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Approval of electrical equipment

In the province of Quebec, the selling or renting of electrical equipment that has not been approved is prohibited. All electrical equipment used in an electrical installation or intended to consume energy from such an installation shall be approved for the use for which it is intended.

The installation of an electrical equipment which is not approved may constitute major safety risks or issues. It may even represent a risk of death, in the cases of electrification or of a fire breaking due to an electrical defect. Moreover, safety electrical equipment such as breakers must be certified by a recognized organization in order to ensure that the standards of manufacturing and operating performance of such equipment have been adhered to.

Responsibilities of stakeholders

It is the responsibility of the licence holder-contractor in electrical work to install electrical equipment that is approved, to acquire material from a distributor whom is duly authorized by the manufacturer, and furthermore to remain cautious with regard to the products he/she is acquiring and to the manner in which these are delivered to him/her. On the other hand, the electrical equipment distributor must ensure that his/her products meet the requirements, failing which he/she shall be precluded to either sell or rent these.

Approval procedures

Two (2) specific procedures are allowed for the purpose of the approval: certification and special evaluation.

Certification

This procedure is undoubtedly the better known and used of the two. The certified product is manufactured according to the applicable standards. The certification organization contends that the tested product is up to the applicable Canadian standards and authorizes the manufacturer to affix the organization’s seal on his/her product. The certified products must bear the certification mark on the seal or label, with the lower case "c" indication at the 8 o’clock position. Since this specific requirement has been in force only as of February 24, 1999, one may still find products bearing the certification mark without the "c" indication. In such cases, one can verify with the concerned certification organization if the product is actually up to Canadian standards.

Special evaluation

This is the approval procedure per piece (limited quantity or in the absence of an applicable standard). The recognized organization thus evaluates the product and, by affixing a custom-printed label, attests to the desired minimum security level being met. The special evaluation does not equate certification. However, it is considered a procedure which meets the approval requirement.

Exceptions

The approval procedure is not called for when all conditions below are met:

  • Voltage not more than 30 V;
  • Power not more than 100 VA;
  • It is not a lighting equipment (fixture);
  • It is not an electromedical equipment;
  • It is not an equipment to be used in a hazardous location; and
  • It is not a thermostat with a heat anticipator.

Approval organizations accredited

Only the following approval organizations [Fr] are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada and recognized by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).

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