Ask the Electrician: City of Vancouver Electrical Permits

Here’s What You Need to Know About Vancouver Electrical Permits

Within the City of Vancouver, electrical permits are required for a wide variety of services provided by professional electricians. While some electrical projects are much less complicated than others, there is still a strong likelihood that some form of permit will be required by the city before work can be completed. 

The risks of not pulling a needed permit are clear: the City of Vancouver is likely to fine property owners for electrical work completed without proper permits. Meanwhile, a lack of permitting can also leave you liable for any accidents or injuries that occur on your property.

Here at TCA Electric, part of our job as licensed and qualified electricians is to handle permitting for all projects we complete. However, we also feel it’s important to educate our readers about types of permits that may be required for residential and commercial electrical projects, as well as about the permitting process. So let’s take a closer look at City of Vancouver electrical permits and what you need to know about them!

Types of permits: Which are most common, and when do we pull them?

While residential and commercial electrical projects are often very different in scope and the types of services involved, these projects do share some overlap. In fact, the types of electrical permits we most frequently pull here at TCA are common to both residential and commercial electrical work. Those permits are:

  • Temporary construction service permit
  • Low voltage service permit
  • Electrical installation permit
  • Service upgrade permit

These permits are frequently needed for common electrical services such as service upgrades, wiring installation, temporary power for new construction sites, and lighting installations. On the residential side of things, EV charger installations, kitchen and washroom renovations, and work on newly constructed homes will all involve permits such as these. Meanwhile commercial projects such as restaurant installations, retail and office wiring, and marina projects will also require permitting.

In addition, while the City of Vancouver has its own set of permits required for electrical work, most major cities and districts in BC have their own governing electrical authority, and those municipalities and locations that do not throughout BC are governed by Technical Safety BC

That means there are many types of permits and permitting authorities, and neither the list of permits nor the list of services subject to permits above are exhaustive! Luckily, however, you won’t need to know precisely which permits need to be pulled for which types of electrical projects. That’s because…

Pulling permits is your electrician’s responsibility!

If there’s one key thing we want all of our readers to take away from our post today, it’s this: It is the responsibility of your electrical contractor to pull all City of Vancouver electrical permits necessary for your project. While we feel it’s helpful for our customers to know more about permits and the process of pulling them, every responsible, licensed, and qualified electrician knows that it’s their job to complete this important step of the process. 

If an electrician relies on you to pull permits for an electrical project, they are not following through on their responsibilities—and you should hire another electrician instead.

How does the process for City of Vancouver electrical permits work?

While you should never need to complete this process yourself, it’s helpful to know how the process of acquiring electrical permits works. Typically, an electrical permit can take between 1–10 days to be granted, depending on the municipality. Often the process of pulling an electrical permit can be quite simple and straightforward, depending on how complicated an electrical project is. 

To complete a permitted service upgrade, the process works as follows. First, your electrician pulls an electrical permit for the service upgrade. Next, the electrician would have to apply to BC Hydro for the service upgrade and get their involvement in case the project needs their input on the electrical design. Then your electrical contractor installs any new electrical service equipment, such as electrical panels, an electrical meter base, and a mast. Following this, the electrician will start the process of requesting an electrical inspection, and once an inspector has approved the installation they will notify BC Hydro. BC Hydro then reaches out to the electrical contractor to schedule a time to connect to the new electrical service.

TCA Electric: Your Licensed and Qualified Vancouver Electrician

Here at TCA Electric, we feel that permitting requirements and other regulations are critical for ensuring greater electrical safety. And while it’s important to educate our readers on the permitting process, we also want to stress how seriously we take our responsibility to pull all necessary permits before completing any electrical work. Every professional electrician should do so—and if they don’t, you should turn elsewhere for your electrical project.

Have a residential or commercial electrical project to be completed in Vancouver? TCA Electric is standing by! Contact us today and let’s start planning your next electrical upgrade.

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