Code compliance, when it comes to electrical projects, is a very important consideration to be aware of. There are numerous regulations under the Safety Standards Act, which applies to everyone who installs, maintains or operates electrical equipment of any kind. As licensed contractors, we are obliged to keep up to date with any and all changes in the act.

Everything from your tinkering with electrical wires in your home, to poor work done even by a professional, can result in code compliance violations.

In this article, we will review some of the common code violations here in British Columbia so you can be more knowledgeable on the risks of DIY projects, and ensure you are partnering with a professional that you trust for your next project.


Here are common code violations in British Columbia – and what you need to know about each one


1. Installing or replacing permanent light fixtures 

While it may seem like a relatively straightforward task, there are actually permit requirements for the installation or replacement of permanent light fixtures.

Why, you may ask?

If installing a new light fixture in an old building, you may come up against a challenge with old wiring. This can be risky from a safety standpoint, as new light fixtures run at hotter temperatures.


2. Being aware (or unaware) of energy efficiency requirements

The Province of British Columbia has committed to increasing energy efficiency requirements in the BC Building Code, which aims to make all buildings net-zero energy ready by 2032. As such, energy efficiency is an important part of the Code.

This means that energy efficiency should be top of mind when upgrading any lighting in your home or commercial property. In the future, new homes will need to be built better than the current Code, which came into into force in 2017. The goals are as follows, according to the Government of British Columbia:

20 per cent more energy efficient by 2022,

40 per cent more energy efficient by 2027,

80 per cent more energy efficient by 2032 which is the net-zero energy ready standard


3. Overcrowded wiring can pose a challenge with code compliance 

If you have inherited a project, you may come into a situation where you have overcrowded wiring. Allowing space for wires will ensure that you have room to stay in good condition as rubbing against each other can cause the wires to create more friction. This poses a very dangerous situation to be in.

It is important that wires have room through 7/8” holes, with no more than three wires running through them. If you come across a situation where there are burned wires, contact an electrician right away so they can address the situation at hand.


Being a home owner. comes with many responsibilities, which includes being proactive about problems and finding solutions as they arise. Working with a certified and trusted electrician, you can address potential challenges before they become greater problems.

If you are searching for an experienced electrician in the Lower Mainland, be sure to look no further than Stapleton Electric. Our team adheres and complies with the Canadian Electrical Code on every project, and believe it is our responsibility to project our clients.