A certification mark isn’t everything…

I recently purchased a WorkZone Wall Mount Power Board (with detachable tool holder) as an impulse buy at my local Aldi (WorkZone is the Aldi brand for household tools). I needed more light, I could use a power strip, and I liked the fact that each outlet had its own switch so that I could turn on/off battery chargers depending upon if I was using them or not.
workzone wall mount powerstrip with lights and detachable tool holder

The lights worked well, it included a nice template for placing the screws to match the slots in the back and everything was going well until I tried plugging in one of my battery chargers. The outlets were super stiff on the first plug in (not unusual for new outlets), but then they just started to feel dangerously loose. They didn’t appear to grip the plugs well or make good electrical contact. For a device rated at 1875 watts, this was concerning to me.

I had already decided to return it to Aldi instead of keeping it, but then I thought, “How did this thing pass a certification anyways?” and started looking around the box for certification marks.

ETL certification number 4010651

Oh, there is one! I went to the US Intertek website, and found the product directory here. So I searched for the visible number  under the ETL Listed C US Intertek mark: 4010651  and got zero results found. (It turns out that this number is not a search key, and you have to search based upon the product name/model: PB31443-72, I confirmed with Intertek that it is ETL listed.) So I kept looking around on the box and found an Intertek check-mark on the side with a different code: 16SHK0807

Intertek checkmark with code 16SKH0807

This one said that the device had been tested for “Ease of Use”, “Performance”, “Workmanship”, and “Durability/Endurance”. However, when I typed that code into the main Intertek website, it also did not find anything.

no results found on main intertek (US) website

But then I looked closer…it gave a website address: http://www.intertek.de/directory

So I went to THAT website (which appears to be the German branch of Intertek, or at least a company with the same name operating in Germany with the same logo image) and was able to find a listing using the number printed on the box.

listed shown in the german website

The fact that the website sent me to a random IP address for the search tool was kind of weird, but I looked up that IP address and it does belong to Intertek Holding Deutschland GmbH, so we’ll just assume their IT people don’t have the DNS set up quite right….

Given the flimsy nature of the outlet connections, I’m afraid to keep devices plugged into this device, despite the ETL listing, so I returned it.

 

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