June 9, 2016

Committee told all lighting installations require permit

Landscape lighting award winnerA sub-committee of the Landscape Ontario’s Lighting Sector Group met with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) in January 2016 to clarify the standards for electrical permits within the industry. The sub-committee was comprised of Carl Hastings, Moonstruck Lighting; Frank DiMarco, DiMarco Landscape Lighting and LO executive director Tony DiGiovanni. Following a Lighting Sector Group meeting in April, the committee found five important issues that need to be clarified and communicated to the members of Landscape Ontario with reference to contractors installing outdoor lighting fixtures.

The committee members were informed by ESA that all landscape lighting installations, regardless of whether or not transformers are plugged into 120-volt receptacles, require a Yard and Garden Electrical Permit. If a contractor is modifying a 120-volt electrical system, an Electrical Permit is required. Only a Master Electrician can take out an Electrical Permit. There is no exception for any contractor or for specific areas in Ontario, regardless of what an individual inspector may say or claim.
  1. If not modifying a 120-volt electrical system, a Yard and Garden Electrical Permit is still required and the system must plug into a GFI protected receptacle. The GFI should be tested on-site before being used as a power source for a low voltage lighting system.

  2. To apply for a Yard and Garden Electrical Permit to install low voltage landscape lighting, one does not need to be an electrician or Master Electrician as long as the applicant is not modifying 120-volts. The number of transformers being installed on each project must be registered on the permit, not the number of low voltage fixtures.

  3. If changing a weatherproof, while-in-use 120-volt receptacle cover plate, there is no need to be a licensed electrician. Sub-contracted electrical work must go to a licensed Master Electrician. All licensed electrical contractors are required to have proper insurance to do electrical work.

  4. With regards to WSIB, electrical work must be under the proper rate code if the majority of your work is electrical. All licensed electrical contractors are required to follow all of the necessary rules and regulations regarding license, insurance and WSIB coverage. To prevent any problems, instruct the client to hire a qualified electrician to perform 120-volt electrical work.

  5. Electrical work and all landscape lighting installed without proper permits are subject to fines from ESA. This ruling applies to all contractors doing electrical work in Ontario.

Landscape Lighting  2016 awards of excellence winnerFor more detailed information regarding the rules and regulations governing electrical installations in Ontario, please go to the ESA website at esasafe.com.
As published in Landscape Ontario magazine June, 2016