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Electrical: Non-CSA approved equipment in Ontario?

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  • Sep 24th, 2017 12:56 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 21, 2003
550 posts
110 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."
27 replies
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Feb 25, 2004
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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
3268 posts
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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
550 posts
110 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."
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Feb 25, 2004
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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
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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.

K
Newbie
Jan 30, 2017
1 posts
According to the code, any non CSA approved piece of gear (personal, residential or commercial) may not be plugged into a source of electricity supplied by Ontario Hydro or its subsidiaries. No exceptions permitted.
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
2542 posts
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Paris
I purchased a stereo receiver (my very first one actually) in Florida back in high school. I was very abusive and eventually it overheated. Took it to a stereo shop and they wouldn't touch it as it was only UL approved (no cULus back then). Went back to Florida years later and it was replaced as it had a 4 year warranty on it. (New one UL and CSA approved). Still in service today in my garage.

I imported and had tools tested once upon a time. UL does not mean it meets Cdn standards. If you pay UL a tiny bit more you can get the all important cULus rating on it for use in Canada and the US.

I would not trust that insurance wouldn't deny your claim if there was a wiring issue related to an unapproved appliance.

Literally reported someone to Amazon today for this based on another tread. I asked if it was legal for use in Canada and they said

"Thank you for your inquiry, this item is not UL or CSA listed.
But all the electric parts, wire and lamp socket, are UL listed. The main wire is 14awg wire, which is good for Max 18A current.
Even using 60w bulb per socket for this light fixture, the current is only 9A, and we did testing the fixture in house before mass production."

I'm sure glad they tested it on Canadian voltage in house in GY-Na
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
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Mar 23, 2008
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Nice resurrection on a 7 year old thread...

C
Sr. Member
Oct 20, 2011
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Mississauga
I remember a couple years ago a chef wanted a specific oven shipped over from Italy (commercial kitchen) as part of his employment agreement. In order for it to meet Canadian standards they had to get the manufacture involved along with the standards industry to figure out what it needed to meet Canada's standards. Total cost was $1345.00 for a $6450.00 stove. Again this was a commercial stove but it took about 3 weeks to get done.
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
CNeufeld wrote:
Jan 31st, 2017 4:21 pm
Nice resurrection on a 7 year old thread...

C
Based on some posts I've seen lately, it's as important today.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2007
11910 posts
1797 upvotes
For ON, the ESA has a document which shows which certification authorities/marks are acceptable from an ON electrical safety code perspective.

There's a lot more acceptable marks than just CSA and UL. It's basically any certification authority recognised by Standards Canada.
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
2542 posts
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Paris
l69norm wrote:
Feb 1st, 2017 10:06 am
For ON, the ESA has a document which shows which certification authorities/marks are acceptable from an ON electrical safety code perspective.

There's a lot more acceptable marks than just CSA and UL. It's basically any certification authority recognised by Standards Canada.
I recently posted that very doc on Amazon when someone told me lighting fixtures dont need CSA or UL approval in Canada, just FCC (I mean, WTF??)

ttp://cgrcontracting.ca/files/OESC_Bulletin_2-7-29.pdf
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Jr. Member
Nov 22, 2007
116 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
Jerico wrote:
Feb 1st, 2017 9:49 pm
I recently posted that very doc on Amazon when someone told me lighting fixtures dont need CSA or UL approval in Canada, just FCC (I mean, WTF??)

ttp://cgrcontracting.ca/files/OESC_Bulletin_2-7-29.pdf
So basically buying lighting fixtures from amazon is no no?

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