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[2018 UPDATE] Ask me anything about home electrical requirements, electrical code, wiring, devices

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[OP]
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Oct 26, 2003
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[2018 UPDATE] Ask me anything about home electrical requirements, electrical code, wiring, devices

Saw few post asking about the Canadian Electrical Code, it seems people like to give complicated and confusing answers. I'm an electrical engineer and I do this for a living, feel free to ask me about code related issues, wiring types, installation, devices, etc. I'm specialized in commercial and institutional design but I do residential occasionally.

Ontario Electrical Code 2015
Ontario Building Code 2015
Toronto Green Standards
Lighting Design & Simulation
Power Distribution 120/208/277/347/600/13.8kV single and 3 phase
Fire Alarm
Security
Communication/Data, Cat6/A, Fiber single/multi-mode, 802.11AC
Ashrae 90.1-2010
NECB 2011
Solar & EV


NEW 2018 CODE UPDATE


1. CEC 2018 to be released on Jan 2, with 262 revisions/clarifications from 2015.
2. 8-104 continuous current rating to be labeled on all electrical distribution equipment. Panels, switchboard, MCC, CDP, meter stacks, etc.
3. 26-242 transformers bigger than 50 KVA shall have minimum horizontal working space of 1m on the side of conductor termination. This applies to one side if the transformer have both the primary and secondary feeder connected to one side, or both side in the normal case.
4. Table 39, if used, shall have the calculated continuous current rating labelled on electrical distribution equipment. This is mostly used in residential.
5. Temperature rating applied to feeder sizes to Tables D8A-D11B, D17A-D17N, D12E (1) (2)
6. Section 4 light switch shall have identified (neutral) conductor in junction box. Previously for the dimmers that doesn’t require neutral, the bond is used as reference as code allows for minor leakage through bond, hence that’s how it gets power, but no longer.
7. Table 11 & 12, EV table D1 new conductor/feeder types. There seems to be at least 4 different types of charger cable.
8. Section 6-112(2) overhead service feeder point of attachment.
9. 6-212(3) utility service line side feeder not to touch or cross load side feeder.
10. 8-104(5)-(7), continuous operation 80% or 100%.
11. 8-106(1) 5% rule deleted.
12. 8-106(11)-(12) EV energy management systems (EVEMS) to apply reduced demand factor.
13. 8-110 determination of areas above/below ground, generalized.
14. Section 10 rewritten, table 16A & 16B consolidated into table 16.
15. Armored cable can now be used under slab.
16. Section 12 new technology cable PCS, NMDH90. Combined power and data in a single hybrid feeder.
17. 12-102(1)-(2) low temperature conductor, refer to appendix B notes.
18. 12-1302 deleted.
19. New rule regarding running of extra low voltage feeder on suspended ceiling (ACT).
20. 12-1250 to 12-1268 high density polyethylene (HDPE) conductor in conduit types.
21. Section 16 rule for power over Ethernet, refer to table 16.
22. 16-212(5) requirements for equipment class 2 output.
23. Section 18 intrinsically safe non-incentive circuits for zone 2, refer to appendix F and appendix J. updated for user friendly wording.
24. New table 70, equipment types permitted in different zones.
25. Heavy duty (HD) liquid tight flexible metal conduit now allowed for use in hazardous locations, zone 2.
26. 18-052 appendix B temperature outside ambient range.
27. Section 29 new table 69, hazardous locations within bulk storage space.
28. Section 24, C22.2 No. 204 line isolation monitoring alert trigger level increased. Can now use metallic conduit in zone.
29. 24-102 clarified.
30. Section 26 unit substation.
31. 26-258(4) primary and secondary conductor of high voltage and low voltage transformer.
32. 26-722(a) more than one refrigerator receptacle allowed per circuit.
33. 26-724 AFCI exemptions reduced or removed.
34. 26-724(e) no need for dedicated circuit in kitchen area.
35. 26-700(12) tamper receptacles required in hotel guest room, daycare, schools.
36. 30-200 combustible materials may be in proximity to light fixtures.
37. Section 30 disconnect to LED light fixture exceeding 150VAC to ground.
38. Section 32-200, 32-206.
39. 32-119 smoke/co alarm with battery backup are allowed to be on AFCI/GFCI circuit.
40. Section 62 electric heating in area with sink, shower or tub require GFCI protection.
41. Section 64 renewable energy systems, disconnect means, rapid shutdown system, define recombiner.
42. 64-202 feeder voltage exemption raised from 1000VDC to 1500VDC.
43. Section 78 GFCI expanded to floating piers and docking facilities.
Last edited by divx on Dec 13th, 2012 11:00 am, edited 5 times in total.
4802 replies
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Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
OK I'll take you up on your offer. :D
I went to replace a GFI on an outdoor box, and discovered that the box itself had two circuits on two different breakers fed by 14/3. One circuit terminated at the GFI, while the other carried on and fed a series of internal receptacles.
I couldn't figure out why the GFI wouldn't test/reset until I realised that there was a downstream load; ( a DSL modem, of all things.) (I'm assuming that the GFI was detecting the voltage differential on the neutral side, thus causing it to stay tripped.
Do you happen to know if this Code compliant, and better still, wise? My argument is, having two circuits feeding into a device box is, as it has been pointed out to me, not a Code violation, bad layout. In this scenario, if the GFI tripped, all the interior loads would have to be disconnected (TV's, modems and potentially anything else that could be running, or even in standby mode) before it could be reset.
[OP]
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Oct 26, 2003
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simple solution is just try replace the GFI receptacle, one time I installed a brand new GFI receptacle and it won't work, could be it was faulty, then after I replaced it works again. It is possible the device is faulty or became faulty.

