Useful Tips

Useful links

BC Hydro useful information and tips for homes:

Safety Standards and Regulations:


Frequently Asked Questions:

How long will it take to rewire my home?

99% of the knob and tube rewire projects are completed in less than a week. This includes the following:

  1. Arranging all necessary permits.
  2. Disconnecting and replacing the old knob and tube electrical system with a
new, safe, code compliant, grounded, copper wiring system.
  3. Removing all garbage created from your home – daily.
  4. Professionally patch all holes made during the rewire and leave the walls
paint ready.
  5. Passing all inspections from the Electrical Safety Authority and issuing a
copy of the certificate received to the homeowner.
  6. Providing the home owner with a letter for their insurance company, stating
the old knob and tube has been replaced with a new, safe electrical system that
conforms to all pertinent rules and regulations stated in the Electrical 
Safety Code.
  7. Provide the homeowner with a clearly written guarantee.

Will I end up with damaged walls following the re-wiring?

  • Marcel Electric Inc. will plaster any small holes which will be deemed absolutely necessary for any re-wiring we will do. This is a very important part of any electrical work one may need to do. Make sure that the company you hire for any electrical work, does not create a “big job” on your walls hence leaving you with an unexpected high cost of repairing your walls. At Marcel Electric, all you deal with after we are done with any major re-wiring job is only the cost of painting. It is suggested that you get this in writing before you hire a contractor!

Are wires run behind finished walls?

  • For over 20 years, our installation teams have been rewiring an average of 1-2 houses a week. This makes them highly trained, experienced specialists. They have created a system of efficiently fishing wires behind walls, utilizing the structure of your home and any hidden pathways. This installation method,
decrease the size and the quantity of holes necessary to get the wires to where they have to go. Once the project is inspected, any holes made in your walls are professionally plastered and left paint ready.

Can I live in my house during the rewiring?

  • Yes, you can live in the house during the rewire project, in fact most of the homeowners do.
  • Our installers are highly trained professionals who respect your home. During a rewiring, you can expect to see our electricians in a crew who are punctual and will arrive at your home around 9:00 am and usually work until around 5:00 pm. They use drop sheets to cover floors and furniture as they work.
  • You can also expect to see, some materials like wire, a step ladder and some tools in your home during the day. They clean up and take everything including the garbage out of your home daily. They will never leave exposed live wires or any other safety hazards while they are gone. Most of the house will have power and will be on during the rewire. The power is cut off circuit by circuit as they work and then is turned on once the new wiring is in place and safe.

Does the work get inspected? When/By whom?

  • Upon completion of the work, Marcel Electric Inc. will arrange for an inspector from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) to visit your home and inspect the work. Following the inspection, a certificate of safety will be issued to the home owner.

What will I obtain for my insurance company?

  • Following the safety inspection we will arrange, you will be provided with a copy of the safety certificate from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) certifying our work. This certificate will be issue to the owner and it is sufficient for your insurance.

Are there any hidden costs?

  • Where many of our competitors don’t hesitate to introduce several hidden fees along the way,  we are up-front with our charges. You will need to pay only what we include in our written quote and not one penny more.

Insurance-related Upgrades

  • Old and unsafe knob and tube may become a problem if you’re thinking of renovating or selling your home. Insurance underwriters, who are aware of the risks of knob and tube wiring, increasingly cancel or refuse home insurance policies or to authorize home renovations until old wiring is replaced.  Knob and tube is not legally permitted to remain in place if any additional outlets or lighting/receptacles are added or will be added to a home. This puts strain on, and can overload old circuitry, causing wires to overheat, melt and cause fires.
  • After upgrading from knob and tube however, the increase on average to Canadian home values ranges from at least $10 000 to above $20 000, before the benefits from future renovations to your home can be realized.


Intro to Electricity:

Understanding Wiring

  • Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductor (copper or aluminum wires in residential construction). For general use electricity must travel in a loop called a circuit. In most occurrences electricity travels out to a fixture or device through a hot wire (commonly coated in black or red insulation) and back through a neutral wire (commonly coated in white insulation). Electricity ceases to flow when the circuit is broken at any point.
  • Newer homes are usually grounded. Grounding wires (commonly coated in green insulation or left bare) connect all outlets to the earth. This is a very important safety feature as ungrounded outlets can give a powerful shock if there is a short circuit due to a damaged device or wire. An additional commonly used safety feature is polarization.

Voltage, amps and watts

  • Voltage is the electrical pressure exerted by a power source. Common North American power fixtures use 120 volts. Larger devices such as central air-conditioners and ranges require 240 volts. The amount of electricity used by each fixture or device varies, but the voltage on all wires is approximately 120 or 240 volts. The thicker the wire, the more electricity travels through it. Amperes (amps) and watts refer to the amount of electrical current and power used.

Knowing your limits

  • Most installations and repairs on wires, fixtures and devices you can do yourself but do not touch anything outside of your home. If you have questions or concerns regarding the wires entering your house or leading from the meter to the service panel, call your utility company since these wires are usually their legal responsibility.


  • Regardless of whether they have breakers or fuses, service panels divide electrical current into several circuits. Every circuit carries electricity from the service panel via hot wires (commonly coated in black or red insulation) to various outlets, and then back to the service panel via a neutral wire (commonly coated in white insulation).

Make a Good Use of Your Electrician’s Hourly Rates

When it comes to big repair and remodelling projects, you’ll probably turn to a professional electrician to do the job right. Many electricians charge a trip fee for each visit and an hourly service fee, even if the job takes much less than an hour. Next time you hire an electrician, consider using the time, and your money, to the fullest. Ask your electrician to take on additional smaller tasks that will improve home safety, comfort and convenience. Consider the following ideas:

Review electrical service

  • Have your service evaluated, especially in older homes with outdated 60-amp service, but also in newer ones where standard 100-amp panels may be overtaxed by modern household electronics.

Upgrade old outlets

  • Change existing outlets to ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets, which improve safety by automatically shutting off in an emergency.

Install new phone jacks

  • For added convenience with phone and computer technology needs, have a new phone jack installed.

Add a dimmer switch

  • Replace a toggle switch with a dimmer switch, which allows you to easily adjust light levels for different needs.

Install under-cabinet lighting

  • Install under-cabinet lighting to brighten your kitchen, home office or family room.

Add a programmable thermostat

  • A new programmable thermostat can cut energy bills by 15 percent or more.

Install an exterior outlet

  • An exterior outlet eliminates the unsafe practice of running an extension cord from an indoor outlet


Marcel Electric inc. is not responsible for injuries suffered or any losses and/or damages incurred as a result of abiding by the information and tips provided below. Before beginning any project please review the instructions carefully, and if you have any questions or doubts, consult local authorities or experts. Because regulations and codes vary greatly, you should always check with authorities to make sure that your project complies with local regulations and codes.