Grounded in Ontario: Top Ten Most Common Defects (Part 1) with Trevor Tremblay

EIN ESA Grounded 400

October 3, 2022

Trevor Tremblay, technical advisor at ESA, takes us through the top five most common defects – and how Licensed Electrical Contractors can be prepared to avoid them in their work

In 2021, the Electrical Safety Authority identified more than 143,000 reports of defects. That’s why Trevor Tremblay, technical advisor at ESA, takes us through the top ten most common defects that we found in the last 12 months  Trevor also reminds listeners on the requirement in the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) to report serious electrical incidents within 48 hours.

“We use this information mostly to deal with trends which are published annually in the Ontario Electrical Safety Report,” he said. “Seeing where people are getting hurt so we can more effectively protect the people of Ontario.”

In this episode, host Karen Ras sits down with Trevor to break down how Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) can avoid these defects and remain consistently compliant with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. In part one of this two part series, they talk about arc fault circuit interrupters and how to streamline the inspection process.

Go HERE to listen

1. Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs)

For the last couple years, the most consistent defect written is regarding AFCI requirements for branch circuits. The biggest misunderstanding usually comes from what exemptions are permitted. There are only four exemptions to AFCI requirements: kitchen countertops, a fridge in a kitchen, a sump pump, and a receptacle that’s required to be one meter from a sink in a bathroom. 

2. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

GFCIs are another common area where LECs may run into trouble from time to time. Whereas outdoor receptacles only used to need to meet GFCI requirements in residential dwellings, now  that’s been expanded to all outdoor spaces. The general rule: GFCI everything outdoors up to 2.5 meters from grade.

3. Access 

Access can be a touchy subject for LECs and inspectors alike. Inspectors need to be able to get in and give the okay before anything can be energized.

4. Work Descriptions

Vague work descriptions can hamper the work. For example, at bigger locations – like a hospital – it’s important to make sure there are sufficient details to direct the inspector. If a notification simply reads ‘three receptacles’ with an address, then it may make it difficult to find in a larger space.

5. Complete panel directory 

The more specific a panel directory is, the easier it will be for an LEC or an inspector. In the past it may just read ‘receptacle’ or ‘lights’, but now it’s encouraged to include more specifics about the room or area of the house. During renovations, panels are often full and transitioned to mini-breakers. But, when these go unlabelled, it adds a lot more time, effort, and often frustration for the next person who’s coming to work on it.

Follow Grounded in Ontario wherever you get your podcasts. Got a technical question or an idea for an upcoming topic, Grounded in Ontario wants to know: podcast@esasafe.com.

Go HERE to listen

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