homeowners

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Electrical Work

Electrical work can be incredibly complex and dangerous. Homeowners have the option to DIY electrical work in their home but, if done incorrectly, it can lead to property damage and put loved ones in danger. ESA always recommends hiring a professional, as they have the equipment, training and expertise to do electrical work safely. If you want to consider hiring a professional, ensure it’s a Licensed Electrical Contracting Business and verify their seven-digit ECRA/ESA number. 

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Follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code  

Before you begin your project, make sure you are familiar with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC), and dedicate time to see how it relates to your project. OESC describes the standards for electrical installations, products and equipment in Ontario in detail. Every installation, repair and replacement work must meet the OESC, as this helps keep you and your loved ones safe and ensures the electrical work is done correctly. 

Always refer to the most recent edition of the OESC, as it is updated every three years. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services approves the new Code, and the most recent edition came into effect on May 16, 2019.

 

Planning Your DIY Electrical Project

When you have reviewed the OESC and made plans, you can begin work on your project. Even for little jobs, you must file a notification of work with ESA within 48 hours of commencing work. The notification fees may vary based on the complexity of the job.

Points to consider when planning your electrical project:

  • Only you can do electrical work in your home.
  • Friends, family members or neighbours cannot perform electrical installations in your home.
  • You can hire a Licensed Electrical Contracting Business to do the job.
  • If you’re a tenant, you are allowed to do electrical work inside the home you are renting, but check with your landlord or landlady before you begin.

 

Get Your Work Reviewed

You must get your work reviewed by ESA as soon as it is complete. The inspection process may vary depending on the project.

  • Complicated installations may need an inspection at several stages. New or renovated home electrical inspections may require one of two types of inspections:
    • Rough-in: This inspection occurs when all branch circuit wiring and outlet boxes are installed, but the wiring is not hidden by insulation, vapour barrier, drywall, etc. See more about rough-in inspections.
    • Final: Ask for the final inspection as soon as possible after the completion of electrical installation. See more about final inspection.
  • Remember: Do not to conceal the work before ESA has reviewed it.
  • If you already filed a notification, you may submit an online Request for Inspection to ESA.
  • Once your work has been reviewed and approved, ESA will issue a Certificate of Acceptance. It’s an important document for insurance purposes and resale. 
  • If the work doesn't comply with the OESC, the Inspector will issue a “defect notice” outlining the necessary corrections. Don’t worry if you receive a defect notice — this is only for your safety.
    • When you make the required corrections, the Inspector will review your work again and issue the Certificate of Acceptance.