Pulling a permit for electrical work can be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with the process. At TCA Electric, we often field questions from property owners regarding permitting. How do I know if I need a permit? What’s the application process? Can I just skip the permit altogether? If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re not alone. For any experienced North Vancouver electrician, pulling permits is a routine step in the project process. Let’s take a closer look at everything you should know about the permit process in Vancouver before starting an electrical project.
Do I need a permit?
Not all electrical work requires a permit. Replacing defective or melted fuses, swapping out bulbs and switches, and basic alterations and repairs to existing installations, can all be done without a permit. Anything more significant than these items will likely require a permit. However, if the work you want to do falls within a grey area, we urge you to consult a North Vancouver electrician before moving forward with your project.
Can I apply for a permit?
Even if you need it, you may not be able to apply for electrical permits yourself. In general, you must be an electrician licensed by the City of Vancouver to apply for a permit. There are however some expectations that allow you to get around this rule. These exceptions include:
- You must own and reside in the home where you are completing the electrical work
- The home must not be shared with any other residents or renters
- Your electrical service cannot be more than 200 amp, 120/240
- You must be planning to complete all of the work yourself, subject to approval by a certified electrical inspector.
If any of these criteria aren’t met, you won’t be able to apply for a permit. You will instead have to have your permit(s) pulled by the Vancouver electrician you’re hiring to complete the work.
How do I apply for a permit?
If you’re able to apply, the permit application process is easy: simply fill out the application form and pay the required fees. You can do this online after registering for an account with the City of Vancouver, or you can fill out paper forms and physically bring them to the Development and Building Services Centre. If you’re uncertain about how to correctly fill out the application, contact your trusted North Vancouver electrician for help. Once you receive your permit, you may begin work. However, we encourage you to keep in mind that all work will be subject to inspection for final approval.
What if I can’t get a permit?
You should never carry out electrical work without the proper documentation. This is both for your own safety and due to the penalties that result from working without a permit. The fees associated with a “work without permit” fine are actually larger than the permit fee itself. In addition, you will be forced to remove any work that was done before obtaining a permit and face potential legal obstacles down the line.
If you can’t get a permit yourself, contact a reputable North Vancouver electrician to do the work for you. Licensed electricians are very familiar with the application process. It is however critical to ensure any contractor you hire is pulling all required permits. Why so important? If permits are not obtained, the burden of any penalties falls on the homeowner rather than the contractor.
TCA Electric: Trusted North Vancouver electrician
At TCA Electric, we have over 60 years of collective experience in electrical work. We always check and triple-check for any permits required to carry out your electrical work. Ready to get started? Contact us today! We’re eager to show you why we’re the best and most trusted team of North Vancouver electricians.