A-Star Electric Ltd. is a commercial and residential electrical contractor in Calgary. We have the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure your commercial property or residence’s electrical system is always up to code and operating smoothly and efficiently.
Common reasons to call a commercial or residential electrician include flickering lights, broken outlets and breakers tripping all the time, all of which will require the expertise of a certified commercial and residential electrician. But even what can seem to be a simple installation of an outlet or light switch can easily result in an electrical code violation, which can cause difficulties when attempting to insure or sell a property. The City of Calgary has a number of electrical wiring resources available for those who want to carry out electrical work themselves, and we strongly suggest consulting the website before starting any work.
Getting Your Electrical Permits
For all residential and commercial renovations or installations in Calgary, if you (as the property owner) are not intending on carrying out the work yourself, an electrical permit is required. A certified electrical contractor like the journeymen electricians at A-Star must apply for the permit. To be successful, we must provide proof of having completed an Alberta Master Electrician certificate, plus hold a current City of Calgary business licence. Any electrical work carried out in Alberta must meet the minimum requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code.
Homeowners are able to carry out fairly extensive electrical works on their own and without a permit, such as:
- Tying in to the main panel, but not the main breaker
- Adding a sub-panel (only if there is a main breaker)
However, unless you have a fairly high level of expertise, it’s very easy to make an error. Working with electricity and electrical wiring has the potential to be very dangerous. Not only can making an error result in having your property insurance withdrawn, there is always the risk of fire and even electrocution.
Common Electrical System Errors That Do Not Meet Code
- Moving or altering your electrical panel without an electrical contractor and an electrical contractor permit.
- Leaving branch circuits unidentified. Everything must be marked clearly.
- Inaccessible panels. Don’t have them enclosed within a closet, stairway or bathroom.
- Not installing a three-way switch at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Utility rooms that are not controlled by a light switch near the entrance.
- Installing an inaccessible furnace disconnect switch that can’t be reached without passing the front of the furnace.
- Light switches less than one metre away from bathtubs and shower stalls.
- Outlets installed less than two metres from the floor that are not tamper resistant.
- Outlets placed more than 3.6 metres apart in open rooms.
- Outlets placed closer than 1.8 metres from a door or closet.
- A wall space of 90 centimetres or more in width without an outlet.
- Hallways with outlets more than 4.5 metres apart.
- In kitchens, behind-countertop outlets more than 1.8 metres apart and more than 90 centimetres from a sink, stove or end point.
- More than 12 outlets on a branch circuit.
- Outlets placed in cupboards or cabinets, unless for a suitable appliance, such as a microwave.
- Laundry areas without their own designated outlet.
- Dryer outlets that are not 14-30R with #10/3 AWG cables.
- Bathrooms without outlets protected by a Class A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) within one metre from a sink.
- Bathrooms without outlets protected by a Class A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) less than 50 centimetres from a bathtub or shower.
- In garages, outlets placed more than one metre from a garage door opener and without a designated outlet for each vehicle.
Call the Experts: A-Star Electric is Your Commercial and Residential Electrical Contractor in Calgary
Journeymen electricians are trained experts in our field, highly knowledgeable about electrical codes and safety measures. Although we understand the temptation to perform electrical system repairs and renovations on your own, you don’t want to risk invalidating your property insurance and placing yourself and those you care about in danger due to easy-to-make errors. For commercial and residential electric wiring service, hiring a professional is recommended. Not only can we navigate the permitting process with ease, we will ensure that all conditions are met and/or surpassed for both the rough and final inspections. We at A-Star know electrical code like the back of our hands, and can make suggestions that will not only meet all of the requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code, but will also make your electrical system more efficient and your life a bit easier.