When it come’s to your home’s electrical system, do you really want just anybody tinkering with the wires behind your walls? Hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) is not only the law, it’s your safest choice.
General handymen and other service providers cannot legally do electrical work in residences.
A common misconception among homeowners is that a licensed electrician or handyman can legally do electrical work in their homes. An electrician is known as an electrical worker or an individual qualified to do electrical work in Ontario. A handyman is neither.
A Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) is a suitably trained individual or business that carries the required insurances and can employ electrical workers. The owner of an electrical contracting business must carry a valid master electricians license or designate a master electrician on their staff.
Electricians are not allowed to perform work for the public in Ontario unless under the employment of a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Electrical contracting businesses are licensed and insured to perform electrical services such as:
- Installing a ceiling fan or receptacle
- Repair aluminum wiring
- Install or alter an electrical breaker panel
- Installing pot lights
- Installing light fixtures or switches
- Install or alter wiring or fixed appliances in a building
While electrical contractors and electricians both hold valid licenses, only Licensed Electrical Contractors hold the required insurances to properly and safely operate a business. These insurances protect the employees and home owners/business owners from insurance liabilities.
A Licensed Electrical Contractor is a licensed business by the Electrical Contractor Registration Agency/Electrical Safety Authority (ECRA/ESA). Licensed Electrical Contractors are the only businesses in Ontario legally allowed to do electrical work in your home.
If you are planning to have electrical work done in your home, by law, you must hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor. If you are hiring a General Contractor (GC) or interior designer to contract out trade workers, they must hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Ask The Right Questions
Do not simply assume your General Contractor or designer is hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor for the electrical work to be completed. As a homeowner, be sure the necessary ESA permits are applied for before or within 48 hours of any electrical work being carried out.
Ask for copies of the LECs license and insurance papers. Any reputable Licensed Electrical Contractor will have copies readily available and should be happy to provide them for you.
Always ask for an ESA Certificate of Inspection when the electrical work is completed. This is important for resale and insurance purposes, as well as peace of mind.
An ESA Certificate of Inspection confirms that the electrical work carried out in your home was completed according to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Only a Licensed Electrical Contractor can provide you with an ESA Certificate of Inspection.
Is The Electrician I hired a Licensed Electrical Contractor?
The ESA website offers a look-up tool that homeowners can use to verify whether or not their electrical contractor has a valid ECRA/ESA number. This ECRA/ESA number is seven digits long and begins with the number 7. Homeowners can also use the tool to find a Licensed Electrical Contractor in their area by company name, license number or postal code.
The Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor
Licensed Electrical Contractors have the expertise, tools and training to do electrical work in your home safely and according to Ontario Electrical Safety Code requirements. Hiring the wrong person can result in damage to your property, serious electrical injuries or loss of life.
All Licensed Electrical Contractors:
- Carry a minimum $2,000,000 liability insurance
- Employ only certified electricians
- Will arrange ESA permits and inspections when required
- Are qualified to perform the type of electrical work
- Can provide a Certificate of Inspection
- Can provide references
If you are looking for a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Newmarket, Barrie or throughout York Region, consider contacting MDC Electric today. We are fully licensed and insured to safely and legally work in your home.