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September 1, 2011

Behind the Walls: How Qualified Contractors like Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre Can Save Your Life

Planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel can be an exciting time for homeowners. Your new design usually means new cabinetry, appliances, furniture, lighting and more...a fresh new look for a tired old space.

A qualified kitchen and bath design team--while focused on providing you with what you're looking for aesthetically--will also be thinking ahead to what issues might arise once tear down begins.

At the top of their list of concerns? Electrical.

"During tear down, improperly installed electrical wiring is often the best concealed--and most dangerous--issue we have to address," says Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre president Neil Samson.

Here are some examples of what Monarch's team runs into on a daily basis:

Illegal electrical joints hidden behind drywall.
And to compound the problem even further, there is a joining of aluminum and copper wiring: this is not only illegal but it also a major fire hazard. There is a very strict protocol when joining copper to aluminum.


In this Pickering home, we found seven electrical infractions which are against the Ontario Building Code. The exhaust hood fan in this home was connected to a 4" plastic dryer hose. Not only is this a fire waiting to happen but it's also illegal.

"Sadly, these are not isolated incidents," admits Neil. "Our team uncovers these problems quite regularly. As a homeowner, you need to be aware of the potential safety hazards that might be lurking behind your walls."

"If you have any aluminum wiring in your home, we recommend you have a qualified and licensed electrician check all of the connections in your electrical panel on a yearly basis," advises Neil. "The screw-down connections on aluminum wiring can loosen; and for that reason, aluminum wiring is no longer approved for use in Canada."
When it comes to working with electrical, only a licensed electrician will do. "Don't hire a handyman to do an electrician's job," says Neil. "As the old saying goes: Jack of all trades, master of none. Insist that the electrician obtain a permit, and make sure that you receive a copy of the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) inspection certificate. You will probably need it when you renew your home insurance."