Electrical Inspector Authority

Question Icon
Posted by: from Point Edward
10/22/2019 at 5:22:56 PM

Hi everyone, I am a homeowner who is very well versed in electrical work. I am re doing my kitchen and living room and since I own the home don't plan on pulling an electrical permit. I have pulled a building permit as we are adding a small mud room to the front of the house. My question is, how much authority does the local electrical inspector have? I have run new dedicated lines, to code, but don't plan on pulling permit. Can the inspector walk on to premises based on seeing work being done? Obviously some new lights, switches, receptacles in addition but if I run myself do I need a permit? Any advice

User Icon
Date/Time10/22/2019 at 8:05:13 PM

Yes you still need to take out a permit. If you are doing the addition with a building permit why wouldn't you do the electrical with a permit?

If something happens caused by the electrical, your house insurance will be useless and you would be responsible for damage to other properties.

User Icon
Andrew from A2Z Intact LTD in Edmonton
Date/Time10/22/2019 at 8:09:30 PM

Personally, I'm not in Ontario, but I did a bit of digging and I feel like this link should have most of your answers. If not, I'd contact the ESA. They should have any information in regards to permitting.

User Icon
Date/Time10/22/2019 at 8:12:49 PM

If you want to do it right whether your doing it yourself or hiring an electrical contractor, you'll have to pull a homeowner permit, or your Electrician will pull a permit.

User Icon
Matt from MatKu Electric in Burlington
Date/Time10/22/2019 at 8:41:58 PM

It is illegal to do any electrical work without a permit. As the homeowner you are allowed to pull a permit. Contact ESA to pull a permit and schedule an inspection to be done of the rough in (before any insulation or drywall is done). You will then have to schedule a 2nd inspection once everything is done 100%

User Icon
Date/Time10/22/2019 at 10:00:34 PM

Yes you still need a permit even if you are the homeowner. It doesn't give you free reign to do whatever you want. It just allows you to do your own work but it still has to get inspected

User Icon
Date/Time10/22/2019 at 10:26:52 PM

Hey there.

As the home owner you are able to pull a permit on your own house if you are doing the work. The ESA can come onto premises and investigate if they think work is going on without permit. If caught doing work without permit you may have a fine to pay

User Icon
Date/Time10/23/2019 at 9:39:01 AM

In Ontario, a permit for installation of electrical wiring and devices is required from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). It is not optional; a permit must be taken out by whoever is completing the work, whether it be the homeowner or electrical contractor. The ESA inspection is easy to schedule and takes minimal time to complete. The cost of an ESA permit is also reasonable. An ESA final inspection certificate gives credibility to the electrical work that was completed. As an added bonus, an ESA certificate becomes most beneficial for resale of the home.

If an ESA inspection does not pass due to deficiencies, the ESA inspector can often become a valuable resource to learn what is required. Permits and inspections are not only necessary but beneficial.

User Icon
Chuck from Expert Electric in Winnipeg
Date/Time10/23/2019 at 12:23:00 PM


If you already have pulled a building permit, when the City of Winnipeg inspector comes to inspect your construction, if they see you have done electrical work they will request to see your electrical permit. If you have not pulled an electrical permit they can give you a fine up to $700.00.

My advice to you when pulling a building permit, I would pull an electrical permit at the same time. Just to eliminate the chance of getting a fine. If you plan to sell your house in the future you will have all required permits on work that was done for future homeowner.

User Icon
Date/Time10/23/2019 at 1:13:25 PM

Hi ,

You definitely need a permit for any wiring .

Good luck

User Icon
Date/Time10/23/2019 at 10:34:19 PM

It sounds like your thought is BECAUSE you own the home you don't need a permit. You do require an electrical permit and maybe also a plumbing permit if there are modifications to your kitchen plumbing.

Because we are in the modern era of computer technology your municipality (and/or the building inspector when he comes out for inspection) may notice the lack of an electrical permit.

Because the critical stage of electrical inspection is pre-drywall it would be best to get it inspected at that stage even though it is unlikely you would be made to remove drywall later for inspection.

As others have said the cost is minimal assuming you don't fail inspection (in Edmonton there is a penalty after the 2nd failed inspection). If you get your permit after starting the work you could face double fees.

If your municipality does not chase after you for an electrical permit it could still come back at you when the property next changes hands.

Ian Derksen

Safety Codes Officer - Building discipline

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors