NSF offers a broad array of services to the water and food industries. Our focus is always on public health safety. To achieve that end, there are many factors to be considered. Some clients may find R&D testing is critical. Others may find a compilation of special one-time-only tests best meets their needs. Many clients seek NSF for its auditing and conformity assessment program, to audit sites, conduct testing, collect monitor sampling, verify compliance with QA/QC programs, etc. This type of work is normally referred to as certification. NSF acts as a third-party service provider of auditing, testing, R&D, and certification services to the pool and spa industry. Contact us to see how we can help you.
Since many standards can apply to the same product or material, selecting the correct set of standards is critical to the success of the overall compliance project, and development of a comprehensive test plan is a crucial initial step. Your NSF project manager will help identify all relevant standards that may require testing. Then NSF will develop a comprehensive test plan to address the questions and assure compliance for a client's products.
Once the standards and evaluation criteria are selected and a comprehensive testing plan has been formed, the second step is assessing the compliance of the products thorough evaluation based on the requirements of the selected standards, protocol, policies, etc. Performance, durability, output, plus microbiological, chemical, and electrical safety testing of products vary according to product use, manufacturer claims, standards, etc. However, there are some common elements products must meet when tested, as follows:
|Performance Safety Tests||Performance safety testing evaluates the equipment design and construction, durability or life testing, corrosion resistance, output rating, burst pressure, sustained and cyclic pressure, head loss, pressure loss, filtration efficacy, cleaning efficiency, and other parameters, depending upon the specific product.|
|Chemical Extraction Tests||Risk assessment, chemical testing, and toxicological evaluation are performed to evaluate potential chemical extractants from a product migrating into pool and spa waters. Such extraction potential could impart harmful contaminants to recreational water.|
|Microbiological Efficacy Testing||Microbiological disinfection efficacy testing is performed to assess whether a product helps to reduce or eliminate harmful microorganisms. Such testing is typically used to address manufacturer claims about a product's ability to kill bacteria, algae, fungi, viruses, spores, or other organisms.|
|Electrical Safety Testing||Electrical testing is performed to address safety issues associated with shock, fire hazards, heating, insulation, grounding, and other safety and design issues. Frequently design changes that effect electrical testing, will affect the performance testing of a product.|
For electrical equipment, additional safety tests are common:
|Heating Testing||Heating testing determines whether electrical components and circuits remain within their rated safe temperatures under worst-case operating and fault conditions.|
|Dielectric Strength||Dielectric strength testing determines whether or not the insulation barriers in the equipment have sufficient strength to protect users from electrical hazards.|
|Ground Bond Testing||Heating testing determines whether electrical components and circuits remain within their rated-safe temperatures under worst-case operating and fault conditions.|
NSF is able to conduct required testing at our facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan or at the manufacturer's facilities, depending on the manufacturer's capabilities. At the conclusion of the evaluation and testing, NSF clients receive a detailed letter summarizing the product evaluation work and project scope. When appropriate, NSF will also issue detailed test reports showing the results of the various tests conducted.
Finally, once the required testing and reporting is performed, many manufacturers find value in NSF's third-party certification mark and reporting programs. A variety of options exist for manufacturers to add the assurance of compliance from a third-party public health and safety organization to their products. These programs minimize concerns of public health inspectors, regulators, water park operators, hotel and facility owners, importers, distributors, sellers, and buyers, assuring them that the product complies with the requirements and has been properly evaluated and tested.
For more information about proper use of the NSF marking for NSF-Certified clients, click here.
Certification and testing are distinctly different. NSF's testing services are rendered as either part of a special one-time product evaluation or as a component of certification. NSF frequently provides R&D testing or test-only services to manufacturers or public health inspectors to help them address particular needs.
NSF Certification services are rendered as part of a long term contractual arrangement between NSF and a client, in which NSF serves as an independent third party to monitor or ensure ongoing compliance with a set of criteria, such as policies, or standards.
The critical difference between testing and certification is that testing yields results related to one specific situation or past time point. Certification provides a structure to ensure initial and ongoing compliance of a product, process, or system.
Because things change over time, NSF Certification provides the structure to thoughtfully and properly evaluate potential change to ensure ongoing compliance. Certification may entail ongoing unannounced site auditing, QA/QC review, sampling, testing, etc. to ensure compliance.
