Suspicious Work Done on New Electrical Panel AFTER ESA CERTIFICATE ISSUED.

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Posted by: from Toronto
4/19/2020 at 8:25:59 AM

I had a new 100 amp electrical panel installed by a licenced electrician after an emergency situation where I lost power to my home. The new panel and new breakers were installed and ready for ESA Inspection.

Electrician sent photos to ESA Inspector (no site visit) who issued Certificate of Inspection. Power was restored, electrical panel completely connected.

Only last step was labelling panel.

Electrician returned next day to label, BUT after an hour or so, no labelling happening.

I went downstairs to see what's happening, I saw panel open, wires disconnected from breakers and he's working on all these wires. He said he's doing "touch ups". After 3 more hours, panel labelled (except 6 "unknown "breakers).

Electrician left with at least 2 boxes of breakers (?)

MY QUESTIONS: What could he have done to panel and breakers AFTER ESA CERTIFICATE? Why did he disconnect all the breakers? What could he have been doing??? Is it possible breakers were switched for used or inappropriate breakers??

Thanks for any advice


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Date/Time4/20/2020 at 12:54:20 AM

It is possible he could have replaced them , do you have any photos of the panel and breakers he put in at his last visit that we can look at to possibly help?

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Date/Time4/20/2020 at 7:42:43 AM

Unknown circuits are not uncommon in a panel change, as they could be that 1 plug behind a bed or another piece of furniture that is difficult to move.

As for the breakers, very possible that he replaced them.

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Dave from 360renos in Ottawa
Date/Time4/20/2020 at 8:05:17 AM

Good morning Rita

I would get the ESA Certificate of Inspection from the contractor

Call ESA with you concerns and explanations and give the Notification number, Customer ID number and License number all of which are available on the ESA Certificate.

Ask ESA to complete an on site inspection at your home so that you know all is up to code, acceptable and you feel comfortable.

Pictures sent to the Inspector are acceptable and especially in an emergency situation and if the electrician is known or part of the ACP program some on site inspection are completed in this way.

But if you feel changes have been made after issuing of the certificate then definitely call ESA



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Rita in Toronto
Date/Time4/20/2020 at 9:38:12 AM

Thank you for your responses

TYLER, ADAM, and DAVE. You are very helpful.

I do have a copy of the ESA Certificate.

Unfortunately I don't have the photos of the panel which electrician sent to Inspector for approval but I'm sure ESA has them on file.

I will call ESA and ask for an on-site inspection. I do hope they come and can verify everything is up to code.

Thanks so much for responding.

This electrician has some very disturbing revues on Home Stars and Better Business Bureau (which I saw too late given my emergency situation and work had started)

Thank You!

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Date/Time4/21/2020 at 11:19:52 AM


Properly removed ARCF breakers and replaced with normal breaker.

It's against the code.

Please share photos if you have any.



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Date/Time4/26/2020 at 9:15:49 PM

In doing my own research over the years, I would guess that the electrician removed the AFCI breakers and install standard breakers.

This seems to be a very common tactic to save money as each breaker is well over $100 dollars retail. If he gave you a "bargain basement" price on the panel change (or perhaps he did not) it is because he likely removed several hundred dollars worth of breakers.

Now AFCI breakers are not required on a panel change or service upgrade, but they are required on any new installations. So if new circuits were installed and there are no AFCI breakers, this should lead to questions.

Marking a panel should take about an hour if you have the right equipment.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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