Top 22 changes you need to know about the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code

Canadian electrical code changes


If you need to renew an FSR certificate, you will need to complete a continuing education requirement in order to qualify for renewal. You can get a complete update on these Code changes and satisfy a part of your continuing education requirement through any of these online courses.

BC’s Electrical Safety Regulation has been amended to include the adoption of the 2018 version of the Canadian Electrical Code. The new code includes several changes to support electrical workers in the safe installation and maintenance of electrical equipment and systems which came into effect on January 1, 2020.

These are the top changes you’ll need to know about when performing regulated electrical work as of January 1, 2020:

Higher Impact Changes

  1. Working Space around transformers has changed – see 2018 CEC Rule 2-312
    ●  Rule now includes requirements for transformer clearances
  2. Identified conductors at switch locations – see 2018 CEC Rule 4-022
    ●  You now require an identified conductor (white) at each switch
  3. Separation of line and load conductors in service switches – see 2018 CEC Rule 6-212
    ●  In a service switch, the line and load conductors cannot cross or contact each other
  4. Electrical Vehicle Energy Management Systems – see 2018 CEC Rules 8-002, 8-106, 8-500 and 86-302
    ●  New rules for calculating demand when using an energy management system
  5. Bonding cables at service equipment -– see 2018 CEC Rule 10-604
    ●  In previous codes a bond bushing was not required on service cable (ie. TECK/ACWU). Changes to section 10 require bonding bushings unless the cable’s metal sheath is in continuous contact with the cable bonding conductor. This is not the case in most TECK/ACWU cables.
  6. Single Point Grounding – see 2018 CEC Rule 10-210
    ●  The new 10-210 allows for only a single connection to the system grounding conductor by the identified conductor through a bonding jumper
  7. Cable installations under slabs on grade – see 2018 CEC Rule 12-012
    ●  The code has always allowed conduit to be installed directly below a slab on grade, the new 2018 code now references raceways and armoured or metal sheathed cables as well.
  8. Suspended ceiling power distribution systems – see 2018 CEC Rule 12-2300 series
    ●  New rules for new technology – “T-Bar” grid power systems
  9. Power over Ethernet – see 2018 CEC Rule 16-300
    ●  New rules for new technology – Power over Ethernet
  10. Qualified person (Hazardous Locations) – see 2018 CEC Rule 18-004
    ●  The 2018 code requires that all Hazardous area classifications are to be carried out by a "qualified person" as defined in Section 0 of the code.
  11. Smoke Alarm – Battery Back-up – AFCI/GFCI – see 2018 CEC Rule 32-200
    ●  Changes to section 32 regarding allowance for Smoke alarms and Smoke/CO alarms to be connected to branch circuits protected by AFCI or GFCI

Medium/ Lower Impact Changes

  1. Grounding transformer with feeder cable – see 2018 CEC Rule 10-212
    ●  Under 750V the transformer can be grounded by the system bonding conductor in the primary supply
  2. AFCI in renovation scenarios – see 2018 CEC Rule 26-656
    ●  In a renovation, adding to an existing circuit does not require the entire circuit to be AFCI protected
  3. Splicing of system grounding permitted – see 2018 CEC Rule 10-116
    ●  The code only requires the conductor to be electrically continuous, not without a splice.
  4. Grounding of overhead sub-distribution (10-208 “other” buildings) – see 2018 CEC Rule 10-212
    ●  There is to be no connection to the non-current carrying conductive parts on either the supply side or load side of the grounding connection. This will have implications for overhead sub-distribution systems using neutral supported cables (ie. triplex)
  5. Relaxation of liquid-tight flex use – see 2018 CEC Rule 12-1302
    ●  The proposal allows for liquid-tight flexible metal and non-metallic conduit to be used in a manner less restrictive due to updates in the technology of the product.
  6. Bathroom receptacles and AFCI protection implications – see 2018 CEC Rule 26-656 and 26-720
    ●  Based on the 2015 wording of rule 26-724(f), as long as a washroom or bathroom receptacle was on a circuit, the entire circuit would be exempt from AFCI requirements. This has been addressed.
  7. Kitchen Nook – requirement removed – see 2018 CEC Rule 26-654
    ●  No more requirements for “area’s forming part of a kitchen” to have separate branch circuit
  8. Increased voltage for PV systems to 1500V – see 2018 CEC Rule 64-202
    ●  Increased voltages to address new technology
  9. Labeling for Maximum Continuous Load – see 2018 CEC Rule 2-100
    ●  Code now requires permanent marking to indicate maximum continuous load permitted.
  10. Changes to Photovoltaic Rapid Shutdown requirements – see 2018 CEC Rule 64-218
    ●  Decreased distance from array and increase in time for shutdown initiation
  11. Heating Devices and Controls – see 2018 CEC Rule 62-130 and 62-132
    ●  Code now has GFCI requirements for both the heating devices and the controls when in proximity to sinks, tubs, or shower stalls

To support the new code adoption, Technical Safety BC is offering 2018 Electrical Code Change Training in several cities across the province.

Online 2018 code change courses are available as of February 17, 2020. See the dates and sign up on our Learning Centre.


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