Quality Electrical Services - News & Updates | Vancouver, BC
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We owe our life to the light which comes from the Sun and we enjoy it many hours a day, every day. However, when the sun sets, we need additional lighting sources to enjoy our lives and continue our activities. Luckily, these days you can take advantage of a plethora of indoor lighting sources which are increasingly better, brighter and more economical. If you are thinking of renovating your house and adding new indoor lighting sources then here are a few excellent options in this regard.

LED lighting sources. LED technology is new and extremely promising. Not only that it will provide you a lot of light in your house, but the LED lighting options are also more eco-friendly and they require less energy than other types of lighting sources. In addition, LED technology is virtually maintenance-free! Once you have installed these products, you can enjoy them for about 10 years without any worries.

Pot lights. This is another excellent option which is suitable in any room of your house. Pot lights offer a beautiful ambient light, they can be dimmable, they don’t consume a lot of energy and they create a modern and exquisite interior design as well. In addition, pot lights can also be pointed in various directions in order to highlight a certain décor element or provide you with more light on your kitchen countertops or workbenches.

Chandleries. Nothing compares with the beauty and majesty a chandelier can offer to you. These amazing products come in various designs, they can be made from different materials, they feature a plethora of styles and colors and they look stunning everywhere, especially your living room! You can also add a chandelier in your dining room, in your bathroom or in your office room, in order to create a modern and unique interior design.

Wall sconces. If you want to create a romantic and warm atmosphere in your house then you might want to take advantage of wall sconces. Just like chandeliers, they too are eye-catchy and they are available in a multitude of designs and sizes. Wall sconces are excellent in your bathroom near the vanities or in your living room, providing a warm, beautiful light for you exactly when you need it.

Eco-friendly lighting options. If you want to invest in something that will reduce your carbon footprint then you are strongly encouraged to go for CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting) or halogen lighting bulbs. These products require little to no maintenance, they will seriously decrease you energy bill in the long run, they last longer than other lighting sources, they are very bright and they are available in many designs as well.

As you can see, there are many lighting options for you to choose from. Now, all that you have to do is to give us a call and tell us more details about your house renovation project. Our professional electricians have the best lighting options for you and can install different types of lighting options, depending on your needs, preferences and of course, budget!

There are multiple appliances and electronics which can make our lives easier, better and more practical and obviously, they all work with electricity. Well, everything will work well, until there are spikes in the electrical current received by these appliances and then the problems start to appear.

Electrical spikes can seriously damage your laptop, flat screen TV and any other minor or major appliances in your house and you should do everything you can in order to prevent this. Luckily, the solution is simple: use surge protection! Here are more details about this subject.

Electrical spikes appear for various reasons. An electrical spike is basically a sudden increase in the voltage received by a certain appliance or electronic device. Every single appliance in your house is designed to work at a certain voltage and if such spikes occur, they can get seriously damaged in seconds. Here are a couple of reasons of current spikes:

You use your vacuum cleaner. The moment you press the on button, it "sucks" a great amount of energy, threatening the normal functioning of other appliances in your house. Even printing a document can have a similar effect

Power blackouts. These things are quick, messy and can have disastrous consequences on your appliances.

Lighting strikes. During heavy storms, lighting strikes can seriously damage any electronics which are connected to the power outlets. If you are not home and you cannot disconnect your electronics, unfortunate events can happen.

You risk spending a lot of money on repairs. As said previously, electrical spikes can considerably damage your appliances. Although the damage might be minor in some cases, you will not be able to use your Xbox console normally, for example. Other electronics might receive the full blast of an electrical spike and you will need to replace them completely. Overall, you risk spending thousands of dollars on brand new equipment and this is the last thing you want in your life!

Surge protection can prevent electronics damage. This simple solution can save you a great amount of money in the future. If any electrical spikes occur because of lighting strikes or similar events, the surge protector will redirect the excessive voltage to the ground and protect your appliances. This little device acts very quickly and it doesn’t allow the high-voltage current to "fry" your equipments.

Peace of mind is ensured. A surge protector is an inexpensive device and it is highly recommended to invest in one. In the future, you will sleep better at nights and have more peace of mind because of this. Moreover, you can go to work or on vacation without worrying that any powerful storms might damage your appliances while you are not at home.

So, if you are interested in protecting your personal belongings and valuables then don’t hesitate to take advantage of the experience of our specialists. We can offer many electrical services at affordable prices and we can install different types of surge protectors, depending on your needs and preferences.

The installation of commercial electrical infrastructure is one thing that should never be taken for granted, and this is why you are always advised against using the wrong kind of skill for the job. There is a lot of evidence that supports this. For one, most of the commercial electrical installation jobs tend to cost a lot. When you have to do it more than once, it means that you will be wasting a lot of money on the project. In addition to that, there are some countries that have stringent laws that govern how such installation should be done. If you end up contravening such laws whether knowingly or not, you may end up with a host of other problems including numerous fines and even litigation processes started against you.

By always insisting on working with a high quality contractor, you can easily avoid all of these problems. The low quality ones may be cheaper, but they tend to make more mistakes during the electrical installation and this will definitely have an effect in the long run. Some of the commonest of these include:

Using the wrong equipment and material specifications

Electrical installation is an exact science. For instance, if you are laying down a cable that is supposed to supply electricity to a specific machine, the cable needs to be made of particular materials, and be of a specific dimensions. Not just any cable would do in such cases. When you work with a high quality contractor, they are more likely to figure out what is needed in terms of this, and end up providing exactly what would be needed to make the installation worth it.

Making planning mistakes

Most people don’t know this, but for the most part, electrical installation is a process that has to be thought through properly before being implemented. For instance, when installing light switches and sockets, you need to figure out things such as how the furniture will be arranged in the room. The last thing you want to be worried about is finding that a switch is in a very inaccessible position. When you get the installation services from a top notch firm, they are more likely to figure this out and end up providing a system that actually works.

Designing a disorganized electrical system

Whenever you want to do electrical installation for commercial purposes, it’s always important to make sure that some degree of order is maintained. When the system is disorderly, this increases the risk of accidents and malfunctions within the system. It also makes maintenance a whole lot more difficult, since it means that the contractor doing the maintenance will need to spend a lot more time doing it. This only spells more costs for you as the property owner.

As you can see, there is a lot of gambling involved if you pick a low quality contractor to do your commercial electrical installation work. The next time you are in a position where you need such services, it would be wise to take the time to find someone who is well versed with this.

The increase in demand for housing these days means that if you are interested in making some money, you could opt to buy a house and then rent it out to people who need it. If you are strategic with issues such as pricing and the relationship you have with the tenants, you are likely to find it very easy to maintain the occupancy of such a facility such that you will never have to worry about dwindling income. However, before you can get to this point, you would need to make a few modifications to the house in order to make it more habitable for your potential tenants. For instance, you might need to tweak the electrical system in such a manner that it will become more useful for them. Some of the common issues you need to address include:

The presence of any broken fixtures

Any broken fixtures within the house are often something that most tenants will see as a major problem. Remember, most of them will see this as a sign of underlying problems. When you have defects such as broken sockets and light fixtures, it could be an indication that the rest of the electrical systems have problems. This is something that a potential tenant will try to avoid as much as possible. In fact, they may opt to rent another house especially if they are interested in a long term rental.

Updating of accident-prone electrical systems

When an electrical system in a house has been in place for a very long time, it often has a number of defects that might result in accidents later on. This includes frayed wires that may end up sparking and causing fires. Remember, when such accidents happen, they are likely to have a negative impact on your rental business. You will need to spend more to renovate the house, and the fact that it will have a bad reputation means that people may become apprehensive about renting it. This is especially so if they are from the same neighbourhood.

Making the entire system more efficient

Most people these days are all about efficiency. If you can show that your house is, you are likely to find it easier to encourage people to rent it. For instance, if you have a heating system, you may want to upgrade it so that not only is it more effective, but that it functions while using less power. Most modern electrical systems have this feature, which is why upgrading yours if it has been in place for a very long time makes a lot of sense.

As you can see, there is a lot of merit to doing electrical renovations before putting a house up for rent. Even if you look at it from a marketing point of view, doing this makes a lot of sense since you will then find it easier to convince people that you offer very good value for money with the rental. In addition to having them be ready to rent the house, they are also more likely to remain tenants for longer as well.

 

Once someone said, "Fire is a good servant but a bad master". In this time and age, it is less of fire and more of electricity. Electricity is the new fire. All that was achievable by the use of fire can now be achieved by the use of electricity; whether is it cooking, heating, lighting etc. However, the flipside remains as it is.

Many can attest to the fact that electricity is a good servant but a bad master. Electricity can even cause death in just a second. Regardless, we cannot live without using this electricity. To avoid the dangers involved with electricity, here are a few pointers to keeping safe while handing electricity.

1. If not in use, switch off

For all electrical appliances in the house, if they are not in use, switch them off. Do not leave the television on when nobody's there or your phone in the charger when it if fully charged. All this accumulated electricity consumption may be hazardous as to even cause an explosion. The same way you should not overload sockets. The load may be too much, even causing some appliances to burn.

2. Avoid handling while wet

Water is a good conductor of electricity. Handling switches, sockets and electrical appliances while having wet hands guarantees you a shock.  Electrocution chances are extremely high when operating electrical appliances or switching on or off sockets and switches with wet hands. Even in the instance where someone has touched a live wire and is being electrocuted, make sure the block of wood or plastic you use to detach him is completely dry, lest you get yourself electrocuted too.

3. Consult professional help

The worst thing you could do is think you know the solution whereas you are so sure you do not know. Never take chances when it comes to electricity. This is a matter of life and death. Whenever you note something fishy with regard to your electricity, maybe a smoking socket, a smell of burning plastic or sparks and such sound  around the house, make sure you get a professional as immediate as possible to sort out the issue. The sooner the better, lest it complicates further and causes more damage.

4. Repair damage

Whenever you find something electrical is damaged in the house, make sure it is fixed immediately. If a socket blows, make sure it is checked out before using it again. Do not operate appliances that have frayed or damaged cords; the live wire might be exposed and cause an electric shock. Do not try overworking something when it is evident that something is wrong with it.

One thing you should be very careful when dealing in the house is electricity. For sure, we cannot live without it, but it will be a problem if it costs you your life. Make sure you also advice your kids so that they do not do dangerous stuff with electricity around the house out of ignorance and then you end up losing them.

If there is, something that you cannot do without in this time and age we live in is definitely electricity. Our whole life depends upon it, whether at school, home or at work. Imagine how difficult it would be to hear the choir singing or your pastor preaching at church without electricity, or how hot your classroom would be without the air conditioning. Electricity has proven to be a necessary aid and almost a basic need for one to live a comfortable life. At home, families use up electricity in various ways. Below is a brief preview of this:

1. Entertainment

Yes, you guessed it. Entertainment most definitely tops the list. You need to keep your phone in full charge so that you can call or text your friends, and thus you keep on charging it. Kids are ever in front of the television watching their favorite shows and even watching movies all night. In fact, there is no single invention in the past years, made for the purpose of entertainment, that does not need electricity, whether to charge or run it. Every single entertainment gadget, both for young and old consume a great deal of electricity in the house.

2. Cooking

Man cannot live without food, and this food has to be cooked. Before electricity, food used to be cooked from fire, whether from firewood or a gas cooker. As time progressed, fire began losing its grip as electricity took over. The major advantage of electricity over fire when it comes to cooking is limiting temperature.

If you need your food to cook at a certain temperature, you can maintain it, unlike fire, which fluctuates depending on various factors. In addition, if we choose to add refrigeration to this docket, so that leftovers are not thrown away but rather stored to be eaten later, be sure that electricity used up for food is quite high.

3. Heating

One sure thing that uses a lot of electricity is heating elements. Whether that which heats your water before you get into the shower. Whether the heater which heats the air in the room during the cold season. Whether the iron box that you use to remove creases from your clothes after washing. As long as heating is involved in the use of the electrical appliance (yes, even cookers), be sure that a lot of electricity is consumed.

4. Lighting

When it is dark and you need the light on to see properly, you just turn the switch and a light bulb goes on. Almost every room in a house has at least one bulb or light to keep the place lit in the night. Sometimes even, the light during the day (e.g. a cloudy day), may not be sufficient to do activities such as reading and so you turn on the lights.

These four are the major primary types for energy consumption in the home. If you need to learn about ways to moderate your usage, you can talk to an electrician who can help you install for a more efficient electrical system for your home.

Issues with knob and tube wiring

Since January 2003 the Electrical Safety Authority has received an increasing number of questions about the safety of knob and tube wiring. In particular, purchasers or owners of older homes are finding that many insurers will not provide or renew coverage on such properties. In some cases, the insurance companies are requiring a total replacement of this wiring prior to providing insurance coverage.

Knob and tube wiring, more recently referred to as open wiring, was a wiring method used in the early 1900s to 1940s in the residential sector. Over the years wiring installation practices have changed in the residential sector and knob and tube wiring is no longer installed; however, parts continue to be available for maintenance purposes.

Diagram F1- Typical knob and tube installation

 

Existing knob and tube conductors concealed in walls, floor spaces, etc; supplying general lighting and receptacle circuits are permitted to remain in place if:

  • They are protected by a 15 ampere fuse or circuit breaker; and
  • No additional outlets have been added to the original installation so as to overload the circuit; and
  • The conductors, where visible, appear to be in good condition.

If your home has knob and tube wiring, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

 

 

• Have a Robert Redford Electrical Services check the “knob and tube” conductors in your existing installations for sign of deterioration and damage; or request a general inspection from ESA. The General Inspection report will identify visible electrical safety concerns in your electrical wiring.

 

  • “Knob & tube” conductors should be replaced where exposed conductors show evidence of mechanical abuse and or deterioration, poor connections, overheating, alterations that result in overloading, or if changes to wiring contravene any section of the Electrical Safety Code.

Homes with knob and tube wiring may not have the electrical capacity to meet today’s needs. As a result, homeowners have modified their electrical system with what the Electrical Safety Authority classifies as unsafe practices:

  • Improper use of extension cords – using improperly rates extension cords, or using extension cords as permanent wiring;
  • Improper fuse replacement – using 20 or 30 amp fuses to replace15 amp;
  • Improper connections - adding receptacles and outlets on existing circuits or improperly connecting to the knob and tube wiring (this work should be done by a licensed electrician);
  • Removing ground pins – ground pins on power bars or electrical equipment should not be removed to accommodate the two pin receptacles used in knob and tube wiring (2 pin to 3 pin are not permitted)
  • Improper replacement of two pin receptacles. If you require a three prong receptacle, only use a GFCI receptacle.

Homeowners who are planning to modify their knob and tube wiring, or any other electrical wiring, should have the work performed by a licensed electrical contractor or electrician

Receptacles in existing knob and tube installations

Where grounding type receptacles (three pin) are installed in existing knob and tube installations to replace the ungrounded type (two pin) receptacle, special caution must be exercised.

Diagram F2-Two and three pin receptacle configuration

 

Two Pin (ungrounded) Three Pin (Grounded)

Rule 26-700(7) requires the installation of a bond conductor to bond the receptacle to ground. This is permitted to be an external bonding conductor that is connected to either the system ground conductor or a metallic cold water pipe that is bonded to ground. This method may be difficult to accomplish.

As an alternative to bonding, Rule 26-700(8) of the Code also states "grounding type receptacles without a bonding conductor shall be permitted to be installed provided each receptacle is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type that is an integral part of this receptacle; or supplied from a receptacle containing a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type; or supplied from a circuit protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type (a GFCI breaker in the panel, or either a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI dead front mounted in an outlet box next to the panel). Where this option is used, no bonding conductor is permitted between outlets unless that bond conductor is in turn connected to ground. GFCI protection of the receptacles does not provide a ground reference to the U-ground slot of the receptacles. Some appliances require a bond be connected to the U-ground slot in order to function properly. For example, surge protective devices for computer or entertainment equipment will not function without a ground reference.

