Electric Blog
  1. Why a Contractor’s Health and Safety Policy Matters

    Often, as the client, it seems that health and safety is the sole concern of the contractor. However, the health and safety practices of an electrical contractor have consequences for their clients.

    Here is why it’s important for you to be confident with your contractor’s health and safety practices.

    A safe contractor costs less

    Accidents cost any business money, both in terms of lost revenue and in injury payments. An electrical contractor that experiences an unacceptable volume of work related injuries and accidents will likely end up passing those costs on to their clients through higher rates.

    A quality contractor will have their health and safety policies and code of conduct open for review, and will always work in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

    Fortunately, there’s a built-in check for the safety record of an electrical contractor: their pricing. Since safe work saves the contractor money in the long run, this will be reflected in their rates.

    If you’ve found a contractor with reasonable rates, and easy access to their health and safety policies, you’ve likely got the right contractor on your hands.

    A safe contractor does better work

    The main reason a contractor experiences consistent injuries or accidents is rushing through jobs.

    When a business takes a quantity-over-quality approach, they have to prioritize finishing each job quickly in order to turn a profit. This often leads to using improper equipment for the situation and hastily completing routine tasks.

    Prioritizing safety forces a contractor to take a more methodical approach that organically improves the quality of their work. Shoddy electrical work is hazardous for technicians to work on, and can present fire and shock hazards once it is finished.

    A professional contractor will be able to explain their plan for completing the job you’ve hired them for, and what they’ll be doing during each stage of the process.

    A safety-oriented contractor may need a little more time to complete a job, but the quality of the workmanship will justify the extra hours.

    A safe contractor meets deadlines

    In addition to money, accidents also cost time. Often, you’ll need to stop your work while an electrical installation or repair is being made. In these situations, it’s important to minimize delays.

    If there’s an accident or injury on the job, chances are the contractor won’t be able to complete the work within the agreed upon timeline. This could mean lost revenue for you, if you’re not able to return to work.

    A good contractor will likely have some sort of coverage to defray the cost of the incident for them, and may even give a discount for the delay. But this discount likely won’t be enough to account for any lost business caused by the botched agenda.

    Conclusion

    Even though it’s the responsibility of the electrical contractor to establish good health and safety policies, the benefits of safe work practices transfer directly to the client.

    Before you agree to work with an electrical contractor, be sure to check their health and safety code of conduct, and find out if they are part of a workplace safety organization such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

    This is a great example of a thorough health and safety policy from Diamond Controls.

    If you’re interested in working with a safe, certified electrical contractor in Ontario, get in touch with us at info@diamoncontrols.com or call us at (519) 623-9618.
  2. Three Electrical Jobs You’ll Need an Experienced Contractor For

     
    Any electrical contractor with the proper training can confidently complete certain electrical jobs. However, there are some tasks for which you’ll want a contractor with specialized training and prior experience.
     

    Industrial electrical installations

     
    For industrial applications, the wiring and connections of the initial installation is the foundation of the operation.
     
    A properly installed and maintained power distribution system minimizes long-term operation costs and production interruption. Industrial machinery has very specific power requirements. Poorly or incorrectly installed power supply wiring can result in inefficient operation, increased maintenance costs, and shorter equipment lifespans.
     
    The critical nature of industrial power distribution systems means that experience working with these specialized systems is just as important as proper training and credentials.
     
    An experienced contractor has the knowledge to anticipate common complications that can arise during the installation of these complex systems. They’ll be able to streamline the installation process, and eliminate the need for follow-on corrective work.
     

    Custom industrial wiring

     
    Even as complex as industrial power supply wiring can be, occasionally the layout of the facility, the number or type of machines being installed, or other factors may make the project even more complicated.
     
    In these situations, it may be necessary to fabricate and install a custom power distribution or control system. Often, a custom design goes beyond the scope of initial technical training.
     
    In these situations, even a competent electrical contractor will need to use their intuition and experience to create and implement a system that will meet the specifications and demands of your facility and equipment.
     
    Only an electrical contractor with a solid base of experience in these specialized fields will be able to make the best judgment calls and produce efficient, code-compliant custom work.
     

    Industrial maintenance

     
    Manufacturers often put tamper-proof covers and screws on their machinery to prevent access by untrained professionals.
     
    Performing maintenance routines without the proper training and expertise can cause damage to the machinery or actually reduce the operating efficiency of the equipment.
     
    This means it’s critical to have only the most qualified and experienced technicians cracking your industrial machinery open. Maintenance routines may appear simple. It may be tempting to perform maintenance yourself or hire the lowest bidding contractor to cut costs.
     
    However, the lowest bidding contractor likely doesn’t specialize in working with industrial electronics. Hiring an electrical contractor with experience in maintaining industrial electronics is like taking your BMW to the BMW dealership for repairs rather than the local garage.
     

