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Electrical safety authority letter notice

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  • Jul 28th, 2020 11:52 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jun 18, 2009
136 posts
19 upvotes

Electrical safety authority letter notice

Hello,
Can someone advise please.

I got a ESA letter supposedly directed to "homeowner / My address" in mail. Normally i would trash such mails but somehow i opened this one, without much expectation.
Letter is issued from ~10 days ago and they have asked me to address the deficiencies by following day of issuance. ( Its a postal mail and not email.. there is no way anyone can get the mail within 1 day and then address it, but that's a whole other conversation)

Letter mentions that "it has come to our attention that you or your employees have done electrical work without permit for my address ...etc"

Is this a spam? They are asking me to call Defect Inspector from esasafe.com. how legit is this?.

BTW, I bought new kitchen applieances, I did get partial electrical wiring work done ( only wirings are fished/drawn but power not connected yet) as appliances are yet to be delivered. ( Yes I got a proper electrical contractor for the job)
Also had some pot lights added btw which are in use now.

I looked for some electrical contractors via homestars for quotes.. i am guessing the guy who didnt get my job (asking over 5k) may have reported possibly.

Thanks,
69 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2005
4934 posts
1322 upvotes
Kitchener
A "proper" electrical contractor would get the electrical permit to do your electrical work. Give the notice to him so he has to deal with the ESA
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2628 posts
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Mississauga
Its not spam but I don't know if they are just flexing. ESA investigates and strongly prosecutes people who perform electrical jobs without appropriate license so they might have a way to continue the process if you do not respond. They are after the Electrician not you, but they also want you to get inspected and fix any potential bad install.

Did you hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor or just a Qualified Electrician?

A permit needed to be pulled before the job started so they probably don't have one on record if they sent you the letter. Fished wires needs a permit before you start and needs to be inspected before it is connected to power or access holes patched with drywall. Call the Licensed Electrical Contractors (LEC) you hired for the job and ask if they pulled a permit.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jun 18, 2009
136 posts
19 upvotes
Thanks bubuski, drthrone,
Yes he is a licensed electrician.
Good thing is holes are not patched either for kitchen appliances and wires not connected.
For Potlights holes are patched though.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
15147 posts
16142 upvotes
Oakville
sat981 wrote: Hello,
Can someone advise please.

I got a ESA letter supposedly directed to "homeowner / My address" in mail. Normally i would trash such mails but somehow i opened this one, without much expectation.
Letter is issued from ~10 days ago and they have asked me to address the deficiencies by following day of issuance. ( Its a postal mail and not email.. there is no way anyone can get the mail within 1 day and then address it, but that's a whole other conversation)

Letter mentions that "it has come to our attention that you or your employees have done electrical work without permit for my address ...etc"

Is this a spam? They are asking me to call Defect Inspector from esasafe.com. how legit is this?.

BTW, I bought new kitchen applieances, I did get partial electrical wiring work done ( only wirings are fished/drawn but power not connected yet) as appliances are yet to be delivered. ( Yes I got a proper electrical contractor for the job)
Also had some pot lights added btw which are in use now.

I looked for some electrical contractors via homestars for quotes.. i am guessing the guy who didnt get my job (asking over 5k) may have reported possibly.

Thanks,
Sounds like you shouldn't have been giving your real name/address to these guys that you were contacting.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jun 18, 2009
136 posts
19 upvotes
well the job was big and they have to come and assess for a quote, so didnt have a choice unfortunately.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
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Mississauga
sat981 wrote: Thanks bubuski, drthrone,
Yes he is a licensed electrician.
Good thing is holes are not patched either for kitchen appliances and wires not connected.
For Potlights holes are patched though.
Installed potlights that are replacing existing light fixtures and switches should not be an issue but I'm just going by my experience last month. I finished a basement, full kitchen gut and added main floor potlights. The inspector did ask questions about the mainfloor light fixture that was replaced by each set of installed potlights. Basement potlights were left wires only for the inspector.

