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phdtrucker 11-13-2012 11:49 AM

a few Ontario electrical code questions

I've just joined, i live in ontario and i'm building a new house. I've decided to do the wiring myself because it's one of the few things a homeowner can do without a license of some sort.

I have a few questions:
1) For kitchen and bathroom wiring of GFCI receptacles -- is it strictly 12-2 now or are 14-3 split receptacles still allowed? If it's strictly 12-2 wire, does it also have to be YELLOW wire?
2) I have seen RED 14-2 NMD wire at my local Home Depot -- what is it used for? I know of only two colors for 14-2 -- BLUE for bedrooms that go to an AFCI breaker, and WHITE for all other general receptacles. The guy at Home depot said it was for bedrooms, and that's when i stopped listening.
2.5) I have 3 bedrooms to wire -- can i put their outlets all on the same AFCI circuit so long as i don't go over say 10 outlets (3 per room?), or is it wise to have two AFCI breakers at the panel?
3) Do the microwave, washing machine, and fridge each require to be on their own 12-2 YELLOW / 20A dedicated circuit -- or can they be white 14-2/15A?
4) Am i ok to use plastic sealed device boxes on the outside walls, or are metal boxes required?
5) How many wires can i run through a joist knockout or drilled stud -- is there even a rule for this? How long can i run a wire between joists before a staple is required?


joed 11-13-2012 01:18 PM

Here is a link that will be very useful to you. Many of your questions can be answered here.

1. colour of wire is not in code.
kitchen rules
receptacles within 1.5m of sink must be GFCI protected. You have two options. They can be 15 amp split wired or 20 amp normal duplex. The 15 amp option requires a GFCI double pole breaker(very expensive). The 20 amp option only needs a 20 amp T slot GFCI receptacle, much cheaper and the normal option. Away from the sink receptacle can be either option and NO GFCI is required.
Bathroom is your choice. Normally just a 15 amp circuit with GFCI receptacles. No split is required but it is not prohibited so you could if you want.

2. Red 14/2 is a special cable that has red and black wire(no white) it is used for 240 volt devices like heaters that don't use 120 volts.
Blue wire is often used to indicate AFCI circuit but it is not required. There are no colour definitions in the code book.

2.5. The limit is 12 outlets per circuit. I think your bedrooms are going to require more than that to meet the minimum required around the room. Receptacles must be within 6 feet of a door and then every 12 feet along the wall after that. That is minimum. You can put them closer if you like. Any wall 2 feet or large must have a receptacle.

3. 15 amp circuits are fine. Washing machine does not need to be dedicated. The circuit needs to be dedicated to the laundry room, but can have other receptacles on it if they are in the laundry room.

4. There is no requirement for metal boxes. Vapour barrier is required by building code for insulated walls.

5. Not sure how many wires through a hole is allowed. I would keep it to two wires.
Cables must be supported within 300mm of box and at least every 1.5m. Going through a hole is considered as supported.

phdtrucker 11-13-2012 01:30 PM

Appreciate the quick response, and thanks for your input. I have bought a home wiring breaker package and 200A panel from HDepot and i think there are 2 double pole breakers in the set, so i suppose i can do either. If i'm not mistaken ,the 15A GFCI recepticles are cheaper than the 20 amp GFCI t-slot recepticles, so it's a trade off between those and the double pole breakers -- would you know off hand how many GFI outlets per cct in the kitchen area?

I've seen some wiring diagrams in books that have what appears to be 2 per cct -- so for example if i had six 14-3 split recepticles around the kitchen area, they would go on 3 ccts....meaning i would need 3 double pole breakers. Whereas i could get away with 3 single pole 20A, but pay a little more for the GFCI T-slot recepticles where they are that correct?


joed 11-13-2012 01:47 PM

You can not use 15 GFCI receptacles with the split wired option. They must be breakers. The GFCI is only required within 1.5m of sink. All the others can be normal circuits.

Minimum of two circuit required for kitchen and no more than 2 receptacles per circuit. A gas stove receptacle can be on one of these circuit and not count as one of the two receptacles.

phdtrucker 11-13-2012 03:47 PM

Wonderful -- this site is pretty good. I had no idea i couldn't use the 14-3 option with a GFCI recepticle -- so thanks. I'm guessing i would have found out when i tried to wire it, but that saves me the confusion. I think i'll just go for the 20A -tslot GFCI recepticle then -- for both bath and kitchen.

Side questions i still have: Do the GFCI breakers trip more often than the recepticle versions?


darren 11-13-2012 04:43 PM

Just for you know you don't have to use the blue wire for your arc fault circuits(unless Ontario code says otherwise). Last time I saw it at home depot it cost considerably more then regular white.

joed 11-13-2012 05:53 PM

GFCI breakers and receptacle should trip the same.

Since you say you are going to be using 20 amp in bathroom be aware you can not use it for lighting. All lighting MUST be on 15 amp circuits.

A couple of other points.

Only the receptacles in the bedroom are required to be AFCI. Lights can be a normal 15 amp circuit.

Smokes MUST NOT be on AFCI or GFCI circuits.

