Written by 12:51 am Product Testing & Certification

Putting a Product to the Tests

Product testing varies from product to product; it could be a very simple process, requiring only a few hours to test and evaluate the product. However, some products are complicated, and require months to complete the testing and evaluation, or they involve many standards with numerous requirements.

For most people, a personal hygiene unit, such as toilet with spray, is one fixture used in a house. It is more expensive than most plumbing fixtures, but it is one fixture.

On the other hand, for a testing laboratory or certification agency that evaluates the unit for health and safety it is a complex unit, covered by a primary standard with many reference standards to cover its components, features and functions. The primary standard is ASME A112.4.2, titled “Water Closet Personal Hygiene.” This standard covers requirements for the water-related components with respect to the bidet spray, such as a pressure test, backflow prevention, a water temperature test and other safety requirements. In addition, such products are considered electrical equipment.

This primary standard refers to several standards for various components, features and functions. The toilet part, which is made of ceramic material, it is tested and evaluated per ASME A112.19.2/CSA B125.1 to evaluate materials, dimensions and hydraulic flushing performances. If the unit features a dual flush function, with a full amount of water to flush solid waste and a reduced amount of water to flush liquid waste, ASME A112.19.14 requires an additional set of tests.

For the flushing mechanisms of the units, the components must be tested/evaluated per ASSE 1037 standard for pressurized flushing device or ASSE 1002 standard for fill valve, along with ASME A112.19.5/CSA B125.15 for the flush valve. For the backflow prevention device, ASSE 1037 refer to applicable standards, ASME A112.18.3, ASSE 1001, CSA B64 or others. Other components, such as the plastic seat, are tested and evaluated per ANSI/IAPMO Z125.5 for material testing, load test, hinges test, and others.

In additional to all the mechanical and water-related requirements, the product must also be tested/evaluated for electrical components. The primary electrical standard is UL 1431, titled “Personal Hygiene and Health Care Appliance.” This standard covers household electrical products having personal hygienic or health care applications, such as electronic bidets with or without integral toilet; however, it does not consider the complete spectrum of physiological or therapeutic effects.

The construction review portion dictates such requirements as minimum structural and polymeric characteristics for the product enclosure, spacing between live parts and between components used in the product, separation of circuits, marking, grounding and protection against injury to persons. In addition, the construction review will confirm that all safety-critical components, such as a transformer, motors, heating element and regulating and limiting controls are suitable for the intended application and used within the component’s condition of acceptability. In situations where unevaluated safety-critical components are used, a manufacturer has the option to switch to an already evaluated component manufacturer or proceed with an unlisted evaluation to the component’s electrical standard.

The testing portion ensures that the unit will not produce a shock, fire, mechanical, burn, chemical or other hazard to the user when used under normal and abnormal operation. This confirmation is validated through various tests such as the Operational Test, Leakage Current Following Humidity Conditioning Test, Temperature, Dielectric Test, Cleaning Test and Abnormal Operation Test. Also, UL 1431 has production line testing requirements.

Ken Wijaya

Last modified: December 30, 2022