 

As new electrical equipment is introduced into the dwelling unit there might be a need for additional outlets to be installed. Extension cords are not to be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. The following shall be followed when installing new receptacles:

  • Outdoor receptacles shall be GFCI protected,
  • Bathroom and washroom receptacles shall be GFCI protected.
  • Kitchen receptacles within 1 meter of a sink shall be GFCI protected
    • New outlets shall follow the current Electrical Safety Code requirements for wiring, meaning a new branch circuit shall be grounded and receptacles that utilize the three pin grounded configuration listed in Diagram F2.

Benefits of new wiring

While knob and tube conductors in good condition and has not been inappropriately altered will not present undue hazards it is worth noting that modern electrical installations contain safety benefits not found in older electrical systems.

These include

  • Generally larger electrical capacity and more electrical circuits reducing the need to use extension cords
  • Splices and joints made in approved electrical boxes
  • Dedicated electrical circuits for certain types of electrical equipment or appliances
  • Grounded and bonded receptacles, switches and light fixtures
  • Tamper resistant receptacles in homes
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters in bathrooms and outdoor locations as per the latest edition of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters in bedroom receptacle circuits
  • And GFCIs near sinks.

Homeowners who are planning to modify their knob and tube wiring, or any other electrical wiring, should have the work performed by a licensed electrical contractor or electrician. Knob & Tube wiring is unsafe.

  • All knob and tube wiring must be disconnected and replaced.
    • The Electrical Safety Code no longer recognizes knob and tube wiring as an acceptable wiring method.

Facts: Knob & Tube wiring is safe, provided it is properly maintained by competent licensed people as outlined above.

  • The Electrical Safety Authority as well as the Electrical Safety Code recognize and accept knob and tube wiring methods.
  • The Electrical Safety Code 2002 edition contains rules that govern the installation of open type wiring methods (knob & tube). Rules 12-200 to 12-224 set out the minimum safety standards for the installation of open wiring, which may still be installed to this day.

 

 

 

  • Call Robert Redford Electrical Services for an appointment to inspect and offer solutions to your knob and tube concerns.

Thanks

Robert Redford

ALUMINUM WIRE RISK: The Aluminum Electrical Wiring Risks & Hazards Explained


Aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960's to the early 1970's, is a potential fire hazard. How safe is aluminum wiring?

According to the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused by this hazard. Problems due to expansion, or more likely micro-fretting and arcing at the connectors, can cause overheating at connections between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at splices. The connections can become hot enough to start a fire without ever tripping a circuit breaker! Robert Redford Electric has the experience and know-how to safely handle your aluminum wiring needs.

The photos shown above are not the most dramatic catastrophes linked to fires caused by aluminum wiring. But these are conditions that are found in many homes with aluminum wiring, confirming that this is a real, common, and widespread hazard.

Research shows that "homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than are homes wired with copper. "Post 1972" aluminum wire is also a concern. Introduction of the aluminum wire "alloys" in 1972 time frame did not solve most of the connection failure problems.

Aluminum wiring is still permitted and used for certain applications, including residential service entrance wiring and single-purpose higher amperage circuits such as 240V air conditioning or electric range circuits. The fire risk from single purpose circuits is much less than for branch circuits.

But it's not necessarily because of a "new alloy" as some folks assert. It's because there are enormously fewer connections (four or six rather than 30 or 40 per circuit) and thus statistically a smaller chance of a connection failure. These connections do still burn up, as indicated by field reports.

Aluminum Wiring Solutions, ( SAVE MONEY ! ! ):


Our qualified electricians have come up with a solution, we will not rewire your home!!

Our technicians will come to your home and deal with every receptacle, switch and light box in your entire house. We will resplice each troublesome connection at those sources and repair them with approved wire connectors at each power point. In doing this we not only repair the faulty wiring but we bring the house to current electrical standards at the same time, guaranteeing the insurance company that the house is now in better electrical shape than when it was first built. The benefits to you are:

  • Piece of mind that your house is safe to occupy
  • Lower insurance rates
  • Remedy the problem at a fraction of the price.
  • Letter to Insurance company guaranteeing that the house is now safe to live in and will be for years to come!!

That is what Redford Electric will do for you!!
And with the money you save why not replace those old switches and receptacles with a newer style. Our electricians are there at every electrical box anyway the cost to upgrade is minimal, as well we would be glad to install new light fixtures as we are taking down the old style anyway to do our repairs. All this can be done for a fraction of what it would cost to rewire your home.

