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Electrical: Non-CSA approved equipment in Ontario?

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  • Jan 10th, 2010 9:54 pm
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Sr. Member
Sep 21, 2003
533 posts
99 upvotes
Waterloo, Ontario

Electrical: Non-CSA approved equipment in Ontario?

This isn't strictly a home-related question, but it seems like the right forum. I'd like to know how strict regulations on importing and using non-CSA approved electrical appliances are in Ontario.

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to manufacture and sell non-CSA approved equipment. However, is it legal to import an appliance that doesn't have a CSA approval sticker? Is it legal to operate it in Ontario? Does UL approval translate directly to CSA/CUL in Ontario?

I've read that you can have individual equipment field certified. Prices seem to range from $75 for a basic inspection, to $300 for field certfication, to thousands of dollars for proper full certification of a model line. If I have a piece of non-CSA approved equipment, how much should I expect to pay to have it field certified by an inspector on-site?
"My fellow Americans, these are not the droids the nation is looking for."
6 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 25, 2004
5653 posts
147 upvotes
New Westminster
Bob_McBob wrote:
Dec 16th, 2009 4:25 pm
This isn't strictly a home-related question, but it seems like the right forum. I'd like to know how strict regulations on importing and using non-CSA approved electrical appliances are in Ontario.
You might want to search out the relevant posts in the Shop Electrical section of the CDN woodworking magazines forum ... here ...
http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/fo ... y.php?f=23 ... as a good number of guys import woodworking equipment from the US

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to manufacture and sell non-CSA approved equipment.
well, you can manufacture stuff that isn't CSA but you wouldn't be able to sell it ... except overseas. Anything sold in Canada has to be CSA/ULC approved.
However, is it legal to import an appliance that doesn't have a CSA approval sticker? Is it legal to operate it in Ontario?
My read is that if the appliance is for personal use in your own residence (as opposed to either for business use or probably in a rental) then it is okay. RFD threads indicate people are importing TVs and washing machines, etc so ...

While technically an insurance company might be able to void insurance if you had an inappropriate appliance, in all the discussions I have read, nobody has indicated their insurance company has told them they would do so. My cousin is a district rep for an insurance company and told me that they would NOT deny a claim or cancel insurance

Note, however, that this is all for personal use. Business, commericial, etc would probably run in big trouble with electrical safety / workers compensation, etc.
Does UL approval translate directly to CSA/CUL in Ontario?
No
I've read that you can have individual equipment field certified. Prices seem to range from $75 for a basic inspection, to $300 for field certfication, to thousands of dollars for proper full certification of a model line. If I have a piece of non-CSA approved equipment, how much should I expect to pay to have it field certified by an inspector on-site?
Contact Electrical Safety Authority http://www.esasafe.com/index.php
Deal Addict
Apr 13, 2003
3225 posts
40 upvotes
We got some non-CSA approved equipment at work, and we got it certified by the ESA. That is what you are supposed to do. I can't help you with how much it costs though, sorry.
The equipment was certified for US, but we were the first Canadian customers, so it hadn't been tested here yet.
Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes
How do will you use it?

I was working on a trailer that had to be inspected by ESA because it was going to be used on a film-set. The inverter we were using was made in England and was not CSA approved. It was CE approved. One "new" inspector was not willing to approve it in a field inspection, but another old timer approved it. I think it cost $275 just to get them to come out, and then you have to pay for thier time if it is a long inspection, but don't quote me on that.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 21, 2003
533 posts
99 upvotes
Waterloo, Ontario
Thanks for the link, I'll check out some threads on the woodworking forum. When I said "directly translate" what I meant was that I've read a UL certification is good enough for importing and using a product, as opposed to selling it inside Canada, and vice versa. Is UL completely useless in Canada unless it's CUL?

If you have a machine where the electrical components (e.g. motor, electrical box, etc.) are all swapped out with CSA approved parts, is there any further inspection/approval required to operate (not sell) it?
"My fellow Americans, these are not the droids the nation is looking for."
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 25, 2004
5653 posts
147 upvotes
New Westminster
Bob_McBob wrote:
Dec 16th, 2009 10:01 pm
Thanks for the link, I'll check out some threads on the woodworking forum. When I said "directly translate" what I meant was that I've read a UL certification is good enough for importing and using a product, as opposed to selling it inside Canada, and vice versa. Is UL completely useless in Canada unless it's CUL?
Correct in that UL is not a certification that is recognized for approval in Canada. UL is a company that does electrical certification. a product that is "UL certified" has been tested to US standards. A product that is "ULc certified" has been tested to Canadian standards. CSA is also a company that does testing and issues a "CSA certification" which is also recognized in Canada. Products need to be CSA and/or ULc certified to be sold or used (commercially) in Canada.
If you have a machine where the electrical components (e.g. motor, electrical box, etc.) are all swapped out with CSA approved parts, is there any further inspection/approval required to operate (not sell) it?
Probably not from a strictly electrical perspective but your comment is too broad from a realistic point of view. Ex: You swap out a 7HP motor (XXX certified) with a 7HP motor (ULc or CSA) approved. The motor controls a hydraulic ram ... is the new motor the "right one" to run the ram???

Is the motor HP rating enough. what about duty cycles? motor load factors? NEMA plate ratings (dust, explosion proof, etc) ... and that is just the little I know about motors ... switches, wire, etc all have their own specifications which is changed could affect the overall "safety" of the overall system.
Jr. Member
May 20, 2002
137 posts
16 upvotes
So did you get the inspector out? How much did it cost? I am getting a piece of equipment in from the USA and came across this thread..

Your input is appreciated.

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