ESA Permit Application Process

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Old 09-09-13, 08:26 AM
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ESA Permit Application Process

Hey all;

I wasn't sure where to post this so I'll apologize in advance if I've got it wrong. I need to remove some knob and tube for insurance purposes and I have a few questions I'm hoping someone can help out with.

1. As a home owner in Ontario, I'm aware I can do the work myself so long as I receive a permit. The permit (as per ESA) includes the rough-in and final inspection.

2. I have some knob and tube that is hanging freely between walls to a receptacle, instead of opening up the wall in a few places to staple down the romex, can I use BX (armored) cable and be safe for approval?

3. Since one of the rooms will be the master bedroom, will I need AFCI or can I safely use regular receptacles for this purpose? I'm not sure how a renovation applies here. I believe code for new buildings calls for AFCI (arc fault).

Thanks everyone,
 
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Old 09-09-13, 10:43 AM
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1. As a home owner in Ontario, I'm aware I can do the work myself so long as I receive a permit. The permit (as per ESA) includes the rough-in and final inspection.
Can you? Some areas here in the states allow homeowners to do their own work with a permit, but other areas require a licensed contractor to take out the permit and complete the work.

2. I have some knob and tube that is hanging freely between walls to a receptacle, instead of opening up the wall in a few places to staple down the romex, can I use BX (armored) cable and be safe for approval?
The NEC allows type NM cables to be fished into a wall or totally enclosed wall or ceiling space without the requirement for stapling. If the CEC also allows that, that's what I would do and eliminate the hassle and extra cost of an armored cable. Consult your AHJ.

3. Since one of the rooms will be the master bedroom, will I need AFCI or can I safely use regular receptacles for this purpose? I'm not sure how a renovation applies here. I believe code for new buildings calls for AFCI (arc fault).
The NEC requires all branch circuit feeders and outlets in bedrooms to be AFCI protected. I don't know what the CEC requires, best to check with the AHJ on this one too. Although AFCI receptacles are now semi-available, they don't protect the branch feeder, I recommend using AFCI combination type circuit breakers. Typically, when you upgrade wiring in an existing home, the codes will require bringing the upgrade to current adopted code.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 06:10 AM
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Thanks CasualJoe, I appreciate the info. Since I needed the armored cable for a run in the basement above bare earth, I opted to purchase enough that should cover the wall drops as well, for the cost I'll just stick with that.

In Ontario, Canada, we are allowed to do our own work. The permit thing is confusing however. If you speak with an electrician you get different results - need a permit, don't need a permit but need an inspection... In speaking with the Electrical Safety Authority, you are REQUIRED to take out a permit, it covers the rough-in & the final & gives you the certificate of inspection upon completion, which is what I need to satisfy insurance. I kinda figured the AFCIs are a must due the update but was hoping I could get some feedback from someone closer to my neck of the woods in the way of "required but inspectors usually let it slide". I'm not familiar with arc fault circuit interrupts other than what I've read and since my wife uses a blow dryer in the bedroom, I'm informed that the AFCIs tend to trip quite frequently for things like this. Thoughts? & thanks again! I appreciate the information.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 08:18 AM
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The only thing I'll add is that if you use an armored cabel you have to use metal boxes. I cannot help you with actual Canadian or Province requirements. As far as AFCI breakers, they have improved a lot from the early days, but some still have nuisance trips under the right circumstances. I have never had to live with any so I cannot give you a personal opinion.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 06:46 AM
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I personally wouldn't bother with armored cable at all. I'd use NM-B for fishing down the walls and short lengths of EMT to sleeve basement wiring (or just wire it all the basement in EMT and fish individual conductors). The hassle of working with AC isn't worth it unless it's really required. (but of course you can if desired)

As I understand it, licensed electricians in Ontario (not sure if it stretches across Canada) basically inspect their own work. The fact that they are doing it under their license 'proves' that it's up to code.

To be honest, I don't know the details of this... whether it's just for remodels, residential, new construction, etc. As a homeowner, I would assume the process follows more of the US process, where you do the rough-in, an inspector reviews it and approves it, then you do the final, and another inspection.

But you should be able to call the ESA office and ask questions you may have.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 07:35 AM
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In our area (smalltown SW Ontario), I've heard of something called an "approved contractor status". Basically it means that you've done enough stuff that's been inspected and approved, so eventually they just trust you to inspect your own work. Pretty sure you still have to pull a permit, but you don't have to go through the process of scheduling meetings/waiting/etc. for the inspector to show up.
 
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Old 09-27-13, 09:02 AM
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My Experience

Thank you to everyone who responded. There was some good advice provided and for that I'm appreciative. Here's what I learned:

1. Homeowners in Ontario are allowed to do their own electrical work.

2. A permit is required for ALL electrical work - the process may vary depending on trade - IE electricians have a different path than a homeowner but according to ESA a permit is still required.

3. When you complete the application for the permit, there are a few boxes and one of them need to be checked (apparently) - IE ready for rough-in, final inspection, etc... If you leave these blank, be prepared to call them in order to progress. I didn't check any of these boxes as I had some questions and was told via phone with ESA that at the time the application is approved I'd receive an information kit containing instructions and a number I could call with any technical questions - apparently the general number won't provide technical advice. I received a SALES RECEIPT stating that my permit had been approved. Logically, I waited to receive the information package. The sales receipt just says that you've been approved for permit, provides information on inspection dates (availability) and that's it. No contact other than the general number. There was no information kit or actual permit after 2wks so I called them and they explained that since I didn't mark anything off (rough-in, final, etc...) they were waiting on me. I was provided with a number to contact an inspector who would provide technical advice. The inspector was fantastic.

4. I have knob and tube that hangs loosely between the walls so I needed to know for a fact if I could stick to the plain old ROMEX unsecured between the walls or if I needed armored cable, etc... The answer I received was - ROMEX is fine, be sure to secure it at the top and bottom.

5. Since I will be replacing a few receptacles in the bedroom I needed to know if I could use regular receptacles or if I had needed to use AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupt). The answer provided was that since this is a renovation and not a new circuit, regular receptacles are fine, if grounded OR GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) if not grounded. Since this is a renovation and the circuit is run from a GFCI at the panel, I'm covered on this one.

More to come... Thanks again.
 
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