If you have aluminum wiring, call Robert Redford Electric at 604 536 5672

ALUMINUM WIRE RISK: The Aluminum Electrical Wiring Risks & Hazards Explained


Aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960's to the early 1970's, is a potential fire hazard. How safe is aluminum wiring?

According to the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused by this hazard. Problems due to expansion, or more likely micro-fretting and arcing at the connectors, can cause overheating at connections between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at splices. The connections can become hot enough to start a fire without ever tripping a circuit breaker! Robert Redford Electric has the experience and know-how to safely handle your aluminum wiring needs.

The photos shown above are not the most dramatic catastrophes linked to fires caused by aluminum wiring. But these are conditions that are found in many homes with aluminum wiring, confirming that this is a real, common, and widespread hazard.

Research shows that "homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than are homes wired with copper. "Post 1972" aluminum wire is also a concern. Introduction of the aluminum wire "alloys" in 1972 time frame did not solve most of the connection failure problems.

Aluminum wiring is still permitted and used for certain applications, including residential service entrance wiring and single-purpose higher amperage circuits such as 240V air conditioning or electric range circuits. The fire risk from single purpose circuits is much less than for branch circuits.

But it's not necessarily because of a "new alloy" as some folks assert. It's because there are enormously fewer connections (four or six rather than 30 or 40 per circuit) and thus statistically a smaller chance of a connection failure. These connections do still burn up, as indicated by field reports.

Aluminum Wiring Solutions, ( SAVE MONEY ! ! ):


Our qualified electricians have come up with a solution, we will not rewire your home!!

Our technicians will come to your home and deal with every receptacle, switch and light box in your entire house. We will resplice each troublesome connection at those sources and repair them with approved wire connectors at each power point. In doing this we not only repair the faulty wiring but we bring the house to current electrical standards at the same time, guaranteeing the insurance company that the house is now in better electrical shape than when it was first built. The benefits to you are:

  • Piece of mind that your house is safe to occupy
  • Lower insurance rates
  • Remedy the problem at a fraction of the price.
  • Letter to Insurance company guaranteeing that the house is now safe to live in and will be for years to come!!

That is what Redford Electric will do for you!!
And with the money you save why not replace those old switches and receptacles with a newer style. Our electricians are there at every electrical box anyway the cost to upgrade is minimal, as well we would be glad to install new light fixtures as we are taking down the old style anyway to do our repairs. All this can be done for a fraction of what it would cost to rewire your home.

If you have aluminum wiring, call Robert Redford Electric at 604 536 5672

Issues with knob and tube wiring

Since January 2003 the Electrical Safety Authority has received an increasing number of  questions about the safety of knob and tube wiring. In particular, purchasers or owners of older homes are finding that many insurers will not provide or renew coverage on such properties. In some cases, the insurance companies are requiring a total replacement of this wiring prior to providing insurance coverage.

Knob and tube wiring, more recently referred to as open wiring, was a wiring method used in the early 1900s to 1940s in the residential sector. Over the years wiring installation practices have changed in the residential sector and knob and tube wiring is no longer installed; however, parts continue to be available for maintenance purposes.

Diagram F1- Typical knob and tube installation

 

Existing knob and tube conductors concealed in walls, floor spaces, etc; supplying general lighting and receptacle circuits are permitted to remain in place if:

  • They are protected by a 15 ampere fuse or circuit breaker; and
  • No additional outlets have been added to the original installation so as to overload the circuit; and
  • The conductors, where visible, appear to be in good condition.

If your home has knob and tube wiring, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

 

 

• Have a Robert Redford Electrical Services check the “knob and tube” conductors in your existing installations for sign of deterioration and damage; or request a general inspection from ESA. The General Inspection report will identify visible electrical safety concerns in your electrical wiring.

 

  • “Knob & tube” conductors should be replaced where exposed conductors show evidence of mechanical abuse and or deterioration, poor connections, overheating, alterations that result in overloading, or if changes to wiring contravene any section of the Electrical Safety Code.

