Electrical Safety

Adoption of the 2006 Edition of the Canadian Electrical Code : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Building and Equipment Safety

Electrical Bulletin 2006-06

From: David MacLeod, C.E.I, P.Eng., Provincial Chief Electrical Inspector

Date: April 12, 2006

Subject: Adoption of the Twentieth (2006) Edition of the Canadian Electrical Code Part 1

Effective May 1, 2006 the Twentieth (2006) edition of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) Part 1 (C22.1-06) will come into effect for all of Nova Scotia as authorized by the Electrical Installation and Inspection Act and the associated Electrical Code Regulations.

To ensure uniformity in electrical inspections the code is adopted unamended. Bulletins are issued from this office and the electrical inspection authorities that provide clarity and direction on how various rules are interpretated and enforced and should be reviewed by all those that use the code.

Electrical installations which have been issued a permit and have commenced prior to May 1, 2006 and where the plans, where applicable, were approved prior to May 1, 2006 may be inspected to the 2002 CEC. Where work starts or plans are submitted on or after May 1, 2006 design, review and inspections shall be per the 2006 CEC regardless of when the permit was issued.

The inspection department reserves the right to determine whether electrical work was started on any installation prior to May 1, 2006.

As in previous editions where a change to a section or rule has been made from the previous code the change is identified. In the 2006 CEC changes are identified by a small triangle located in the left hand margin.

The following are summaries of some of the more significant changes to the 2006 CEC, however code users should review the exact wording from the code for each rule stated below and also review all other code changes and incorporate them into their design and installations.

Rule 2-306 - requires that any electrical equipment such as switchboards, panel boards, motor control centres, industrial control panels or meter socket enclosures installed in other than dwelling units and are likely to have some type of work or inspection performed on them while energized must be marked to warn persons of potential electrical shock and arc flash hazards.

This labelling is required for all new or modified installations after May 1, 2006. Labels only require the indication of the potential for shock and arc flash. The requirement to perform an analysis to determine energy incident levels is not required as a result of this new rule.

Where an analysis is performed additional information such as the incident energy level and category rating of the PPE required is permitted on the labels. Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) shall always be worn as required by the OH& S Act & Regulations.

The labels shall be of a permanent type design (ie. a lamicoid or self adhesive label or one supplied by the manufacturer) and shall be mounted in a visible position and depending on the size and design of the equipment more than one label may be required as determined by the inspector.

A label that is supplied by a contractor shall be at least 1 ½" (H) X 4" (W) with 3/8" (H) letters and the wording shall be a different colour than the label itself. Suggested wording is “Danger” or “Warning” at the top then below that on two lines “Potential Electric Shock or Arc Flash Hazard Exists”. A label provided by a manufacturer will be acceptable in most instances.

The contractor is responsible to check with the inspection department prior to installing any labels if they have any questions as to whether it is acceptable.

Should a contractor wish to have many labels made up by an outside company for their own personal supply (which is recommended for consistency and pre approval) the design and wording of such labels should be reviewed by the inspection department first to ensure they are acceptable.

Rule 26-700 (11) - located within the general section for receptacles requires all 15 A and 20 A receptacles within 1.5 m of a sink, bathtub or shower stall be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type. As this is in the general section this applies to all types of buildings not just residential. Sinks shall include kitchen sinks, bar sinks, laundry sinks, utility room sinks and wash basins etc. which are connected to a plumbing drain pipe.

Rule 30-308 - requires that each fluorescent luminaire fed from a branch circuit exceeding 150 V to ground shall be provided with a disconnecting means integral with the luminaire that will open all conductors between the branch circuit and the conductors that supply the ballast.

However at this time these type of luminaires are not available from the manufacturer-the expected dates that they will be available are - fluorescent luminaires with double ended lamps and retrofit kits is Jan. 1, 2007 and for fluorescent luminaires with pin base compact flourescent lamps is Jan. 1, 2008.

Therefore until these type of luminaires are available this rule of the code will not be enforced by the inspection departments. When such fixtures are available, which may be prior to the above expected dates, notice will be provided through the inspection departments and this rule will then be enforced and further direction shall be provided regarding the requirements for new installations and the retrofits of existing luminaires.

The responsibility to confirm when the products are available is for the contractor or designer to confirm and verify with the inspection department .

Rule 76-016 - requires that all 15 A or 20 A, 125 V rated receptacles installed to provide power for construction or demolition sites shall be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type.

The intent is to have this apply in general to only the temporary wiring for the site. Therefore where power is obtained from a temporary service for the site and power is provided through the use of 15 A or 20 A receptacles GFCI protection for those receptacles is required.

Where the permanent wiring for a new building has been allowed to be energized by the inspection department any receptacles that become energized are not required to be GFCI protected .

However, if those receptacles are used to supply power to the site for such items as construction tools and equipment those devices must be protected with GFCI protection (an approved inline GFCI cord device or similar device is recommended). Any receptacles used from an adjacent building to supply power to the site for construction tools and equipment would also have to GFCI protection provided as previously recommended.

Where generators are used as a means to power 15A or 20 A receptacles (which includes those on the generator) for construction or demolition sites tools and equipment they shall be provided with GFCI protection also. The use of an inline GFCI cord device or something similar is recommended. Do not modify the generator to add or install GFCI receptacles or protection as this will void the certification of the unit and may create an unsafe installation if done incorrectly.

Tables 16, 17 & 18 - Table 16 is now based on the ampacity of the largest ungrounded conductor not the overcurrent device and Table 17 now covers the minimum size of grounding conductor requirements for all situations. Table 18 has been deleted and has been merged with Table 17- the new Table 17 which is based on the ampacity of the largest service conductor may result in the size of the grounding conductor being smaller than the previous code requirements.

Any questions regarding the certification of any electrical equipment contact the Provincial Chief Electrical Inspector at (902) 424-8018.