Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can perform electrical and communications installations?

Electrical installations must be performed by someone who holds a certificate of qualification in the Electrical Construction trade issued by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. Communication wiring installations must be completed by a holder of a certificate as a Communications Cabling Specialist as issued by Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

Who can obtain an electrical or communications wiring permit and how?

Only a person who holds a valid Nova Scotia certificate in the Electrical Construction trade or a Certified Communications Cabling Specialist can obtain an electrical or communications wiring permit.
For additional information regarding certification for Construction Electricians please contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, toll free within Nova Scotia, at 1-800-494-5651 or locally from Halifax at 902-424-565.
For additional information regarding certification of Communications Cabling Specialists, please contact the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education at 902-424-8018.

What work is exempt from permits and inspections?

Electrical permit exemptions

An electrical permit isn’t needed for the following categories of installations, as long as the work is performed by a construction electrician who maintains a record of the work completed for inspection:

  1. The replacement or repair of wiring devices or electrical equipment with an electrical rating no greater than 30 A, 120 V to ground or 50 A, 240 V and that are not in a location referred to in Sections 18 and 20 of the Code;
  2. The installation of one 15 A to 30 A, 120 V branch circuit or one 15 A to 50 A, 240 V branch circuit that is not in a location referred to in Section 18 and 20 of the Code;
  3. The replacement of light fixtures in a dwelling unit;
  4. The replacement of motors; and
  5. Wiring supplied from an approved class II transformer in a single dwelling, provided it is not part of a lighting installation.

Communications cabling permit exemptions

A communications permit is not required for the following communications systems installations, as long as the work is performed by a communications cabling specialist who maintains a record of the work completed for inspection:

  1. An installation that does not exceed 6 cabling drops and is not in a location referred to in Sections 18 and 20 of the Code; and 
  2. A relocation of 20 communication outlets, where the installation does not involve any new cable runs or penetrate any existing fire wall and the relocation meets all current Code requirements.

General permit exemptions

The following types of installations are exempt from the permit requirements of these regulations:
  1. Communications and cable TV installations in a single dwelling as defined by the Code;
  2. Security and intrusion alarm systems; and
  3. Installation of signs and outline lighting where the work is completed according to Section 34 of the Code by a certified electrical sign manufacturer acceptable to the Chief Inspector

Does electrical equipment need to be approved? If so, by whom?

In accordance with the Electrical Code Regulations Section 15(1), no corporation, company, or person shall sell, have for sale, display, rent, lease, advertise, install or use any electrical device, appliance or equipment unless it is certified as approved equipment, as defined in the Code, by a certification organization acceptable to the Department of Labour's Chief Electrical Inspector.

Only equipment bearing one of the marks or labels shown in Electrical Inspection Bulletin B-2-024.1 "Approval of Electrical Equipment" or Department of Labour and Advanced Education Electrical Bulletins "Approval of Electrical Equipment" are acceptable for use in Nova Scotia.

What is involved in an electrical inspection and why perform them?

An electrical contractor may contact the Nova Scotia Power Wiring Permit Center at 1-800-464-1520 to schedule a wiring inspection. The Nova Scotia Power wiring inspector will visit the site and perform an electrical inspection. Inspections are required prior to any wiring being concealed with backfill, lathing, boarding, insulation or other covering materials. This inspection is referred to as a rough-in inspection.

Upon the completion of the wiring, the contractor will arrange for a final inspection. A final inspection may include but not limited to an inspection of electrical devices, lighting, and labeling of electrical panels and equipment.

Wiring inspectors will inspect the electrical installation to ensure the installation conforms to applicable standards, Regulations and the latest edition of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1. These standards ensure the electrical installation is safe from fire and shock hazards.

What if I am connecting service to a location that has not had electricity in more than a year?

NSPI requires a general inspection permit for those premises where electrical service has been disconnected for a period greater than one year. Please contact a qualified electrician. Your electrician will arrange for an inspection through Nova Scotia Power as required under the Electrical Installation and Inspection Act.

Additional Information

For general inquiries regarding new installations or to request service be connected in your name please contact our Customer Care Center at 1-800-428-6230 or locally from Halifax at 902-428-6230.
If you have any questions about wiring permits or the inspection process, contact our Wiring Permit Center at 1-800-464-1520 or locally from Halifax at 902-464-1520.