Homes with knob and tube wiring may not have the electrical capacity to meet today’s needs. As a result, homeowners have modified their electrical system with what the Electrical Safety Authority classifies as unsafe practices:

  • Improper use of extension cords – using improperly rates extension cords, or using extension cords as permanent wiring;
  • Improper fuse replacement – using 20 or 30 amp fuses to replace15 amp;
  • Improper connections - adding receptacles and outlets on existing circuits or improperly connecting to the knob and tube wiring (this work should be done by a licensed electrician);
  • Removing ground pins – ground pins on power bars or electrical equipment should not be removed to accommodate the two pin receptacles used in knob and tube wiring (2 pin to 3 pin are not permitted)
  • Improper replacement of two pin receptacles. If you require a three prong receptacle, only use a GFCI receptacle.

Homeowners who are planning to modify their knob and tube wiring, or any other electrical wiring, should have the work performed by a licensed electrical contractor or electrician

Receptacles in existing knob and tube installations

Where grounding type receptacles (three pin) are installed in existing knob and tube installations to replace the ungrounded type (two pin) receptacle, special caution must be exercised.

Diagram F2-Two and three pin receptacle configuration

 

Two Pin (ungrounded)                     Three Pin (Grounded)

Rule 26-700(7) requires the installation of a bond conductor to bond the receptacle to ground. This is permitted to be an external bonding conductor that is connected to either the system ground conductor or a metallic cold water pipe that is bonded to ground. This method may be difficult to accomplish.

As an alternative to bonding, Rule 26-700(8) of the Code also states "grounding type receptacles without a bonding conductor shall be permitted to be installed provided each receptacle is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type that is an integral part of this receptacle; or supplied from a receptacle containing a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type; or supplied from a circuit protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type (a GFCI breaker in the panel, or either a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI dead front mounted in an outlet box next to the panel). Where this option is used, no bonding conductor is permitted between outlets unless that bond conductor is in turn connected to ground. GFCI protection of the receptacles does not provide a ground reference to the U-ground slot of the receptacles. Some appliances require a bond be connected to the U-ground slot in order to function properly. For example, surge protective devices for computer or entertainment equipment will not function without a ground reference.

 

As new electrical equipment is introduced into the dwelling unit there might be a need for additional outlets to be installed. Extension cords are not to be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. The following shall be followed when installing new receptacles:

  • Outdoor receptacles shall be GFCI protected,
  • Bathroom and washroom receptacles shall be GFCI protected.
  • Kitchen receptacles within 1 meter of a sink shall be GFCI protected
    • New outlets shall follow the current Electrical Safety Code requirements for wiring, meaning a new branch circuit shall be grounded and receptacles that utilize the three pin grounded configuration listed in Diagram F2.

Benefits of new wiring

While knob and tube conductors in good condition and has not been inappropriately altered will not present undue hazards it is worth noting that modern electrical installations contain safety benefits not found in older electrical systems.

These include

  • Generally larger electrical capacity and more electrical circuits reducing the need to use extension cords
  • Splices and joints made in approved electrical boxes
  • Dedicated electrical circuits for certain types of electrical equipment or appliances
  • Grounded and bonded receptacles, switches and light fixtures
  • Tamper resistant receptacles in homes
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters in bathrooms and outdoor locations as per the latest edition of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters in bedroom receptacle circuits
  • And GFCIs near sinks.

Homeowners who are planning to modify their knob and tube wiring, or any other electrical wiring, should have the work performed by a licensed electrical contractor or electrician. Knob & Tube wiring is unsafe.

  • All knob and tube wiring must be disconnected and replaced.
    • The Electrical Safety Code no longer recognizes knob and tube wiring as an acceptable wiring method.

Facts: Knob & Tube wiring is safe, provided it is properly maintained by competent licensed people as outlined above.

  • The Electrical Safety Authority as well as the Electrical Safety Code recognize and accept knob and tube wiring methods.
  • The Electrical Safety Code 2002 edition contains rules that govern the installation of open type wiring methods (knob & tube). Rules 12-200 to 12-224 set out the minimum safety standards for the installation of open wiring, which may still be installed to this day.

 

 

 

  • Call Robert Redford Electrical Services for an appointment to inspect and offer solutions to your knob and tube concerns.

Thanks

Robert Redford

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