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I have included some general information on several topics that may be of interest to anyone who is planning to undertake any of these projects. This information is to be used as a guideline only, to assist you in the developmental stages of your project.... regarding lighting/receptacles/conduit runs etc. You should confirm all this information with a qualified electrical contractor at the onset of your project. Code rules are constantly being amended and provincial districts have their own procedures and amendments to the Canadian Electrical Code. A qualified, licensed electrical contractor in your area will be able to assist you with all details regarding your electrical project.
If you are ready to start an electrical project, we would be happy to come by and provide you with a free Estimate. Contact Us Now



HOT TUB

General Electrical Guidelines for Hot Tub Installations (2010)

The most important installation information is the Full Load Amps
All hot tub installations require a Certificate of Inspection from the City Electrical Inspector to be considered safe and to be compliant with existing electrical code regulations. Electrical installations, therefore, should be done by a qualified, provincially licensed electrical contractor.
Unfortunately, many tubs are wired inappropriately by friends, industrial electricians, or neighbors who are not aware of the code rules that protect the owners from electrical shock hazards or from premature equipment failure. It is imperative to your safety that all safeguards are put in place before the hot tub is used for the first time.
The following are some of the code requirements:
The tub assembly must be built and approved for Canada and have a CSA sticker or an ULc sticker with Canadian modification. (A tub built in USA for US use is not compliant with a Canadian CSA inspection.)
The circuit supplying power to the tub assembly must be protected by a GFCI breaker and must be sized appropriately for each configuration of tub. This breaker size is determined by the Full Load Amps rating which will be on a nameplate attached to the tub assembly
No electrical device (120v or above) is to be located within 1.5 meters of the tub sides
Any electrical device within 1.5 to 3 meters must be protected with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) breaker. That means: a receptacle, porch light, lamp post etc., must be ground fault protected.
Low voltage lighting is permitted within the 1.5 meter perimeter.
All underground power cables are to be min. 18" deep and we do not recommend conduit for connection to the tub as it usually breaks away over time (Teck cable and weather proof connectors are recommended).


SWIMMING POOL

General Electrical Guidelines for Pool Installations (2010)

All pools (in ground and above ground) with electrical equipment require a Certificate of Inspection from the City Electrical Inspector to be considered safe and to be compliant with existing electrical code regulations.
Electrical installations, therefore, should be done by a qualified, provincially licensed electrical contractor and the electrical inspector must physically inspect and issue a certificate for each installation (per code rules.)
Please keep in mind when having a pool installed:
No electrical device (120v or greater...excluding the underwater pool light) is to be located within 1.5 meters of the water's edge. (This is also relevant for above ground pools)
Any electrical device within 1.5 to 3 meters of the water's edge, must be protected with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) breaker That means: an air conditioner, receptacle, porch light or lamp post must be ground-fault protected.
Low voltage lighting is permitted within the 1.5 meter perimeter provided it is connected to a GFCI breaker
A metallic fence within 1.5 meters of the water's edge must be bonded in accordance with the electrical code.
Overhead wires, both high voltage and house service entrance cables, must comply to the safe working distances of approach section of the code.
All underground power cables must be a minimum of 18" deep and separated from any gas lines.
Underground "direct buried" power conductors or cables that ARE supplying "electrical equipment associated with the pool" may be as close to the pool as required provided these conductors or cables are protected by a GFCI breaker.
Underground "direct buried" power conductors or cables (that ARE NOT supplying "electrical equipment associated with the pool") must be kept at least 1.5 meters from the pool. If the conductors or cables are in a conduit they may be closer but not less than 1 meter from the pool.
The electrical inspector always comes and physically inspects the pool installation regardless of the contractor's qualifications due to the significant risk of shock hazard that could develop in a non-code compliant installation.


