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  • ESA survey

    Had an interesting call from the Electrical Safety Authority' They were doing a survey on individuals opinions and interactions with the organization and it's employees . The type of questions left me with the impression that they are attempting to improve their image.
    Just for the record my experiences with them is positive. They are there to protect our safety. They are helpful if you ask questions on how best to do things. There are often questions asked on this forum that would be best asked to the ESA.
    Bob just past Ayr
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  • #2

    Re: ESA survey

    I have had two dealings with ESA over the last seven years and both have been fine. The first we repairs to a "supposedly" renovated home we bought for use as a rental. The wiring was not correct and he made the contractor come back and repair it. The second was the installation of a power pedestal at my yard close by here where I keep my large equipment. Again .... excellent.

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    • #3

      Re: ESA survey

      I have had extensive dealings with ESA over the years both in business and personal. My experiences were almost always first class with one exception. Almost universally the inspector will not tell you if they were going to actually inspect the work. I’m the type that needs to know what’s happening and found it frustrating to wait all day for someone who wasn’t going to show.

      Others would be relieved that the inspector didn’t inspect. I always thought of it as an affront….their time was more valuable than mine.

      As far as I can remember I never had a defect in my own work as I discussed whatever problems that I thought were possible with the inspector prior to me doing the work.

      Jim


      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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      • #4

        Re: ESA survey

        The City of Calgary frequently sends out feedback requests after we have electrical inspections done.

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        • #5

          Re: ESA survey

          I dont really blame the system but I found it frustrating that the code book wasn;t freely available online for public to download. the books are expensive so many dont have easy access to the info without contacting the authorities. I think they can be ordered from the queens printer and to be current it needs constant updates. It may be more practical for a contractor to do that but any homeowner should have easy and free access to the code info from a free online source. I'm not saying the authorities won't provide info in a timely manor, just that it should be easily available to anyone, free of charge. There is a small book called "electrical code simplified" which is often used by people who can't access the correct and current codebook. This is not up to date , it may have been discontinued now but many have older copies. I used to often notice it in magazine racks in grocery stores and such.

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          • #6

            Re: ESA survey

            Originally posted by stickman View Post
            I dont really blame the system but I found it frustrating that the code book wasn;t freely available online for public to download. the books are expensive so many dont have easy access to the info without contacting the authorities. I think they can be ordered from the queens printer and to be current it needs constant updates. It may be more practical for a contractor to do that but any homeowner should have easy and free access to the code info from a free online source. I'm not saying the authorities won't provide info in a timely manor, just that it should be easily available to anyone, free of charge. There is a small book called "electrical code simplified" which is often used by people who can't access the correct and current codebook. This is not up to date , it may have been discontinued now but many have older copies. I used to often notice it in magazine racks in grocery stores and such.
            I agree. Any law or regulation that is made by legislation of any government in Canada should be available for free, in some ready to use format, to any person required to abide by it.

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            • #7

              Re: ESA survey

              Originally posted by John Bartley View Post

              I agree. Any law or regulation that is made by legislation of any government in Canada should be available for free, in some ready to use format, to any person required to abide by it.
              I always felt that legal advice should be available free to anyone needing to abide by the law.

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              • #8

                Re: ESA survey

                Ignorance of the law is never an acceptable legal defense. Maybe the right to maintain your own home is eroding along with laws that specify that an electrician must do any wiring. In some ways it is understandable but there will be situations like where a guy has a remote cabin and wants to replace a receptacle or change a light fixture. Another is a bad switch or breaker in your own equipment , can you legally fix it? what about things like troubleshooting a motor inverter or changing settings in a PLC ? a qualified electrician may not even have an understanding or training but hold an electrician ticket.

                as an example, I think technically if you were to replace a motor with a DC motor and inverter it would actually disqualify the machine's UL or CSA approval , then if an Electrician is called to connect it he can refuse because it has lost it's CSA approval with the new electrical modification. To correct that you need to call in not an electrical inspector but a CSA inspector who charges you , looks at the machine and hopefully assigns a new sticker. In a home shop environment is that still reasonable? what about after a fire caused by such a modification, could not doing so prevent an insurance claim?
                I'm not sure where the lines are drawn exactly or how much they have really changed recently. The boundaries can easily become quite grey and it probably affects what we can legally do with our own equipment. Practicality isn't always in alignment with codes and laws. of course a lot of things happen like the above example.

                Many need to do modifications to keep old equipment going. There is an expense associated with doing it all perfectly to the letter of the law. Ive researched it a bit at times and fallen upon things like "done by someone qualified" what qualified actually means is sometimes open to interpretation. some guys have a ticket and wire houses but they have no idea about the intricacies of a modern CNC machine and it's proprietary electronics. a lot of the companies that provide the equipment dont even have local engineers as it is often quite specific. for example a Chinese machine maker sells products through a Canadian distributor. It has to be CSA approved within Canada but doesn't necessarily provide locally factory trained electronics people. the machines may be quite scattered over a wide distribution area. Repairs may need to be done, some locally sourced components may be needed and different. how would the person who owns the machine be able to make a decision on weather or not the person doing the mods is qualified? does qualified mean ticketed, Factory trained? an electronics technician doesn't necessarily hold an electricians ticket. he may be the most qualified as he would understand things from a different perspective. things like this create grey situations.
                I dont have all the answers. Maybe others can clarify some of it better.

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                • #9

                  Re: ESA survey

                  Stickman, you raise a lot of points that IMO are quite valid because my understanding is that a modification negates approvals in the strict sense. I have built air cleaners using old furnace fans that have worked well for over 20 years - are they an approved item even if the motor/fan were part of an approved furnace originally? Not likely at all. If I make a table lamp, buy a socket, cord and plug - is it approved. Again, not likely. In fact IIRC Lee Valley stopped selling such components years ago for that reason and I believe when they had them they had a cautionary note in the catalog.
                  IMO, CSA et al approvals mean that the thing is grounded if necessary, fused or current limited, and if it catches fire it will be contained for some period of time - it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality elsewhere in the product. I've seen some horrible construction inside approved devices.

                  billh

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