    Conclusion

     
    Hiring a properly certified and licensed contractor is important. But, experience is what really makes an electrical contractor a good fit.
     
    Before you sign on with a contractor, be sure to ask a few questions to determine if they have experience specific to your needs.

    If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of hiring a proven contractor, get in touch with us at info@diamoncontrols.com or call us at (519) 623-9618.
     
  3. How to Get the Most From Industrial Automation
    Many experts agree that automation is the future of industrial manufacturing. However, the transition from manual to automated processes is not painless.

    Over the last few decades two key innovations have spurred the development of industrial automation: the programmable logic controller (PLC) and the distributed control system (DCS).

    PLCs and DCSs enable automation processes to be more flexible and reconfigurable. Using these control systems, an automated factory can be reprogrammed and reconfigured to produce several different products.

    This adaptability makes automation very attractive for businesses looking for efficient and cost-effective production without sacrificing product quality. Automation also improves the safety and working conditions for employees working in the production process.

    However, automation brings some of it’s own complexities to the table. An automated factory with an array of PLCs connected to a DCS requires intricate wiring and electrical information transfer.

    The electrical wiring that runs throughout an automated production facility is the backbone of the entire system. Poor connections or incorrectly routed wiring can cause problems or failures in the automated production process.

    Additionally, configurable automation requires customized controls. If there are non-standard aspects of your manufacturing process, the control panels for the machinery that performs these specialized tasks must be equally specialized so that you have precise control over the process.

    In order to keep your automation running at peak efficiency, you need a professional support team that can test and maintain the intricate electrical system that supports your automated processes and machinery. You’ll also need custom control panels built to suit your automation needs.

    A professional electrical contractor who can install and maintain a system that optimizes your automation will be a key player on your team in the automation game.

    An expert contractor will be a long-term partner in your operation who will be there to prevent failures, minimize production interruptions, and correct system failures to get you back online as quickly as possible.

    As industry moves into the future with automation, partnering with an electrical contractor who has the knowledge and experience to meet your automation needs will be critical to getting the most from your automated machinery.

    If you’re interested in finding an electrical contractor who specializes in working with automated electrical systems, get in touch with us at info@diamoncontrols.com or call us at (519) 623-9618.
  4. How to Choose an Electrical Contractor
    When it comes to having electrical installations, maintenance, or repairs performed, it’s not all about price. The quality of the work is important.
    Substandard work is not only inefficient, and can lead to further expenses if it needs to be updated or corrected, but poor electrical work can be dangerous.
    Incorrectly installed electrical systems can pose fire or electrical shock hazards that could result in expensive property loss or injuries to employees.
    To help you choose a contractor that will perform safe, high-quality electrical installations, maintenance, and repairs for you, here are three keys to evaluating an electrical contractor.
    Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) certification
    The first thing to check if you’re considering an electrical contractor is their Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) license. The ESA inspects the work of electrical contractors and ensures that it is safe and complies with current electrical codes.
    To obtain and maintain an ESA license, an electrical contractor must meet established standards of training, conduct, and performance. Electrical contractors must meet the minimum education and training requirements to be licensed by the ESA, and have the ESA inspect their work.
    Additionally, the ESA provides ongoing training, and regularly updates the electrical code to improve the skills of ESA certified contractors, and improve the efficiency and safety of any work approved by an ESA inspector.
    A certified electrical contractor should be willing and ready to provide their ESA license number.
    Authorized Contractor Program (ACP) membership
    The Authorized Contractor Program (ACP) is an extension of the ESA certification for experienced electrical contractors. To be part of the ACP, an electrical contractor must consistently perform work that complies with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC).
    As part of the ACP, an electrical contractor will receive selective inspections of certain routine operations, rather than having one hundred percent of their jobs inspected.
    Additionally, contractors who are members of the ACP may obtain pre-authorized service reconnection for regularly performed electrical installations.
    The Authorized Contractor Program streamlines the inspection process for reliable, experienced electrical contractors.
    Ontario Electrical League (OEL) membership
    The Ontario Electrical League (OEL) was established to maintain and improve the integrity of licensed electrical work in Ontario.
    Members of the OEL are committed to mastering and improving the electrical contractor’s trade. This means that an OEL contractor is more interested in providing the highest quality work and the best customer experience, than beating the competition.
    One of the key points of the OEL code of conduct is to be respectful and welcoming of fair competition, to ensure that the customer’s best interests are always the focus of work.
    Membership in the OEL is voluntary, and indicates that an electrical contractor is confident in their work, and realizes that their customers are their most valuable assets.
    Conclusion
    At the end of the day, a skilled electrical contractor will have the credentials to back up their claims.
    When you’re evaluating an electrical contractor, don’t be shy about asking to see their certifications and what organizations they’re part of.
    If you’re interested in finding out more about what a properly certified electrical contractor can do for you, get in touch with us at info@diamoncontrols.com or call us at (519) 623-9618.
    Diamond Controls is a fully accredited electrical contractor operating in Ontario.
  5. Correcting ESA Defects
     
    Any time an electrical installation, repair, or replacement is performed on a residence or business in Ontario, the work must comply with Ontario Electrical Safety codes.

