Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a two-part series. You can find Part One in the November/December 2018 issue.

This is a question that electrical inspectors in Canada have been answering since the first edition of the Canadian Electrical Code (CE Code) was published in 1927. In the current Canadian Electrical Code Part I (CE Code) Rule 2-024 states:

2-024 Use of approved equipment (see Appendices A and B)
1) Electrical equipment used in electrical installations within the jurisdiction of the inspection department shall be approved and shall be of a kind or type and rating approved for the specific purpose for which it is to be employed.
2) Notwithstanding Subrule 1), equipment described in Rule 16-222 1) a) shall not be required to be approved.

To better understand this requirement, we need to look at the definition for the word “approved.”

The Canadian Electrical Code Part I (CE Code) has a different meaning than the same word in the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC defines “approved” as, “Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).” In the CE Code the word “approved” means much more and is defined as:

Approved (as applied to electrical equipment)—
1) equipment that has been certified by a certification organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada in accordance with the requirements of
a) CSA Group Standards; or
b) other standards that have been developed by a standards development organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, or other recognized documents, where CSA Group Standards do not exist or are not applicable, provided that such other standards or other recognized documents
i) are correlated with provisions of the CE Code, Part I; and
ii) do not create duplication with standards already listed in Appendix A; or
2) equipment that conforms to the requirements of the regulatory authority (see Appendix B).

An electrical product that is approved for use in Canada would be similar to an electrical product that is listed and labeled for use in the United States, except that the NEC does not have an explicit requirement that all electrical equipment installed in accordance with the Code, must be “listed and labeled.”

1972
The definition of “approved” remained unchanged for the next three editions of the CE Code until the eleventh edition published in 1972 where “CSA Testing Laboratories” was replaced with “acceptable certification agency and that formal certification by the acceptable certification agency has been given” opening the door for other (in addition to the CSA) certification organizations to approve electrical equipment. Also, in the eleventh edition Rule 2-026 was moved unchanged to Rule 2-024.

Approved, when used with reference to any particular electrical equipment, means that such equipment has been submitted for examination and testing to an acceptable certification agency and that formal certification by the acceptable certification agency has been given to the effect that it conforms to the CSA Standards as established under provisions of the Canadian Electrical Code, and the certification report has been adopted by two-thirds of the 1975 Inspection Authorities represented on the Approvals Council; in the 12th edition of the CE Code published in addition to some editorial changes to the definition recognized that the authority enforcing the Code can define “approved” separately, and the reference to “the Inspection Authorities represented on the Approvals Council” was replaced with “the Provincial Inspection Authorities represented on the Committee on Part I.

1986
The definition for “approved” remained unchanged in the next two editions. The 15th edition published in 1986 “the Provincial Inspection Authorities represented on the Committee on Part I” was changed to “the Provincial / Territory Inspection Authorities represented on the Committee on CE Code Part I.” This now recognizes the three Canadian Territories and references Part I as CE Code Part I.

2002
The next three editions remained unchanged until a complete rewrite of the definition of “approved” in the 19th edition published in 2002 that read:

Approved as applied to electrical equipment means that
(a) A certification organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada has certified such equipment in accordance with the requirements of
(i) CSA Group Standards; or
(ii) Other recognized documents, where such CSA standards do not exist or are not applicable; or
(b)Such equipment conforms to the requirements of the regulatory authority;


Introduction of the Standards Council of Canada document CAN P-3 detailing the process used to certify electrical equipment, allowed the requirement for certification reports to be adopted by two-thirds of the Inspection Authorities to be removed from the definition of approved.

2006
In the 20th edition published in 2006, the only change to Rule 2-024 was the addition of the reference in the title to Appendix A Safety Standards for Electrical Equipment, CE Code, Part II. This is a significant change as the CE Code now has a list of acceptable electrical product standards.

2009
The 2009 edition remained unchanged.

2012
In the 22nd edition published in 2012, an Appendix B note was added for the definition of approved that read:

Appendix B
Approved
It is intended by this definition that electrical equipment installed under provisions of this Code is required to be certified to the applicable CSA product Standards as listed in Appendix A. Where such CSA Standards do not exist or are not applicable, it is intended by this definition that such electrical equipment be certified to other applicable Standards, such as ULC standards. Code users should be aware that fire alarm system equipment is deemed to be approved when it is certified to the applicable product Standards listed in CAN/ULC S524.

This definition is also intended to reflect the fact that equipment approval could be accomplished via a field evaluation procedure in conformance with the CSA Model Code SPE-1000, where special inspection bodies are recognized by participating provincial and territorial authorities having jurisdiction. For new products that are not available at the time this Code is adopted, the authority having jurisdiction may permit the use of products that comply with the requirements set out by that jurisdiction.

This appendix note helped clarify the use of safety standards for fire alarm systems in Canada, developed by the ULC (and listed in ULC S524 – standard for installation of fire alarm systems), and use of the SPE-1000 Model Code for the field evaluation of electrical equipment.

2015
In addition to ULC, other standards development organizations were first recognized in the definition of the word “approved” in the 23rd edition of the CE Code, published in 2015 on the conditions that these standards by other standards development organizations:
(a) are not duplicating the existing CSA safety standards; and
(b) are correlated with provisions of the CE Code, Part I.

In addition to these changes, the definition “approved” was expanded to include equipment that conforms to the requirements of the regulatory authority. Rule 2-024 was also changed adding an Appendix B note and a new Subrule (2) that recognizes the exception allowing use of equipment without being “approved” for connection to a Class 2 circuit in accordance with Rule 16-222(1)(a). It should be noted, that Rule 16-222 requires lighting products, electromedical equipment, equipment for hazardous locations, and thermostats incorporating heat anticipators to be “approved.”

