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Renovated Garage to Den


  • Electrical Permit – Is One Required?
    If you are employing a licensed electrical contractor then yes, an electrical permit is legally required for any installation of electrical equipment, with minimal exceptions e.g.: an inspection. A permit protects the homeowner and the licensed contractor and ensures the work meets provincial electrical codes and standards. The cost of a permit is based on the price of the electrical work to be carried out. A licensed contractor is required to obtain a permit prior to the work being carried out and then submits photos and documentation of the work for Technical Safety BC (the BC Safety Authority) which is then reviewed by an electrical inspector.
  • Can a Homeowner do their own electrical work?
    Yes, provided it is in a single-family dwelling unit you occupy or intend to occupy, provided you obtain a Home owner’s permit from Technical Safety BC, and provided you possess sufficient knowledge of and comply with Canadian Electrical Code.
  • What’s Involved with an Electrical Service Upgrade?
    To increase the capacity of your electrical system, your electrical service components must be updated to safely carry the new maximum load and all components must be installed to meet modern electrical codes. This includes replacing the meter base, the main electrical panel, the service wiring between components and most likely the electrical service mast to which the utility connects their wire from the telephone pole. A new system grounding electrode and wire is usually installed as well. It requires a coordinated shut down of the building power between the electrician and utility company to safely disconnect the old equipment and then reconnect to the new equipment.
  • What is GFCI protection and when it is required?
    GFCI (ground fault circuit interruption) protection is required when electrical equipment is used in close proximity to water, or outdoors. Most commonly, it is needed with kitchen and bathroom receptacles within 1.5m of a sink, outdoor receptacles, and hot tubs. GFCI receptacles have the GFCI protection built directly into the device, they also make GFCI breakers.
  • What is AFCI protection and when is it needed?
    AFCI (arc fault circuit interruption) is a newer technology that detects the electrical signature of dangerous arcing and sparking within a circuit. It is now required in most receptacle circuits within a residence. If you are adding receptacles to an older home, it will be necessary to provide AFCI protection for the new receptacle as well. Like a GFCI, AFCI protection can be built into, and provided at, the receptacle or the breaker.
  • What is Knob and Tube wiring and is it dangerous?
    Knob and Tube wiring is a very old method of electrical wiring, installed between 1880 and 1940 in North America. It is still present in many homes that were built during this period. It can present a variety of safety issues including: - degrading insulation that exposes live conductors in attics and walls - it lacks any bonding/grounding - it was never designed to carry the electrical loads of a modern residence - home insurance will be much more expensive / some companies will not insure it - often, unpermitted modifications have been made to the knob and tube wiring during renovations. Due to the age and complications of knob and tube, the best course of action is to remove the knob and tube entirely and replace it with modern wiring.
  • What is a Silver Label Inspection and do I need one?
    In order to sell a mobile home in BC, it is necessary to have an approved sticker of certification that indicates the electrical in the mobile home was built to an acceptacle standard or has already been inspected. There are a variety of certification stickers that are acceptacle (Silver Label, CSA, etc). If no sticker is present on the mobile, a silver label inspection is necessary, to ensures that the original electrical and any alterations made is up to code. If you have a mobile home that has a certification sticker, any additions built without permits will still need to have the electrical inspected by a licensed electrician.
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