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

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  • Jan 20th, 2018 11:32 am
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Mar 3, 2013
462 posts
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Newmarket
Shanetodd wrote:
Dec 20th, 2017 8:56 am
My rough in inspection passed (ya!!) but I forgot to ask at what point I can get my final inspection? Potlights are in, outlets are done but flooring, paint and trim aren’t done yet. Could it be done before all that? Thanks.
This is directly from the ESA FAQ:

Question
What is a "final inspection" and when does it take place?
Answer
This inspection is done after the electrical installation is complete. This means that all receptacles, switches, cover plates, lighting fixtures and permanently connected appliances are in place and the panel directory has been completed. All unused openings in panel boards or junction and outlet boxes shall be filled with suitable fillers. Where an appliance that is to be permanently connected is not yet on site, the cable shall be terminated in a junction box complete with a blank cover and the ends of the conductors shall be insulated with wire connectors or tape. Where permanent light fixtures are not yet on site, install temporary light fixtures or a blank cover on lighting outlet boxes. The final inspection shall be requested as soon as possible after completion of the electrical installation.
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bpcrally wrote:
Dec 20th, 2017 9:29 am
Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of finishing my basement and have a couple questions regarding the ESA inspection process.
First off, I have completed all of the wiring myself, and have pulled a permit in my name.
I'm nearing the end of the wiring project, and am hoping to get an inspector in within the next couple of weeks.

My question is about the actual inspection process, and what the inspector needs to see done:

- I have run the wires into all device boxes. The wires have the jacket removed (at least 6 inches), are stripped and I've made any necessary connections inside the box (connecting neutrals, ground wires, pig tails etc where necessary) but have not connected the actual receptacles/switches. I believe this is correct?

- I will be installing pot lights, but not until the drywall is done. Currently the wires are all mounted in the ceiling and bunched up where I plan for the light to go. Should I be preparing the wiring (removing jacket, stripping the wires) for the inspection? I cannot mount the pot lights until after drywall is up, so I'm a little confused what they will need to see here. The pot lights have the device box built in.

- I have all wires run to the panel sitting there disconnected (obviously!). Should I be preparing these wires (outer jacket removed, wires stripped)? I have not yet purchased breakers, do I need to have these present for the inspection? I know nothing about working on the panel, so I'm thinking I might hire someone to install the breakers and complete the final connections once my work is signed off.. thoughts?

- Last one.. Currently there are lights in the ceiling of the basement (2) which will be removed before the drywall goes up. I know for the inspection, they need to see them either properly terminated or removed, but without these lights the basement will be pitch black.. What should I do here?

Thank you in advance!
Same as my post above but for rough-in inspection:

Question
What is a "rough-in inspection" and when does it take place?
Answer
The rough-in inspection takes place when all branch circuit wiring and outlet boxes are installed and prior to any wiring being concealed by insulation, vapour barrier, drywall, etc.
As a minimum for the rough-in inspection the following shall be completed:
- All cables shall be installed, strapped and supported as required.
- All required outlet boxes shall be installed and securely fastened.
- All cables shall have their outer jacket removed and be terminated in outlet boxes where an outlet box will be required for the wiring device, luminaire, or equipment.
- All bonding connections shall be completed at all outlet boxes including provision of a bonding conductor for final connection where required to a wiring device, luminaire, or equipment.
- Any joints or splices in the wiring at outlet boxes shall be completed.
- Protection plates against nails/screws to be installed where required.
- No wiring shall be concealed by installation of insulation or floor, wall, and ceiling materials until authorized by an inspector.
A Licensed Electrical Contractor
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Mar 3, 2013
462 posts
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Newmarket
bpcrally wrote:
Dec 20th, 2017 9:29 am
Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of finishing my basement and have a couple questions regarding the ESA inspection process.
First off, I have completed all of the wiring myself, and have pulled a permit in my name.
I'm nearing the end of the wiring project, and am hoping to get an inspector in within the next couple of weeks.

My question is about the actual inspection process, and what the inspector needs to see done:

- I have run the wires into all device boxes. The wires have the jacket removed (at least 6 inches), are stripped and I've made any necessary connections inside the box (connecting neutrals, ground wires, pig tails etc where necessary) but have not connected the actual receptacles/switches. I believe this is correct?

- I will be installing pot lights, but not until the drywall is done. Currently the wires are all mounted in the ceiling and bunched up where I plan for the light to go. Should I be preparing the wiring (removing jacket, stripping the wires) for the inspection? I cannot mount the pot lights until after drywall is up, so I'm a little confused what they will need to see here. The pot lights have the device box built in.

- I have all wires run to the panel sitting there disconnected (obviously!). Should I be preparing these wires (outer jacket removed, wires stripped)? I have not yet purchased breakers, do I need to have these present for the inspection? I know nothing about working on the panel, so I'm thinking I might hire someone to install the breakers and complete the final connections once my work is signed off.. thoughts?

