Elecrical inspection on basement project

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Posted by: from Whitby
10/1/2011 at 4:49:50 PM

We are looking at finishing our basement and would like to have the electrical inspected for safety and code. The contractor we wanted to finish the work has replied back that he cannot find a Master Electrician willing to come in and sign off on the work.

What are the requirements to have just the electrical portion of an unfinished basement renovation inspected?


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Kevin from Urban Improvements in Orono
Date/Time10/1/2011 at 5:14:51 PM

A homeowner is also allowed to pull an electrical permit

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Dave from 360renos in Navan
Date/Time10/2/2011 at 9:21:49 AM

Hi Brad,

You need to complete a residential application and pay the appropriate fees. Only you can wire your basement or a licensed electrical contractor. Ensure the contractor has an ECRA license.

All the information you need is here at EAS -

Find a contractor that fits your needs and have it completed professionally for the safety of your family.



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Date/Time10/4/2011 at 9:55:42 PM

Hi Brad,

I totally agree with the above answers.

Have an electrician who is licensed come in and complete the work. He will be able to get the permit and inspection for you, or like they have already stated in previous replies, you can get the permit and inspection yourself.

Hope this helps and good luck,

Bill Clawsie

Clawsie Contracting


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Date/Time10/9/2011 at 12:07:44 PM

Hi Brad

Great answers from the guys...likey where the problem is (if I am reading between the line properly) is that the work was not done by an electrician, but by your contractor.

That is likely why he cannot find someone to come and "take over the work" to get it inspected. Unless you did the work and get it inspected, the installer could face substantial penalties for doing the work when not qualified, licenced and insured. This situation may also cause problem with your homeowners insurance.

Good luck with this situation.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Crispin in Waterloo
Date/Time10/19/2011 at 3:46:29 PM

I am not sure the question was dealt with adequately. This is my personal experience:

I have a +50 year old home that has had some fiddling done in the wiring; some of it questionable. To bring all of it it 'up to code' is however unnecessary. Remove what is wrong. The code changed over the years and existing wiring (if properly done) is grandfathered in. Removing incorrect things is prudent. Replaced things much be to the new code.

I can fully understand a contractor not wanting to 'sign off' on work he/she did not do because the law now makes them liable for being wrong about things they cannot see.

This does not mean you cannot have an inspection done, usually before and after doing work yourself. If you want to know if it is legal, it must have been compliant when it was done. If you have something inspected and it is original, what happens? Are they going to say it all needs to come out because it would not be legal if it was done that way now? No. That is not how insurance works because it would be ridiculous. They would have to tear out wiring from every bulding in the province each time they change a rule.

What you want is a safe basement. It has to boil down to the same standard that auditors use: "Based on what I saw, it is correct."

Ask the inspectors. They are not ogres. They may want you to stretch out all the plugs and lights first from the boxes, then they will have a look. Put them back and plug in the circuit tester (or do it when they are open) to see that the grounding is right.

You can also ask the insurance company how to do it. If you have ancient post-and-wire they will insist that it be removed. That is reasonable.

They cannot leave you in a position of wanting an inspection and refusing - that would in itself create dangers. The rules for owner-installation are clearly explained on many websites. Inspection (and advice), work, inspection.

Don't nick your wires... :)


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