KNOB & TUBE WIRING

How It Works

K&T wiring consists of insulated copper conductors passing through drilled holes in the wood via protective porcelain insulating tubes. They are supported along their length by nailed-down porcelain knobs. Where wires enter a wiring device, such as a light box, switch box, panel or plug box, they are protected by flexible cloth or rubber insulation called "loom."
This method of wiring was only used to supply power to lights, switches and plugs. The maximum breaker size for this type of wiring system is 15A. This wiring system was not used to supply power to any large loads (stove/dryer/subpanel etc.). The plug receptacles were 2-prong receptacles because there was no ground wire (now we have the 3 prong receptacles...the 3rd prong is for the ground wire)
The most common mistake is when someone removes the old 2 prong plug receptacle and installs a new 3 prong receptacle. Now the wiring system is in violation and is no longer considered safe.
If the existing knob & tube wiring has not been altered, spliced or changed in any way and all plug receptacles are 2 prong re-spectacles...the City of Vancouver still recognizes this wiring system as a satisfactory, safe wiring system.
In reality...we seldom see a Knob & Tube wiring system that has not been tampered with...most people will remove 2 prong plug receptacles and install nice new Decora 3 prong plug receptacles.
Problems Associated with Knob and Tube Wiring:
Unsafe modifications are far more common with K&T wiring than they are with Loomex and other modern wiring systems.
Part of the reason for this, is the improper modifications that have been done to K&T wiring.
The insulation that envelopes the wiring is a fire hazard...it tends to stretch and sag over time.
It lacks a grounding conductor.
Grounding conductors reduce the chance of electrical fire and damage to sensitive equipment.
In older systems, wiring is insulated with varnish and fiber materials that are susceptible to deterioration.
K&T wiring is often spliced with modern wiring incorrectly by amateurs.
This is perhaps due to the ease by which K&T wiring is accessed
What to do with it when buying, selling, insuring or renovating a vintage home
We are often asked to quote on Knob & Tube removals and re-wires. Sometimes the insurance company has demanded it; other times, the upgrade is one of the conditions of buying a vintage home. The average electrical cost of a complete Knob & Tube rewire can run from $8,000 to $15,000. Though costly, this is the preferred option for buyers and owners who wish to rid the home of Knob & Tube entirely.
We do have options to try and deal with the existing knob & tube wiring without a complete re-wire.
Removal or replacement of exposed Knob & Tube wiring that has been altered spliced or changed.
Ground fault protection for all receptacles
Removal of any loads over 15A 120V from Knob & Tube circuits
Any "live ends" of the knob & tube wire system must be terminated in an accessible junction box
Remove & re-wire basement Knob & Tube wiring to the first available main floor device
Replace exposed attic wiring
Add dedicated feeds for microwaves, washers, refrigerators, 20A kitchen GFI receptacles, etc.
Upgrade the existing main electrical service which will include: replacing the existing fuse panel with a new 100A main electrical panel c/w a main disconnect breaker to expand the number of circuits affected by the upgrade / new surface mounted meter base / new surface mounted service conduit & conductors / new main ground system c/w cold water & gas line bond
All work will require a Certificate of Inspection from the City Electrical Inspector to be considered safe and to be compliant with existing electrical code regulations.
If you are ready to start an electrical project, we would be happy to come by and provide you with a free Estimate.


ELECTRIC TOWEL WARMERS

Installing a towel warmer in your bathroom is a great way to pamper yourself. Imagine having soothing hot towels after a shower to dry off with. In addition, a towel warmer helps keep cleaner and fresher towels as it prevents dust particles from moving on to your towel due to the heat produced. These towel warmers are also great to dry your used towels with after a bath or shower. These warmer are also commonly used to dry jackets and laundry.




IN-WALL FAN HEATERS

If you choose to have electric heating for your home then you may like to consider installing fan-forced in-wall heaters. Traditional baseboard heaters are an eye-sore in modern homes and are expensive to operate. Not only do baseboard heaters limit the floor space along your walls, they are also very poor at distributing the heat they produce. By installing a fan-forced in-wall heater, enjoy the heat.


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