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What’s new in the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I

The top 15 changes and what they mean for you

For over 90 years, the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CE Code) has been the backbone of Canada’s electrical safety system – a system that works hard by design to keep installers, regulators, consumers, and their families safe from harm. Updated every three years to reflect the latest advances in technology and other major developments, this original, authentic Canadian-based safety standard aims to help maintain safety while improving productivity and facilitating innovation.

Although the importance of the CE Code remains constant, readers will notice that the content in the latest edition, which comes out this January, is quite different from the last. Over 260 updates and revisions have been made to the CE Code to:

  • Reduce confusion and duplication through clearer, streamlined requirements;
  • Help ensure safer installation and maintenance of electrical equipment; and
  • Support the safe implementation of new technologies and clean energy systems.

The major changes you need to know

  1. Now that higher power transfer over Ethernet cables are possible, sub-section 16-300 has been added to adequately address cable heating through installation and layout requirements.
  2. As the number of control devices for energy management systems continues to increase, a new sub-rule requires the installation of an identified conductor at each control location to properly manage cumulative current.
  3. Section 10 requirements for bonding and grounding have been reorganized into a more logical flow and significantly reduced in size.
  4. Greater clarity has been provided regarding arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) in existing branch circuits. Exemptions have been reduced or removed for branch circuits supplying smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and bathrooms.
  5. With increased use of LED lighting, disconnecting means are now required for certain LED luminaires, in addition to fluorescent ballasts.
  6. In addition to dwelling units and child-care facilities, tamper resistant receptacles are required in other areas where children may be present.
  7. Equipment connected to devices having Class 2 Outputs will be approved based on voltage and application.
  8. New Section 62 rules mandate ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection for electric heating devices and heating controls near wet areas.
  9. Sub-rules 8-104(5) through (7) for continuous load have been distilled down to two sub-rules; one for switches and breakers marked for continuous operation at 100% and one for switches and breakers marked for continuous operation at 80%.
  10. The “5% rule” that permitted calculated load to exceed conductor ampacity by five per cent has been eliminated.
  11. New sub-rule 2-100(4) requires that a caution label be applied to equipment indicating the maximum permitted continuous load.
  12. To help prevent electric shock drowning, Section 78 has been extensively updated to require GFCI and ground fault protection for branch circuits and feeders respectively.
  13. To help manage service capacity, demand factors have been added for electric vehicle energy management systems.
  14. A separate branch circuit for kitchen wall receptacles is no longer required.
  15. A separate circuit is only required for mandated refrigerator receptacles as outlined in 26-712(d)(i).

Still have questions? Consider enrolling in a CSA Group course

A lot has changed in the CE Code. And while you juggle with increased demands from your customers, new technologies, and a changing workforce – trying to understand these changes on your own may prove to be a difficult and lengthy process. CSA Group’s network of experts and comprehensive training program can help you get up to speed so that you maintain your competitive edge.

Download our white paper to learn more about how training can help you navigate the CE Code.

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