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Publication Number: 772105 Rule Parts: 15B Publication Date: 03/07/2017
Keyword: 15.103, Exempt Appliances, Household Appliances

First Category: Equipment Authorization Process *
Second Category: General [Equipment Authorization Process]

Question:   What household appliances, identified as Part 15 unintentional radiators, are considered exempt from the equipment authorization procedures?


A household appliance using digital logic (an unintentional device or system that generates and uses timing signals or pulses at a rate in excess of 9,000 pulses or cycles per second, and uses digital techniques as defined in Section 15.3 (k)) is classified under Part 15 Subpart B as a Class B digital device (as defined in Section 15.101) requiring an equipment authorization under the Verification procedure (Section 2.902). However, some appliances may be exempt from an equipment authorization procedure under Section 15.103.

Exempt household appliances are electrical machines intended for household tasks that assist persons in washing and drying clothes, household cleaning, cooking, or food preparation; or is equipment that is directly involved in conditioning the supply of household water and air (heating, cooling and humidifying) in a residence. This includes appliances such as a vacuum cleaner, washing machine, dishwasher, clothes dryer, air conditioner (central or window), etc. This exemption is limited to basic housekeeping appliances and is not intended to apply to all home-use products that may contain digital logic.

To be exempt under Section 15.103, only the digital circuitry directly responsible for operation of the basic functions associated with the appliance is exempt, and must be contained within the major appliance and not remotely connected via wire, cable or other communication system. For example, this includes the digital controller board for a washing machine responsible for different cycles and washing modes

Appliances that (1) contain other ancillary functions (not directly responsible for the basic functions), or (2) contain other non-housekeeping appliance or other functions, are not exempt from equipment authorization procedures and regulations. These other functions require testing and compliance to the appropriate equipment authorization procedures and regulations.

For example, a stove that contains an in-house communication function over power lines to communicate with a home automation system or an integrated television receiver does not exempt the home automation system and television receiver functions from their applicable Part 15 B equipment authorization requirements. Many other appliances, such as consumer inductive cooking stoves and microwave ovens, are subject to the technical standards and equipment authorization procedures under Part 18 of the FCC rules.

An exempt appliance is only exempt from equipment authorization procedures for the functions associated with the digital device circuitry. The appliance remains subject to the requirements in Section 15.5 requiring the device not cause harmful interference, and Section 15.29 regarding inspection by the Commission. It is strongly recommended that manufacturers or importers make every effort to meet the specific technical standards, follow appropriate FCC equipment authorization procedures, and comply with quality practices to ensure all units sold and marketed are, and will remain, compliant.

Questions about specific appliances may be submitted to the FCC at http://www.fcc.gov/labhelp . The link "Submit an Inquiry" should be used to access the inquiry form and submit a question.


Exempted Devices
Exempt Cooking or Food Preparation Devices
Juice extractors
Bread makers
Coffee Makers
Food warming pads
Deep-fat fryers
Exempt Appliances for
Washing and Drying Clothes
Washing machines
Clothes dryers
Exempt Household Cleaning Devices
Trash compactors
Rug cleaners
Vacuum cleaners
Trash compactors
In-sink garbage disposals
Exempt Household Water and Air Conditioning
Humidifiers Dehumidifiers
Water Heaters
Room Fan Heater
Room air-conditioners
(window, floor. standing)
HVAC systems
(*not including
external thermostats)
Central Air-conditioners

Non Exempt Devices
External Thermostats*
Exercise Equipment
Hair Dryers
Heat Guns
Hair straighteners
Electric Blankets
Paper Shredders
Bed Warmers
Portable Personal Fan Heaters
* Thermostat is connected via wire and not contained within the appliance.


Please use the Submit Inquiry link at www.fcc.gov/labhelp to send any comments or suggestions for this site

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