The new Appendix B note for Rule 2-024 directs code user to the definition for the word “approved.”

The note also advises Code users that modification of originally approved electrical equipment may void that original approval. An exception to this is the use of an approved field installable kit. An example of an approved field installable kit (that would not void the original approval) would be a neutral block that could be added to a fusible switch if the neutral block modification kit was part of the certification for the fusible switch.

Modifications to approved equipment that has been voided by not using approved field installable kit—would require field evaluation in accordance with the SPE-1000 Model Code for the field Evaluation of Electrical Equipment.

2018
The wording for the definition of “approved” and Rule 2-024 including the Appendix B notes remained unchanged in the 24th edition published in 2018 that reads:

Approved (as applied to electrical equipment)—
1) equipment that has been certified by a certification organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada in accordance with the requirements of
a) CSA Group Standards; or
b) other standards that have been developed by a standards development organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, or other recognized documents, where CSA Group Standards do not exist or are not applicable, provided that such other standards or other recognized documents
i) are correlated with provisions of the CE Code,
Part I; and
ii) do not create duplication with standards already listed in Appendix A; or
2) equipment that conforms to the requirements of the regulatory authority (see Appendix B).

Approved
It is intended by this definition that electrical equipment installed under provisions of this Code is required to be certified to the applicable CSA product Standards as listed in Appendix A. Where such CSA Standards do not exist or are not applicable, it is intended by this definition that such electrical equipment be certified to other applicable Standards, such as ULC Standards. Code users should be aware that fire alarm system equipment is deemed to be approved when it is certified to the applicable product Standards listed in CAN/ULC-S524.

This definition is also intended to reflect the fact that equipment approval could be accomplished via a field evaluation procedure in conformance with CSA Model Code SPE-1000, where special inspection bodies are recognized by participating provincial and territorial authorities having jurisdiction. For new products that are not available at the time this Code is adopted, the authority having jurisdiction may permit the use of products that comply with the requirements set out by that jurisdiction.

2-024 Use of approved equipment (see Appendices A and B)
1) Electrical equipment used in electrical installations within the jurisdiction of the inspection department shall be approved and shall be of a kind or type and rating approved for the specific purpose for which it is to be employed.
2) Notwithstanding Subrule 1), equipment described in Rule 16-222 1(a) shall not be required to be approved.

The 2018 CE Code also has a change in Appendix C Clause C11.15 that covers CE Code formatting and rule terminology requirements when developing rules for the CE Code.

Clause C11.15 limits the use of the word “approved” in the body (rules) of the Code to Section 0 for the definition and in Rule 2-024. Usage of terms like “specifically approved for the purpose” have been removed from most sections of the Code with the remaining section schedule to be completed by the next publication planned for 2021. Where a clarification is required to detail specific approvals. this must now be only done in an Appendix B note. An example of this, is the requirement for pendant ceiling fan boxes in Rule 12-3000 8 that mandates an outlet box marked for fan support to be used. The word “approved” was removed from Subrule 8, as a duplication of the requirement for all equipment to be approved in Rule 2-024. In addition, an Appendix B note explains the specific approval requirements and the Standard used for certification of the fan support boxes.

Another significant change in the 2018 CE Code is the subdivision of Appendix A into Annex A1 and Annex A2.

Annex A.1 includes a list of acceptable CSA (Canadian Electrical Code, Part II) safety standards for electrical equipment, and Annex A.2 has a list of other acceptable Canadian safety standards (standards developed by other standard development organizations) for electrical equipment.

Steve Douglas is an IAEI International Past President. He is also the Senior Technical Codes Specialist for QPS Evaluation Services. As the International Association of Electrical Inspectors Representative on Part I and Part II of the Canadian Electrical Code, Steve is the Immediate Past Vice Chair of the CE Code Part I, Chair of CE Code Part I Subcommittees for Section 2, and 12, and a member on Sections 8, 40, 64, 68, 76 and Appendix A. In addition Steve is the Chair of the Subcommittees for the CSA Standards C22.2 No. 273 Cablebus, C22.2 No. 327 HDPE Conduit, C22.6 No. 1, Electrical Inspection Code for Existing Residential Occupancies committee, SPE-1000 Subcommittee, the Chair of the Technical Committee on Wind Turbines, and a member on committees for the Objective Based Industrial Electrical Code, Safety Management Systems, Solar Photovoltaic Modules, Industrial control panels and assemblies, Photovoltaic Cable, Fuel Cells, Wind Turbines, Distribution transformers, Outlet Boxes, and Wiring Fittings Hardware and Positioning Devices.

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Steve Douglas is an IAEI International Past President. He is also the Senior Technical Codes Specialist for QPS Evaluation Services. As the International Association of Electrical Inspectors Representative on Part I and Part II of the Canadian Electrical Code, Steve is the Vice Chair of the CE Code Part I, Chair of CE Code Part I Subcommittees for Section 2, and 12, and a member on Sections 40, 64, 68, 76 and Appendix D. In addition Steve is the Chair of the CSA Standards C22.2 No. 273 Cablebus, C22.6 No. 1, Electrical Inspection Code for Existing Residential Occupancies committee the Chair of the SPE-1000 Working Group, and a member on committees for the Objective Based Industrial Electrical Code, Safety Management Systems, Solar Photovoltaic Modules, Industrial control panels and assemblies, Photovoltaic Cable, Fuel Cells, Wind Turbines, Distribution transformers, Outlet Boxes, and Wiring Fittings Hardware and Positioning Devices.

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