Are aftermarket power cords required to be UL / CE approved?


Lots of folks are making and selling aftermarket power cords. In the US are these cords required to be UL or CE approved?

 Wondering about the ramifications of using unapproved cords. Am I liable if someone gets shocked, could my home owners policy deny a claim if they determine a non approved cord started a fire?
1ac50bce 1592 4ff6 98aa f7e46272d9dcdoitwithlife
Good question.  I would love to know as well. 
“Am I liable if someone gets shocked?” Maybe, but if it’s a defect in the cord, you point to the manufacturer. Same if it’s UL listed.

”could my homeowners policy deny a claim if they determine a non approved cord denied a fire?”  Unlikely, but every policy is different and the policy language would have to be reviewed. 

In the US are these cords required to be UL or CE approved?

No.

But look. Americans are such snowflakes they can’t ride a bicycle any more without a helmet. So of course everyone gets their panties in a bunch over electricity. A simple amp mod question a while back generated:

1. You’ll kill yourself
2. Even if you unplug it (!)
3. You’ll burn the neighborhood down.

Not kidding. Actual comments. The Greatest Generation we are not.

A picture of the actual amp mod in question can be seen here: https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367

Looks pretty scary, don't it?

This thread will now go on for pages and pages, getting worse hour by hour and day by day, until at last its the same three guys bantering endlessly back and forth. So much potential. So wasted. So sad.
millercarbon
So of course everyone gets their panties in a bunch over electricity.
You wear panties?
A simple amp mod question a while back generated:
1. You’ll kill yourself
2. Even if you unplug it (!)
Sorry, but you don't know what you're talking about. Components that are unplugged can still contain lethal voltages. That's especially true of amplifiers, but can also be true of things such as preamplifiers.
Oh for the days when Ben Franklin flew a kite attached to a metal key up into a thunderstorm!
Yes, and Franklin did it in pantaloons!!!                            When men were men.
A fire is a fire and HO insurance will cover it. The only way they won't is if you lit the match and started the fire. If the power cord caused it, they will go after the manufacturer for reimbursement (subrogation).   
To Millercarbon

I ride bicycles, a lot. I’ve tumble over four time over the past twenty years, each time I bonked my head on the pavement; fortunately I was wearing a helmet each time I wiped out. Wearing a helmet can save you from a serious concussion or worse.
I fear your warning to mc might be a little bit too late. 🤭
Pretty sure all consumer electrics have to be by law.
Erichsch- you better check your info again.  If you install a wood stove and don’t get it inspected for example, insurance won’t cover a fire that was caused by the wood stove. If you had an electrician put in a 14 gauge wire with a 20 amp breaker and don’t get it inspected, insurance won’t cover a fire that was caused by that. I have asked these 2 questions to a few insurance agents and that’s the reply I got. I was involved in a 200 house fire 40 years ago and went thru the mess of getting insurance to pay for things. Ever since then, anything I wanted to add to an existing house like wood stove, dedicated lines, etc.. I always asked if insurance would cover the modification
There are Christmas tree lights UL listed... and the chances of your house catching fire from them is much much higher than an aftermarket power cord on your CD player.

I am almost certain that power cords must be UL listed if they are packaged with the equipment they power.
IF anything was to go wrong and cause a fire, your insurance company could reject the payment since they are always looking for any microscopic excuse not to pay.

Not worth it...  pay a few extra bucks and sleep better at night or when you go on a vacation.
The National Electrical Code requires that all items installed in a building be tested by an NRTL, generally that means UL listed. This does not apply to your personal use items, but does apply to any fixed appliances or electrical equipment that is installed within your home or commercial facility. If your local jurisdiction has adopted the national electrical code then this requirement applies.
@rbstehno 
Sorry, I was in the property insurance claims industry for almost 40 years. Although HO policies do have certain exclusions, there is no exclusion for stupidity or carelessness. The average person hiring an electrician would not be well versed in the various wire gauges and would claim ignorance. The claim is paid and the insurance company, hires a cause and origin investigator, documents the cause of the fire and Ins. Co. subrogates against the electrician. The wood stove example is just an example of the homeowner's stupidity, claim is paid and there is to responsible party to subrogate against. All the insured has to say is "gee I didn't know". Of course, permits and inspections as required by local jurisdictions should always be obtained for the homeowner's peace of mind.   
Your stove example would qualify as an installed appliance, so yes it would be required by code.  If you hire an electrician to do work in your house, the parts he uses would become part of the structure and also need to be UL listed.  Anything you plug into a wall socket is a personal use item and there is no requirement that it be UL.
Do you call your insurance agent for audio advice?
doltwithlife has asked an excellent question. I'm surprised that nobody has suggested that he simply write an email to the manufacturer to ask.

I am considering getting an aftermarket cord for my Krell amp and until now I never considered this issue. I don't have a single 120V appliance in my house that uses as much power continuously as my Krell (I don't use space heaters). Plus, the standard cord is pretty long. Now that I think about it putting a cord made in somebody's garage on this amp is probably not a good idea. Before I buy an several hundred dollar cord I am going to check to see if it is UL listed.

One more thing. I think the insurance angle is a complete red herring. Whether the insurance fights your claim or not, you still had a house fire. I burned up the kitchen once through sheer inattention and stupidity and trust me, even though the insurance paid the entire bill, it was very scary and a huge hassle.
ericshc,

Thanks for your response. I was hoping to hear from individuals with insurance experience or an industry person willing to go on record. 

As has been suggested, why not just ask my insurance carrier or the manufacture. Well, I don't trust that I'll get a straight answer from a manufacturer in isolation. If they are UL they are gonna tell me its required, if they aren't I'm gonna be told it isn't. 

When I 1st started getting better gear I contacted my agent to ask if I needed special coverage or was it covered already. They didn't know so contacted Gem State who covered me. I received a letter, yes covered, but they weren't "comfortable with the risk" so my policy wouldn't be renewed. Sooooo not really feeling the love for asking my agent anything.


New coverage didn't have an issue with having "a stereo that is significantly more expensive than the average homeowner". I just went with extra coverage on contents and was told to save proof of anything unusual I owned.

 Hi,

UL has listings for complete products (UL) ......
........and components (Ur) recognized, which means it must be used in a tested product - not by itself.

If you go to an electrical supply house and buy readily available high grade UL Listed cable & plug components - you can build your own cable...... as long as you've wired it properly. If these companies are using high grade components and proper build you should be fine.

FYI - most of the "audiophile" wall receptacles that sell for hundreds of dollars on line are rebadged Hospital grade receptacles. They provide a more secure connection. Start with this before you purchase cables.

Hope this helps
@8th-note,
I was going to give the kitchen fire example, but you did it perfectly.
With regard to insuring audio equipment, that can vary from company to company. All you have to do is check the section titled ’Limits on Certain Property". Usually jewelry, firearms, etc. will be listed. If audio equipment is not listed, the limit of coverage is the overall policy limit which covers all of your personal property. As mentioned above keep receipts and photos of everything. It great to have a good agent, but remember, they basically sell insurance and usually just have a basic or rudimentary knowledge of specific coverages.
Also, always make sure you have full replacement cost coverage, not just actual cash value (market value).
Talk about paranoia...I used this PC for a few yearshttps://www.mapleshaderecords.com/audioproducts/powercord_prev.php

Scary looking, but it did what any aftermarket PC is supposed to do.
Speaking to sales person, he said Pierre uses them WITHOUT the candy wrapper!
I would imagine if the adjuster found the charred remains of something like this, NO CHECK FOR YOU!

Live on the edge!