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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi DIY,

I originally posted about this question in electrician talk and was directed here: US panel equipment in Canada

We hired a local (Ontario) electrician for consultation services and he advised us we could use US electrical equipment (UL-listed, but not CSA) in Canada. I wanted to double-check this online and now it seems from the response in the thread above (before it was closed and moved here) that's not the case. How to know who is right?

Also, does anyone know if it's possible to just use US-sourced arc fault breakers, rather than the whole panel? That is where the cost difference really seems to come into play -- $35 vs. $90 per circuit, which adds up fast across a rewiring project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks @joe-nwt : yes, I've referred to that list before for consumer electronics, and the breakers are indeed both UL listed and CSA approved, which makes those seem like a safe bet. I'm having trouble finding information about the panels, though, so I wondered whether it was "enough" to just be UL listed... e.g., even though UL is an approved standard for Ontario, maybe there are different requirements for Canada..?
 

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Thanks @joe-nwt : yes, I've referred to that list before for consumer electronics, and the breakers are indeed both UL listed and CSA approved, which makes those seem like a safe bet. I'm having trouble finding information about the panels, though, so I wondered whether it was "enough" to just be UL listed... e.g., even though UL is an approved standard for Ontario, maybe there are different requirements for Canada..?
Approval in Canada is the base line, approval in your jurisdiction is the final say.
 

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You can NOT use US panels in Canada.
In Canada the panel has a separate compartment for the main breaker and the branch circuits. Branch circuit cabling can not pass through the main section. There is a divider in the panel and the cover is split so can remove the two sections separately. US panels do not meet this standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks @joed , that no doubt explains why I can't find CSA approval information for the panels. I guess we are limited to getting just our breakers in the US (same brand, CSA approved).

Still much better availability down there right now, and huge savings - hard to understand why the markets are priced so differently.
 

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Combination panels being required for service panels is certainly one
difference between US & Canadian panels. Suspect that "bus stab limits"
thing is another difference. Canadian panels, as far as I've seen anyways,
are all the non-ctl type. Non-ctl is preferred.

I'd be reluctant to buy a panel or breaker not marked ULc or CSA.
 

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and he advised us we could use US electrical equipment (UL-listed, but not CSA) in Canada.
He's confused. You're confused. It's confusing. GATT and NAFTA happened.

In Ye Olden Days, each country had its own private certification agency who had a monopoly. USA=UL. Canada=CSA. Britain=BSI. Germany=TUV. Etc. Etc. So it was super simple: a UL stamp meant it was USA G2G, and a CSA stamp = Canada G2G.

But we don't like monopolies, and we DO like free trade.

So they opened up the Listing part of the operation to any provider (any blessed by USA OSHA, that is). CSA can now certify for USA (CSA/US) and UL can certify for Canada (C/UL). And BSI and TUV can certify for either or both. And UL can certify for Germany.

But they are still separate certification standards. Some efforts are made to harmonize, so some things are dual certified, and they have marks to indicate that. Here:
654845
654846


(from their respective websites)

What you need is the "C", or I suppose if CSA has no marks at all, that means Canada. Hey, this is even a thing.

654847


...that's not "États-Unis" either folks, that's European Union. Suck it CE!






You can NOT use US panels in Canada.
Nor vice versa, sadly. You guys have some very nice generator-interlock panels that have a 3rd "special" bus stab to switch neutrals. Those would solve so many problems over in the States, and they're dirt cheap. (after you figure for VAT and exchange rate).
 

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You can NOT use US panels in Canada.
In Canada the panel has a separate compartment for the main breaker and the branch circuits. Branch circuit cabling can not pass through the main section. There is a divider in the panel and the cover is split so can remove the two sections separately. US panels do not meet this standard.
I had no idea the US panels were different thank you
 
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