- Last one.. Currently there are lights in the ceiling of the basement (2) which will be removed before the drywall goes up. I know for the inspection, they need to see them either properly terminated or removed, but without these lights the basement will be pitch black.. What should I do here?

Thank you in advance!

- I have run the wires into all device boxes. The wires have the jacket removed (at least 6 inches), are stripped and I've made any necessary connections inside the box (connecting neutrals, ground wires, pig tails etc where necessary) but have not connected the actual receptacles/switches. I believe this is correct?

Yes sounds like you're ready for rough-in with these.

- I will be installing pot lights, but not until the drywall is done. Currently the wires are all mounted in the ceiling and bunched up where I plan for the light to go. Should I be preparing the wiring (removing jacket, stripping the wires) for the inspection? I cannot mount the pot lights until after drywall is up, so I'm a little confused what they will need to see here. The pot lights have the device box built in.

Staple your wires to the joist and leave them bundled up in the cavity. No need to strip or add wire nuts at this point. I would use smash plates for ease of installation after the drywall is up.

- I have all wires run to the panel sitting there disconnected (obviously!). Should I be preparing these wires (outer jacket removed, wires stripped)? I have not yet purchased breakers, do I need to have these present for the inspection? I know nothing about working on the panel, so I'm thinking I might hire someone to install the breakers and complete the final connections once my work is signed off.. thoughts?

You do not need to have breakers present. You can cut your wires into your panel connecting your grounds and neutrals but leave the hot wires capped with a wire nut. if you are running arc fault circuits, you cannot wire your neutrals until your breakers are installed. You can hire an electrical contractor to do your final wiring, however they will need to take out their own permit to do the work and get it inspected.

- Last one.. Currently there are lights in the ceiling of the basement (2) which will be removed before the drywall goes up. I know for the inspection, they need to see them either properly terminated or removed, but without these lights the basement will be pitch black.. What should I do here?

Temporary lighting ie: work lights
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surrealillusion wrote:
Dec 21st, 2017 10:27 am
Looking to add 2 outlets maybe 3 on a new circuit in my single car garage (which is the ground level of the house). Main panel is located in the garage and I’m thinking an exposed run with conduit will be easier than holes and fishing wire.

I was quoted $500 for two outlets (new AFCI breaker required) and added costs to do conduit vs fishing the wire and installing outlets in the walls. One outlet would be located on the back wall of the garage (firewall between me and the unit behind me, the second on the ceiling for lighting).

Would I be better served having an electrician do this work or is it easy enough if I follow the code and safety to do the work myself?

Thanks!
$500 is really cheap for this work and I would assume this is not an insured electrical contractor. I can't imagine how much less the cost would be for concealed wiring. I do not know much about the Ottawa market though.
After the permit cost, conduit, connectors, conduit straps, device boxes, devices, afci breaker, wire, and labour, I cannot see how an electrical contractor can be in business at that rate.
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MrSparky wrote:
Dec 21st, 2017 12:35 pm
- I have run the wires into all device boxes. The wires have the jacket removed (at least 6 inches), are stripped and I've made any necessary connections inside the box (connecting neutrals, ground wires, pig tails etc where necessary) but have not connected the actual receptacles/switches. I believe this is correct?

Yes sounds like you're ready for rough-in with these.

- I will be installing pot lights, but not until the drywall is done. Currently the wires are all mounted in the ceiling and bunched up where I plan for the light to go. Should I be preparing the wiring (removing jacket, stripping the wires) for the inspection? I cannot mount the pot lights until after drywall is up, so I'm a little confused what they will need to see here. The pot lights have the device box built in.

Staple your wires to the joist and leave them bundled up in the cavity. No need to strip or add wire nuts at this point. I would use smash plates for ease of installation after the drywall is up.

- I have all wires run to the panel sitting there disconnected (obviously!). Should I be preparing these wires (outer jacket removed, wires stripped)? I have not yet purchased breakers, do I need to have these present for the inspection? I know nothing about working on the panel, so I'm thinking I might hire someone to install the breakers and complete the final connections once my work is signed off.. thoughts?

You do not need to have breakers present. You can cut your wires into your panel connecting your grounds and neutrals but leave the hot wires capped with a wire nut. if you are running arc fault circuits, you cannot wire your neutrals until your breakers are installed. You can hire an electrical contractor to do your final wiring, however they will need to take out their own permit to do the work and get it inspected.

- Last one.. Currently there are lights in the ceiling of the basement (2) which will be removed before the drywall goes up. I know for the inspection, they need to see them either properly terminated or removed, but without these lights the basement will be pitch black.. What should I do here?

