Frequently Asked Questions
What is ElecCheck?

ElecCheck is an inspection of your home's electrical wiring and/or devices by an ElecCheck inspector to identify potential electrical hazards that could lead to a fire or shock.

The ElecCheck service is available for high risk homes that meet the criteria (i.e. homes built prior to 1976, the home has aluminum wiring, it is or has been a cannabis grow operation). Fires caused by deteriorated or improperly maintained electrical systems are more prevalent in homes built prior to 1976. Ontario Electrical Safety Code rules changed after 1975 to increase safety, and the materials used to make electrical equipment and conductors are now safer.

Who needs an ElecCheck?

ElecCheck is used for several reasons, including:

  • For the resale of property (a real estate agent can also apply with the owner’s consent)
  • To obtain home insurance
  • To conform to any local by-laws (for homes built prior to 1976 only)
  • Fire department referrals
Who can request the ElecCheck?

ElecChecks are available for homes deemed to be high risk – homes built prior to 1976. Homeowners can request an ElecCheck directly or the owner can provide consent to a representative (i.e. a real estate agent).

Why is there a focus on homes built prior to 1976?

Older homes pose a greater risk of fire and shock hazards due to aging infrastructure. There is also a higher likelihood of work that may have been performed by unqualified persons over the years. By 1975 Ontario Electrical Safety Code rules had changed to increase safety, and materials used for electrical equipment and conductors do not deteriorate the same as older cloth and rubberized products.

My home was built after 1975. Can I get an ElecCheck?

ElecCheck requests for homes built after 1975 will be accepted only if the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) deems them high risk using specific criteria (i.e. home has aluminum wiring, it was/is a cannabis grow operation). 

If your home falls outside the scope for an ElecCheck, please speak with your insurer or real estate representative, whichever may be applicable.

What’s included as part of the ElecCheck?

An ElecCheck checklist will be used to evaluate your electrical system including electrical panels, switches, outlets and light fixtures. The fee for an ElecCheck includes one visit. The inspection will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete in your home. 

What’s not included as part of an ElecCheck?

The ElecCheck does not include electrical inside the walls, attics or anything that is concealed at the time of inspection.

How do I know when my home was built? Are there any flags that will identify if the home was built before or after 1976?

The wire type may indicate the age of the home. For example, if the home has knob and tube or aluminum branch circuit wiring it would likely have been built before 1976. 

How much does an ElecCheck cost?

The price for an ElecCheck is $399.00 +HST.

What information can the homeowner expect to receive prior to the ElecCheck inspector’s visit?

A pre-ElecCheck document will be emailed to you after you book your appointment to help you prepare.

Do I have to fix everything the ElecCheck finds?

An ElecCheck Outstanding Deficiencies Report will be sent to you if deficiencies are found. These deficiencies must be corrected before an ElecCheck Certificate can be issued. An electrical permit from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) will be required to be taken out by the person who made the repairs (i.e. a Licensed Electrical Contractor or the homeowner).

Since ElecCheck is a non-regulatory service offered by ESA at the request of a homeowner or representative, ESA cannot compel a homeowner to address deficiencies that do not pose immediate Life or Property risks. If ESA identifies defects that put Life and/or Property at risk, ESA will follow up under our regulatory mandate.

You also may be required to make some or all of the changes to satisfy an insurer’s or real estate transaction request.

What is a defect or deficiency?
  • A defect or deficiency is an electrical installation or condition that does not comply with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
  • Deficiencies (defects) must be corrected in order to receive an ElecCheck Certificate. The homeowner will receive a report once the review has been completed. Any deficiencies found will be identified in the report.
What happens if some of the electrical equipment is damaged or broken during the ElecCheck?

Customers are advised in advance that deteriorated equipment may break or fall apart during an inspection.

They are made aware that ESA will leave any equipment that may be damaged in a safe condition, and the customer is responsible for the final repair.

What happens if the ElecCheck inspector identifies deficiencies during the ElecCheck?

The homeowner will receive a report once the inspection has taken place and the deficiencies will be identified in the report. The homeowner will be required to correct anything that could put someone’s Life and/or Property at risk (referred to as a Life and/or Property defect). (See also: Do I have to correct everything the ElecCheck finds?)

Is the customer informed in advance that they are required by law to fix any Life and/or Property defects that are identified?

Yes. At the time of booking, an ESA Customer Service Representative will advise customers that if serious defects (Life and/or Property) are found, they will be required by law to fix them. All customers who have booked an ElecCheck are also sent documents in advance of the visit that include this information.

What does the homeowner receive as confirmation after the ElecCheck is complete?
  • If no electrical deficiencies were identified, the homeowner will receive an ElecCheck Certificate by mail.
  • If electrical deficiencies were identified, the homeowner will receive a copy of the ElecCheck Outstanding Deficiencies Report by mail. These deficiencies must be corrected before an ElecCheck Certificate will be issued. An electrical permit will be required to be taken out by the person that made the repairs (i.e. a Licensed Electrical Contractor or the homeowner).
  • Learn more about your obligations when having electrical work done in your home here.
Is there a timeline on how long the homeowner has to correct the deficiencies identified?

Deficiencies identified during the ElecCheck must be corrected within 30 days in order to obtain an ElecCheck Certificate.

Is ElecCheck available everywhere?

Currently, ElecCheck is available in select areas of the province around Kitchener, Hamilton, Milton, Ottawa, London and the GTA. Contact our Customer Service Centre for exact boundaries in these areas.

ElecCheck is available across Ontario for homes that meet the criteria (i.e. homes built prior to 1976, the home has aluminum wiring, it is or has been a cannabis grow operation).

I tried to find information about ElecCheck on ESA’s website but it wasn’t there. Why?
  • ElecCheck is a non-regulatory service offered by ESA, so we have developed a separate website about the program. Information about ElecCheck can be found at www.eleccheck.ca.
  • To learn more about ESA’s non-regulatory work, visit esasafe.com.
I tried to book an ElecCheck, but they said my home didn’t meet the criteria. Now what?

If your home doesn’t fall within the high risk criteria, please contact your insurer or real estate representative, whichever may be applicable.