The LEC were part of ESA's ACP program so the inspections might have been a bit less stringent. Your inspector might want to be more thorough since your contractor likely didn't pull a permit first.
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
bubuski wrote: Installed potlights that are replacing existing light fixtures and switches should not be an issue but I'm just going by my experience last month. I finished a basement, full kitchen gut and added main floor potlights. The inspector did ask questions about the mainfloor light fixture that was replaced by each set of installed potlights. Basement potlights were left wires only for the inspector.

The LEC were part of ESA's ACP program so the inspections might have been a bit less stringent. Your inspector might want to be more thorough since your contractor likely didn't pull a permit first.
The bold statement above is not really true. Replacing a light fixture with a new fixture is fine however changing from a fixture to a potlight is not a "like for like" change and would require a permit. Also typically when a homeowner changes from a fixture to potlights they are almost always changing from 1 light fixture to multiple potlights which again requires a permit to be pulled.

@sat981 I would be checking with the electrician you've hired and verify the following.

1. They are a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) with a valid ECRA/ESA#. A licensed electrician is NOT the same as a licensed contractor. I for example am a licensed electrician but not a contractor and such could not legally perform this job or pull a permit for you. You can also look them up yourself here to confirm they are a licensed contractor.

2. Confirm they have pulled a permit (they likely haven't since you received this notice). The contractor has to legally pull a permit within 48 hours of starting the work.

IF the electrician is NOT a LEC you need to terminate your working relationship with them as they are not qualified or legally allowed to do the work and bring in a LEC to complete the job. The ESA already knows there is electrical work being performed in your home and can issue defects against your property and issue fines if you continue to perform work illegally.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
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ChicoQuente wrote: The bold statement above is not really true. Replacing a light fixture with a new fixture is fine however changing from a fixture to a potlight is not a "like for like" change and would require a permit. Also typically when a homeowner changes from a fixture to potlights they are almost always changing from 1 light fixture to multiple potlights which again requires a permit to be pulled.

@sat981 I would be checking with the electrician you've hired and verify the following.

1. They are a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) with a valid ECRA/ESA#. A licensed electrician is NOT the same as a licensed contractor. I for example am a licensed electrician but not a contractor and such could not legally perform this job or pull a permit for you. You can also look them up yourself here to confirm they are a licensed contractor.

2. Confirm they have pulled a permit (they likely haven't since you received this notice). The contractor has to legally pull a permit within 48 hours of starting the work.

IF the electrician is NOT a LEC you need to terminate your working relationship with them as they are not qualified or legally allowed to do the work and bring in a LEC to complete the job. The ESA already knows there is electrical work being performed in your home and can issue defects against your property and issue fines if you continue to perform work illegally.
Just to clarify. I dont dispute that a permit is need but that it should be ok to install and wire before the inspection. Permit should always be pulled before any work begins as I mentioned above.

Main floor
Day 1: LEC pulled permit
Day 2: LEC replaced existing light fixtures with potlights (not 1-to-1 replacement) and wired them fully. LEC rough-in Kitchen receptacles and appliances.
Day 3: ESA inspection - My Certificate of inspection includes the potlights

Basement
Day 1: LEC pulled permit
Day 2: LEC did rough-in potlights, rough-in switches and rough-in receptacles.
Day 3: ESA inspection.

edit: Maybe it has to do with ACP status of my LECs who are allowed to self inspect and reconnect in some instances
Last edited by bubuski on Feb 25th, 2020 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Member
Jul 31, 2017
225 posts
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Toronto
sat981 wrote:
I looked for some electrical contractors via homestars for quotes.. i am guessing the guy who didnt get my job (asking over 5k) may have reported possibly.
I'd be surprised if an LEC has the time or inclination to stalk someone who didn't go for their quote. They'd need to check with ESA to find out whether you actually did get a permit, conform work had actually been performed yet and then report you. What professional tradesman has time for that especially given that a fair amount of quotes never come to fruition anyway. I'd be more inclined to believe a nosy neighbor reported you
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Jun 21, 2003
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bubuski wrote: Just to clarify. I dont dispute that a permit is need but that it should be ok to install and wire before the inspection. Permit should always be pulled before any work begins as I mentioned above.