Temporary lighting ie: work lights
Thank you very much for your reply! I am a little confused on the breaker panel portion though. Currently the wires are sitting outside of the panel, i have not punched any holes into it. Will I need to run them into the panel at all for this or can I leave them outside of the panel with no holes punched?
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MrSparky wrote:
Dec 21st, 2017 12:45 pm
$500 is really cheap for this work and I would assume this is not an insured electrical contractor. I can't imagine how much less the cost would be for concealed wiring. I do not know much about the Ottawa market though.
After the permit cost, conduit, connectors, conduit straps, device boxes, devices, afci breaker, wire, and labour, I cannot see how an electrical contractor can be in business at that rate.
The actual was $550 for concealed or ~$600 for exposed conduit. I had another one suggest going off an existing breaker and it would be $300. Both are licensed contractors. Hmm I guess I’ll have to do my own estimate of costs and weigh if it’s worth my own time to do it then. If I did go that route would I need just cost of the permit (pre and before final wiring) + required materials based on code?
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bpcrally wrote:
Dec 21st, 2017 12:56 pm
Thank you very much for your reply! I am a little confused on the breaker panel portion though. Currently the wires are sitting outside of the panel, i have not punched any holes into it. Will I need to run them into the panel at all for this or can I leave them outside of the panel with no holes punched?
Yes it's fine to leave the wires out of the panel for the rough-in inspection.
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surrealillusion wrote:
Dec 21st, 2017 3:39 pm
The actual was $550 for concealed or ~$600 for exposed conduit. I had another one suggest going off an existing breaker and it would be $300. Both are licensed contractors. Hmm I guess I’ll have to do my own estimate of costs and weigh if it’s worth my own time to do it then. If I did go that route would I need just cost of the permit (pre and before final wiring) + required materials based on code?
Feeding from an existing breaker would still require arc faulting the circuit. If you are doing this yourself then yes cost of permit+material is all you need to consider aside from your time to do the work. it sounds fairly straight forward, if you take your time and have some basic electrical knowledge you should be fine.
BX is probably the cheapest and fasted way to do this for a surface mounted installation.
You can run BX to an AFCI outlet and feed it with a regular breaker if your panel does not support afci breakers.
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Apr 15, 2003
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MrSparky wrote:
Dec 21st, 2017 7:31 pm
Feeding from an existing breaker would still require arc faulting the circuit. If you are doing this yourself then yes cost of permit+material is all you need to consider aside from your time to do the work. it sounds fairly straight forward, if you take your time and have some basic electrical knowledge you should be fine.
BX is probably the cheapest and fasted way to do this for a surface mounted installation.
You can run BX to an AFCI outlet and feed it with a regular breaker if your panel does not support afci breakers.
Would a resource like the Ps Knight book Electrical Code simplified be useful? Thanks for the prompt responses!
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Our new home has a couple of things I'd like to possibly improve.
1. There are about 12 LED potlights in the outside soffits at the front that are switched on/off via a switch near the front entrance closet. What would it take to have these put on either a timer or a light sensor so that they automatically come on / turn off?
2. In the finished basement (it's a bungalow with walkout basement) there are 3 different "circuits" of MR16 potlights. One of the sets is furthest away from the 3 main light switches. One of the other sets can be switched on/off via a second switch close to the series of lights, which makes it convenient. What I would like to do is to have someone add another light switch near to where the furthest series of light switches are. The 200A panel is located at the same end of the house as where I'd want the new switch to be installed, but probably about 30' away.
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cannon_fodder wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2017 5:26 pm
Our new home has a couple of things I'd like to possibly improve.
1. There are about 12 LED potlights in the outside soffits at the front that are switched on/off via a switch near the front entrance closet. What would it take to have these put on either a timer or a light sensor so that they automatically come on / turn off?
The timer is easy, just take the switch out and replace it with this https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.in-w ... 63148.html or this https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.vizi ... 32512.html
For the light sensor it's a little bit more complicated, you'd have to open the soffit close to where the home run comes into the first potlight, add a box to the circuit and attach this to the box in series with the circuit https://www.rona.ca/en/photoelectric-light-control
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charlesd79 wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2017 6:43 pm
The timer is easy, just take the switch out and replace it with this https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.in-w ... 63148.html or this https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.vizi ... 32512.html
For the light sensor it's a little bit more complicated, you'd have to open the soffit close to where the home run comes into the first potlight, add a box to the circuit and attach this to the box in series with the circuit https://www.rona.ca/en/photoelectric-light-control
Thank you! Never knew something like that existed and it's easy enough even a person like me can install it.
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cannon_fodder wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2017 6:53 pm
Thank you! Never knew something like that existed and it's easy enough even a person like me can install it.
Also you could replace the regular switch with a smart one, plenty of deals these days. Here's an old thread amazon-ca-tp-link-smart-wi-fi-light-swi ... 9-2155369/
Here's a thread you may want to subscribe to smart-switches-plugs-2155837/
The smart ones can also be programmed to turn on/off at dusk/dawn, so no need for the photocell either. I'd get one, if I were you.
Newbie
Oct 14, 2017
42 posts
4 upvotes
Hi all. Can someone tell me if a basement electrical box must be enclosed for code? Meaning....do I need to build a cabinet? Thanks
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