GFI will work with 14/3 2 circuit configuration the way you mentioned, cause only 1 circuit is used by the GFI. GFI sense current difference between hot and neutral internally, it will not measure the current from other sources.

Having multiple circuit in a junction box is normal.

If GFI is tripped, you can reset it by pressing the reset button, no need to disconnect the load unless the load is causing a fault.
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Oct 24, 2012
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I have an old 100A fuse panel that does its job so I don't want to replace it.
It only has one slot for 60A (fuses) which is used for the range and I can't relocate that to a 30A slot.
I want to hook up a subpanel (breakers) rated 60A right next to my fuse panel so I can add several new circuits.

Can rule 28-110 (2)(a) apply?
My plan is as follow:

1. Link the main panel with the sub panel with a 6" piece of 1.5" EMT
2. Cut off a strip of insulation from the two #3 copper wires that go from the main 100A fuses to the bus bars.
3. Install a properly sized split bolts that would tap the two #3 to two #6 TW90 copper.
4. Wrap the tap with self vulcanizing rubber to the appropriate thickness, wrap that with electrical tape.
5. Pass the two #6 through the EMT that goes to the sub panel and hook them up to the main 60A breakers.
6. Another #6 would go to a space on the neutral bus bar in the main panel to the neutral bus bar of the sub panel.
7. Same as step 6 with bare #6 copper from ground bus to sub's ground bus.

I know the NEC has the same rule, but it isn't classified under motor loads. That's why I ask.


Yeah, that's right, I went straight to hard mode ;)
[OP]
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Oct 26, 2003
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60A is too big for range though. you can double lug a panel but I'm not familiar with the old fuse panel. You may be better off just replace the panel.
#3 wire is fine, your method is also fine, if you really want to proceed you can but it's gonna look terrible.
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Oct 19, 2008
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Why not relocate some circuits to the new panel; use the space freed up to install breakers to feed the pony sub panel. That will look clean and the sub panel will be 'protected' as its being fed from breakers.

I didn't think you could double lug to install a new panel divx?...by that you mean feed the sub panel by installing the wire ends into the lugs the main panel is fed by?
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Oct 24, 2012
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I'd love to replace the panel, but the main disconnect is part of the panel. So to cut the power so I can remove it, I'd have to pull the meter out. I'd rather not get the POCO involved.

Yeah 60A is too big, but the fuses in the 60A slot are 35A. It's a block with tube fuses. It's the only block that can hold fuses up to 60A.
But while I have plenty of 30A slots, I can't put a range on it.

Double lug, hmmm then I'd still have to have #6 to go to the stove just so it matches the capacity of the 60A fuses.

So if my method is fine, I'll go for that. Looking terrible is a matter of opinion. Two panels side by side linked by a EMT raceway kinda looks "cool" to me :p
The splices will be hidden in the 2nd half of the main panel where the main disconnect is located.