Main floor
Day 1: LEC pulled permit
Day 2: LEC replaced existing light fixtures with potlights (not 1-to-1 replacement) and wired them fully. LEC rough-in Kitchen receptacles and appliances.
Day 3: ESA inspection - My Certificate of inspection includes the potlights

Basement
Day 1: LEC pulled permit
Day 2: LEC did rough-in potlights, rough-in switches and rough-in receptacles.
Day 3: ESA inspection.

edit: Maybe it has to do with ACP status of my LECs who are allowed to self inspect and reconnect in some instances
There's typically 2 inspections with a permit (whether it's ACP or not). The rough in and the final. The rough in takes place when all boxes are installed, wire run and tied in to the boxes. At this stage drywall/insulation can not be up. Of course it's a little different if it's a reno and wire was fished as opposed to run in exposed studs. After that inspection the final takes place after all devices (lights, switches, receptacles, face plates) are installed and connected. All devices can be energized as soon as they are installed and before the inspection takes place.

The only difference between ACP and Non-ACP is that the inspector can pass one of the 2 inspections without showing up. They must perform 1 of them though, either rough in or final. For non-ACP the inspector must complete both. In some cases, like completing an area that is to be unfinished walls they can book both for the same time.
Last edited by ChicoQuente on Feb 25th, 2020 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jun 21, 2003
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BoatyMcBoatface wrote: I'd be surprised if an LEC has the time or inclination to stalk someone who didn't go for their quote. They'd need to check with ESA to find out whether you actually did get a permit, conform work had actually been performed yet and then report you. What professional tradesman has time for that especially given that a fair amount of quotes never come to fruition anyway. I'd be more inclined to believe a nosy neighbor reported you
I'd definitely agree with this. No company I've worked for has the time to waste on being vindictive like this, too busy moving on to the next jobs. Though if OP contacted someone that was not actually a LEC and they didn't get the job they may be a little more inclined to take a flier and tell ESA they know work is being performed and see if they can get OP's guy busted.
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Oct 23, 2017
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I had my kitchen rewired by a licensed electrician who filed the paperwork. The ESA inspector never came but they sent a certificate anyway. My kitchen company said that when an electrician has a good record they sometimes do that when they are overworked.
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May 23, 2009
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ChicoQuente wrote: There's typically 2 inspections with a permit (whether it's ACO or not). The rough in and the final. The rough in takes place when all boxes are installed, wire run and tied in to the boxes. At this stage drywall/insulation can not be up. Of course it's a little different if it's a reno and wire was fished as opposed to run in exposed studs. After that inspection the final takes place after all devices (lights, switches, receptacles, face plates) are installed and connected. All devices can be energized as soon as they are installed and before the inspection takes place.

The only difference between ACP and Non-ACP is that the inspector can pass one of the 2 inspections without showing up. They must perform 1 of them though, either rough in or final. For non-ACP the inspector must complete both. In some cases, like completing an area that is to be unfinished walls they can book both for the same time.
Sounds like one of my ESA inspectors wasn't thorough. My main floor potlights (40) were fully in use before supposed 1st inspection(rough-in) which is why I mentioend to OP it should not be an access issue to inspect now. There were no access holes for inspection or drywall to patch in the ceiling because we installed potlights in the holes used by the previous light fixtures. Only way to inspect would be too pop out a potlight and take a look.

The inspector spent time in the kitchen rough-in that was gutted and inspected the access holes between the kitchen and the panel, he must have liked what he saw because the other main floor rooms was mostly just inquiring about the previous light fixture before the potlights. These two installs were on thesame permit, basement was a separate permit a few weeks earlier and was only rough-in inspection with wires and boxes.
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Dec 4, 2009
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Was the letter sent registered?

If not, straight into the bin.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
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