While electricity is a wonderful thing, it can also be one of the most dangerous in your home if your electrical systems are set up incorrectly. As such, it’s crucial to fix electrical code violations as soon as possible if you find any.
We break down some of the most common electrical code violations below.
Allowing Friends to Do Your Electrical Work Without a Permit: One of the Most Common Electrical Code Violations
Obviously, having family or friends that are ready and willing to do your electrical work or renovations for free is a huge plus, but they could be doing it illegally.
In BC, the following changes to your electrical work need a permit:
- Replacing light fixtures or ceiling fans.
- Installing or moving light switches or electrical outlets.
- Installing electrical wiring for renovations, including solar installations.
- Connecting permanently-installed electrical equipment such as a dishwasher, over-range microwave or hood, security camera, or heat pump.
This is to ensure that you’re following all the proper regulations. Once you’re done, a registered inspector will schedule an appointment with you for an in-person visit at your home to make sure everything is properly up-to-code.
If you’re not sure if the work you’ll be doing needs a permit, contact the city you live in for any regulations regarding doing your own electrical adjustments to your home.
Not Installing Tamper-Resistant Outlets
New homes are now required to have these kinds of outlets installed to prevent children from inserting small objects into their holes and shocking themselves. Thus, not having them installed is an electrical code violation.
While old homes aren’t required to install tamper-resistant outlets if they don’t want to, it’s still highly encouraged and recommended that homeowners do so. However, as mentioned above, homeowners will need the proper permit to do so legally.
Not Having Enough Space for an Electrical Service Panel
A service panel requires 3 feet in front, 30 inches wide, and 6 ft 6 inches high. This work clearance is measured from the front of the panelboard and the clearance must go to the floor.
In other words, if you couldn’t park a roughly full-size refrigerator in front of it then it doesn’t have enough space and is an electrical code violation.
In addition, just because the proper amount of space exists for your electrical panel, it’s important not to use it as another storage area. In an emergency, it may be necessary to shut your power off and having to wade through boxes or pull back furniture that are blocking the panel could save you precious time you need to save another person’s life or your own.
Fixing electrical code violations could not only save your life, but it could also save the life of someone else. If you’re not sure whether your home has any electrical violations, you can get a home inspector to come and take a look for any potential problems your home may have and hire an electrician to fix them.