Thanks for confirming my idea.
Zamboni wrote:
Dec 13th, 2012 2:25 pm
Why not relocate some circuits to the new panel; use the space freed up to install breakers to feed the pony sub panel. That will look clean and the sub panel will be 'protected' as its being fed from breakers.
The main panel is a fuse panel, not breaker panel. Now whether breaks are better than fuses, that's another story and I still believe fuses are safer (excluding GFCI and AFCI breakers).

Anyway, the main panel has 18 screw fuse slots (30A max), 3x 30A 240v fuse holders, and 1x 60A 240 fuse holder.
There is only ONE space I can use and that's the 60A. That 60A is used by the range.
If I transfer the range to the sub panel, then I gained nothing in capacity vs. just feeding it with a 30A set of fuse.
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alkizmo wrote:
Dec 13th, 2012 2:36 pm
Now whether breaks are better than fuses, that's another story and I still believe fuses are safer (excluding GFCI and AFCI breakers).
+1
I once came across a breaker in a damp basement that was seized from corrosion.
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The protection of the #6 wires is the 60A breakers in the subpanel.
Sure, the #6 can't handle 100A, but the chances of a short circuit occuring in between the line taps and the 60A fuses is almost impossible. Those wires are encased the whole time in the main panel, EMT and subpanel. And even if it did occur.. as I said, they are encased and it's not like they are #14 wires, they're #6, they can handle 60% of the 100A fuses. The 100A fuses will pop fast enough (it's not like a short will only use 100A, it will use ALL the amps).

I mean, think about it, the wires going from the electric pole, to your meter, to your main panel, are NOT fuse protected, and behind it is a 12kVA transformer :p
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Jul 24, 2003
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i live in a condo and i think the ceiling is concrete with popcorn texture. How hard would it be to install some kind of lights above?
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alkizmo wrote:
Dec 13th, 2012 3:23 pm
The protection of the #6 wires is the 60A breakers in the subpanel.
Sure, the #6 can't handle 100A, but the chances of a short circuit occuring in between the line taps and the 60A fuses is almost impossible. Those wires are encased the whole time in the main panel, EMT and subpanel. And even if it did occur.. as I said, they are encased and it's not like they are #14 wires, they're #6, they can handle 60% of the 100A fuses. The 100A fuses will pop fast enough (it's not like a short will only use 100A, it will use ALL the amps).

I mean, think about it, the wires going from the electric pole, to your meter, to your main panel, are NOT fuse protected, and behind it is a 12kVA transformer :p
Must admit I was picturing this wrong, I thought you were tapping into the leads feeding your main panel....reading it again its clear on original post #2 you are planning to tap after the main breaker. I've seen people simply add another wire into the lug where main feed attaches, sorry for the confusion I added. I actually have the taps, never seen used in that application though.

Depending on the area there often are fuses at the pole.
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EchoAngel911 wrote:
Dec 13th, 2012 4:25 pm
i live in a condo and i think the ceiling is concrete with popcorn texture. How hard would it be to install some kind of lights above?
You mean recessed into the concrete? Pretty much impossible. Not from an electrical standpoint, just that there's pretty much no way (unless you're willing to hire engineers to fight it) the condo is going to allow you to drill into the concrete, especially to run wires and stuff. With concrete ceilings in condos, what's there is going to stay there and what's not there is never going to be there.
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Zamboni wrote:
Dec 13th, 2012 5:17 pm
I've seen people simply add another wire into the lug where main feed attaches, sorry for the confusion I added. I actually have the taps, never seen used in that application though.
Well, adding another wire in the lug where the main feed attaches wouldn't work as it wouldn't fit and the lug isn't designed for 2 wires. I admit if there was a way to add another lug, it would be easier than cutting a section of insulation, wrenching a split bolt, then wrapping a TON of self vulcanizing rubber. This will make quite large bulbous taps, good thing there is a LOT of space in that section, because the #3 won't bend that easily! It needs to make a 90 degree turn towards the other side of the panel to get to the bus bars.

I admit that the application is quite irregular, but hey, if code allows, then why not. I love my classy fuse panel, but I need 10 more circuits.
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is there a special type of wire i need to use for wiring range hood power? which wiring should i use?
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I have a two switch box in my laundry room. One switch is a 3-way controlling the laundry room light and the other is a 3-way controlling the garage light. They're side-by-side in the box, but I recently found that they are on different circuits at the panel. Is that against code?

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