be considered reconditioned. UL Certifies (Classifies) LED retrofit kits under the product categories Light-emitting-diode Luminaire Retrofit Kits (IFAR) and Light-emitting-diode Retrofit Luminaire Conversion Kits for Use in Hazardous Locations (IFUL). The UL guide information and Certified (Classified) kits can be located on UL Product iQ at Productiq.UL.com; enter IFAR or IFUL at the search field. 

NOTE: UL also Certifies (Classifies) such LED retrofit kits for Canada under the comparable Canadian product categories IFAR7 and IFUL7.
 

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