All outdoor porches/balconies must have a GFCI receptacle. The outdoor circuit is dedicated to the outdoor. No indoor outlets permitted.

phdtrucker 11-14-2012 07:00 AM

Thanks both of you darren / joed. I think it's bs that the blue is more, but i think the color coding is helpful. I will probably have more questions as i get going. Should be starting this project in 2 weeks time. Maybe if i can figure out how to post pictures, i can put some up and get your opinions on my work. Thanks again,

phdtrucker 12-08-2012 08:53 PM

finally started wiring. Some early questions re kitchen wiring in Ontario
I've just begun wiring today. I am doing the kitchen.

First off, for anyone in Ontario doing similar work, as much as you might dislike HD -- they have a meet and beat policy on price. I got quotes from 3 local electrical suppliers, one of which had really good prices. I took those prices to HD and they beat them by 10%. Which for example, meant that i paid 55$ for 75m of blue 14/2 less 10%. I bought two roles, saved myself almost 50 bucks! I did the same for 12/2, 14/2 white etc. Total savings for the home is now somewhere around $200..

Anyways, here are three questions i have after today:
1) What are the height specifications for the fridge and DW recepticles? I can't find any information that suggests there are, but i want to be sure, because for example, i have read that the range outlet can be no more than something like 5.1" from the finished floor height. This implies that there might be height specifications for other appliances.
2) Under the kitchen, I have engineered joists with pre-drilled knockouts for wiring. They don't line up ( i don't think they ever would). So, if they never line up, why drill them?
2b) Can i drill my own holes and run wires straight, or do i have to snake my wires back and forth to the nearest knockout joist by joist?


darren 12-08-2012 09:41 PM

No height restrictions for fridge plug, are you sure your dishwasher needs a plug. Most times you leave a whip out and tie into the dishwasher once it is on site.

phdtrucker 12-09-2012 06:42 AM

had no idea. the last DW i had was installed by TA appliance, i just assumed there ought to be a plug for it. are there height restrictions for washer dryer?

Any ideas about the floor joist knockout? -- is it typical to snake the wires through the nearest holes, or can i drill them straight? knockout size is around 1.5" maybe..

joed 12-09-2012 08:37 AM

You will have to consult the joist manufacturer regarding drill holes.
Dedicated circuit for the fridge has no height restrictions.

darren 12-09-2012 09:12 AM

The only plug that I am aware of that has a height requirement by code is a plug behind a gas range, that one can not be more then 130mm above the floor.

phdtrucker 12-10-2012 04:34 PM

recepticle height specs.., well and pressure tank, water softener etc..
Thanks for answers. I really do appreciate it. i think i completely underestimated the task of wiring my own house.:)

I was also just browsing around on the site -- there is a mention of 600mm max height for washer dryer in laundry room if there is also a tub there -- my new laundry room will have a washtub -- is this spec. true in general, or only if the laundry room has a tub? Or is this spec. false for ontario. Furthermore, the post mentions that if the tub is there, all outlets have to be GFCI -- does the washing machine recepticle need to be GFCI? I don't believe i have seen a GFCI dryer recepticle, but if there is a tub in the laundry room, how do i interpret the GFCI issue?

I will be doing the mechanical room next: The house is in the country, so we will be on propane and well / septic. There will be a well pump and a pressure tank, a propane furnace, water softener and iron remover, HRV (15A), an ejector pit and a sump pump, and finally an electric water heater, although we haven't decided -- it may wind up being gas.

After doing some reading, the questions i now have are:
1) For the furnace-- do i run a dedicated regular 14/2 nmd90 white to the mechanical room to a device box made for outdoors mounted at 48" above floor at the entrance door with a switch, and then armoured cable from the switch to the furnace?
2) For the pressure tank -- do i do similar wiring for the well pressure tank (i.e. put in a disconnect switch at the door followed by armoured cable to the tank
3) For the well pump -- same idea here too? except for running wire to the well pump (which goes under the basement floor to the top of an 8" well head steel pipe outside), should i use 14/2 black nmwu from the disconnect switch to the conduit, and protect it with armoured or plastic conduit from the disconnect switch until it goes into the conduit to the well head -- or can i just run plain 14/2, unprotected to the disconnect switch, protected (armoured?) to the conduit opening in the floor and then straight to the well head outside?
3) Do i do similar wiring for the water softener / iron remover -- except they won't be hard wired, they will go to 15A duplex recepticles that are run with armoured cable from a disconnect switch?

I guess i'm wondering too, if there is no disconnect switch required (say for the water softener etc..) then how do you make the change to armoured cable -- sleeve it up to where it needs protection, or in a device/junction box?

Sorry for the long post.

phdtrucker 12-12-2012 05:05 AM

more direct questions about the ontario code
OK. Apologies for the confusing email before: Here's the jist of the questions:

1) Is there a 600mm height restriction in the laundry room for the washer and dryer outlets if there is a sink or washtub in the laundry room?

2) Do the furnace and well line require armoured cable?

3) How do you make the change from regular NMD90 to bx armoured cable?

Hopefully this is easier to read and answer. Thanks,

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