     
    Whenever permits for electrical work are taken out, this triggers an inspection from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). If any electrical work is found to be substandard, the ESA will issue a notice of deficiency.
     

    If you receive a notice of deficiency, the work will need to be corrected and brought up to code. Here is the best way to ensure that you don’t need to have the defect corrected more than once.
     

    Hire a licensed contractor

     
    Only a licensed electrical contractor is insured and qualified to correct defects identified in an ESA inspection. A licensed contractor only employs qualified electricians and meets higher standards for supervision, administration, and safety.

     
    Additionally, a licensed electrical contractor will have a designated master electrician on hand to help you, and ensure the quality of the work.

     
    It’s easier to work with a licensed electrical contractor
     

    A licensed contractor will be able to arrange for any permits you need to correct ESA defects and schedule an inspection of the corrected deficiencies.
     

    Additionally, a licensed electrical contractor will be able to issue a certificate of inspection, so that you can prove that you’ve gotten the issue taken care of.

     
    The electrical contractor’s license protects you too
     

    Any electrical work that’s performed by an unlicensed contractor (or handyman, or work you’ve done yourself) is not covered by your insurance.
     

    If you have an insurance claim that can be traced back to damage or an injury caused by electrical work done by an unlicensed electrical contractor, your insurance company will likely deny the claim.
     

    The certificate of inspection provided by a licensed electrical contractor not only allows you to prove the quality of the work to the ESA, it could save you money on insurance claims.
     

    Hiring a licensed electrical contractor is safer
     

    The ESA requires permits for even simple electrical work. This is because substandard electrical work can be catastrophic. It’s not just a matter of money; an electrical hack-job can cause electrical shocks or fires.
     

    These are serious hazards that could be deadly. This danger compounds with the fact that your insurance could deny claims related to electrical work done by uncertified electricians.

     
    Conclusion


    Before you let anyone tinker with the wires in your home or business, check their credentials and make sure that they’ve got the licensing and insurance to protect you and them.
     

    If you need ESA defects corrected by a licensed and insured electrical contractor in Ontario, get in touch with us at info@diamoncontrols.com or call us at (519) 623-9618.
     
  6. The definition of 'Available Fault Current' (AFC) is the maximum current that can flow in a circuit in a short-circuit condition. The magnitude of the AFC, measured in Amperes, is determined by the size of the electrical distribution systems and any connected electric motors or generators.    

    The general rule of thumb to determine the contribution from the motors is to add the total full-load current of all motors and multiply by 4 

    Fault availble at the secondary terminals on the transformer is based on secondary voltage and current, transformer size and transformer impedance.

    The basic formula is          AFC = 100xFull Load Current / % impedance

    These values can be found on the manufacturer's nameplate.
    Information for transformers owned by the Local Distribution Company must be provided by them.

    As stated in OESC 14-014 breakers in a load panel supplying branch circuits may have a lower AFC rating than the acual AFC provided the main breaker is rated for the maximum AFC and the breakers are tested and approved by the manufacter for series rated combinations.

    Other relevant rules from the OESC include:

    14-012 -  minimum rating of overcurrent devices (fuses and breakers):
    100A, 250V or less = 5000A
    above 100A, 250V = 10,000A

    14-114 - supplementry overcurrent protection shall not be used as replacement for branch circuit overcurrent protection.

    2-034 - epuipment must be marked to withstand AFC



    Other factors affecting AFC include size, length and material of conductors between transformer and panelboard.
    But motor loads will be added to AFC at panelboard.

    The Electrical Safety Authority offers training workshops to further understand AFC and other topics.
    Click here for more info ESAsafe
     

  7. The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) was established in 1999 to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. Their activities include ensuring compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC), licensing of electrical contractors and master electricians, raising awareness, educating, and providing training in electrical safety amonst other things. 

    As a licensed electrical contractor Diamond Controls is responsible for ensuring that all our work is Code compliant and safe. Most electricians would agree that working safely and installing electrical equipment properly is a top priorty our trade. No one wants to be responsible for somebody getting hurt. 

    All electrical work done in Ontario must comply with the OESC. The OESC is a legal, detailed technical document explaining the minimum standards for electrical installations.

    Even when the work is completed by a licensed electrical contractor, it still must be inspected by an ESA inspector. This is to ensure all electrical intallations across Ontario are consistantly built to the same safety standards.

    More information can be found through these links:
    Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor
    Electrical Safety Authortiy
    Ontario Electrical Safety Code




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