Electrical permits are important to everyone, to the extent that they fall under the public Freedom of Information Act. This means that anyone, from insurance providers, realtors and potential home buyers to your next door neighbor, can search your property’s permit history by contacting your area regulating authority and providing your street address.
The following are reasons why electrical permits are important.
An electrical permit means an inspector may scrutinize the specified work. The electrical inspection department is an independent third party that provides a higher level of accountability for the electrical contractor named on the permit. An electrical inspector will fail an inspection if an installation does not meet the most recent Code standards.
The permit gives property owners the assurance that specific electrical work has met the current Code standard. Because the majority of the electrical system is hidden behind walls, realtors and potential home buyers want proof that all past alterations were made by a qualified electrician. An electrical permit provides proof that an electrical contractor was in charge of the electrical work.
The Canadian Electrical Code sets the standard for the maintenance and installation of electrical equipment in Canada. This Code is revised and published by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) every 3 years. Existing Code rules are reviewed or updated before each revision. New safety rules are added to address new technology or circumstances. The Code is then passed into Canadian law and adopted by each individual province. An electrical permit requires that all work named on the permit meets the minimum standard for safety as outlined in the most recent Canadian Electrical Code. For this reason, every job requires a knowledgeable electrician to follow the Code rules on every installation.
The permit assigns all responsibility of the electrical work described on the permit to the electrical contractor named on the permit.
By law, ALL regulated electrical work requires an electrical permit. This includes renovations, additions, upgrades and many repairs. Property owners should always be provided with the electrical permit number for reference, although a copy of the electrical permit is even better. An electrician who is unable to produce an electrical permit, may not be legally qualified to complete the requested electrical work.
Homeowners need to understand that electrical permits are important. The risks in avoiding the electrical permit to save a few dollars is just not worth it.