The NSF Pool and Spa Program is able to offer third-party testing and certification services to meet the needs of manufacturers, users, and public health officials. By providing comprehensive product evaluations that include chemical extraction or health effects testing, performance validation and testing, microbiological efficacy, particulate reduction, and electrical safety along with many other factors.
In addition to NSF/ANSI Standard 50, the NSF Pool and Spa Program uses other standards as appropriate to evaluate and certify pool and spa products. Click here to see the complete list of standards.
For more information about NSF's services for manufacturers, public health inspectors, engineers, facility operators, and other product users, contact us at 1-800-NSF-MARK (800-673-6275), 734-769-8010 or email@example.com.
To provide the most accurate work scope and cost estimate, specific information about the product will be requested such as: production location, similar products, photos, schematics, cut-away drawings, product/sales literature, comparison tables, capacities, part/supplier lists, and intended use for the product. Click here to complete the initial cost estimate form online.
Once your application has been processed, your NSF project manager will contact you to begin the certification process. The project manager will handle all of your needs and questions, overseeing your certification project every step of the way.
Once you have completed the cost estimation and/or application process, your project manager will provide a letter detailing the work scope. There are typically five main steps in the process:
You will receive a project letter that will explain what issues need to be addressed, and which tasks need to be completed. Your NSF project manager will begin certain aspects of the project using the documentation provided to NSF during the cost estimation, while other details may yet be needed.
Upon completion of the work scope, NSF issues a test report detailing the findings. Test-only projects are typically requested so they may be may be presented to NSF's Standard 50 Joint Committee for incorporation of a new product type into the standard. The report is used internally by the client for research and development or information purposes.
Once the product has been found to be in compliance with the requirements of the applicable standard, your project manager will submit a listing report to request certification. This report will be reviewed for quality control then processed through NSF's Certification Records Department. Once this report has been processed you are authorized to use the NSF Certification Mark on your product. Your product will also be shown in the NSF Listings book (printed annually), and on NSF's online listings database (updated daily). Maintaining certification of your product is dependent upon continued compliance with the standard.
After your product is certified, you have the option of submitting a documentation report. This report includes relevant information about your product, including information about materials and components used and various drawings, photographs, and schematics. This report is registered by NSF. One copy is kept in your file at NSF headquarters and the other is kept at your manufacturing location. The report is used by future NSF field representatives during facility audits as a guide to how your product was constructed when it was originally certified by NSF. It facilitates a faster and easier facility audit in years to come. As you make minor changes to your product following its initial certification, changes must be evaluated by NSF and, when approved, your documentation report is updated.
An initial audit is required if the product to be certified is manufactured at a facility which has not been inspected by an NSF field representative. Once the certification project has progressed far enough to show successful test/evaluation results, your project manager will submit a request for the initial audit. Once the request has been submitted, an NSF field representative will contact you to schedule the visit to your production facility at your convenience. During the initial audit, the field representative will explain the impact of the product's certification on the manufacturing facility by covering requirements like: record keeping, product marking, and future, unannounced compliance audits. The NSF field representative will also perform a physical evaluation of the product (if one is required) against the requirements of the applicable standard (NSF, UL, ASTM, IAPMO, etc.). At the end of the audit, the representative will provide you with a full report of the inspection, listing your field representative or project manager will work with you should any corrective actions be required.
After your company achieves NSF Certification, your production or assembly location will receive annual monitoring inspections from NSF field representatives.
Your manufacturing site will receive follow up unannounced audits during which the field representative will verify that your continued manufacture of the listed product does not depart from your original product design, as shown by the documentation report. Deviations in design, process, suppliers, etc. may result in actions being taken by NSF.
Component verification, manufacturing process, and quality assurance records are reviewed. At the end of the audit, the auditor will provide you with a full report of the inspection, listing your compliance in each required area or any necessary corrective actions. Your field representative or project manager will work with you, should corrective actions be required.
NSF offers inspection services to water parks, hotels, schools, health spas, etc., to help ensure public health safety. This is accomplished through evaluation for compliance with public health code requirements, QA/QC programs, providing water quality evaluation, bacteriological testing, and related services to help support a safe recreational water environment for all stakeholders. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes to currently listed products must be re-certified by NSF to maintain the mark. If you want to make changes to a product after it has been certified by NSF, such as the substitution of a new material or a design modification, the first step is to notify your project manager of the change. The project manager will review the change and determine if any follow up testing is necessary to ensure continued compliance.