Warnings to Upgrading Electrical Panel Without Permit

Upgrading Electrical Panel Without Permit

In the City of Calgary, it is mandatory to obtain a permit before upgrading an electrical panel. If you are a homeowner wishing to upgrade the panel yourself, you must obtain a homeowner’s permit and follow the laid down processes for the upgrade to verified up to the standard of the Canadian electrical code.

Ethically, licensed electrical contractors obtain permits to upgrade electrical panels and get their work inspected. Given this, it is expected that professionals will not upgrade electrical panels without a permit.

It is important to know that upgrading electrical panels without a permit has consequences and both homeowners and electricians or electrical contractors are wanted to desist from the act. Obtaining a permit before undertaking rewiring or electrical panel upgrade projects has its benefits and purposes.

Warnings to Upgrading Electrical Panel Without Permit

Are you tempted to upgrade the electrical panel without a permit? Do you want to follow a DIY process to upgrade electrical panels without a permit? Before you do, read the following warnings, the consequences of upgrading electrical panel without a permit:

1. No Permit, No Inspection
When you upgrade an electrical panel without inspection, it will be impossible to have the project inspected by the City’s inspectors to verify that the completed work meets safety or standards for approval. Without being inspected, the project will not be approved, and all the consequences follow. You unavoidably need a permit to invite inspectors from the City to inspect the project. Consequently, no Permit, no inspection.

2. No Inspection, No Approval
Having your permits approved and completed can only happen after the panel upgrade and related work have been verified and found perfect, safe, and meet the electrical code. This is possible only if you have a permit. Given this, if you upgrade the electrical panel without a permit will deny your work of inspection and approval.

The purpose of the approval is that future buyers can verify that your work was inspected and approved. Consequently, future potential buyers might feel discouraged to buy the property.

3. Problems With Insurance
If you upgrade the electrical panel without a permit, the insurer will consider you negligent. Consequently, your rates may be increased, your policy may be terminated, and your home insurance claims in case of a fire resulting from the upgrade may be turned down. Insurance companies strongly believe that upgrading electrical work without permit results in increased risk and will not be responsible for the consequences. Insurers never pay out claims caused by negligence.

4. Difficulties with Selling the Home
There have been several reports of people who went ahead to upgrade electrical panels without a permit but later had problems selling their homes. The reason is that most home sales involve inspections where it would be detected that an electrical panel upgrade was neither permitted nor approved. Attempting to upgrade the electrical panel without a permit will cause a long-term headache when the building is listed for sale.

5. Safety Issues
Electrical permits are not issued without a purpose. The City of Calgary wishes to ensure that electrical work is carried out perfectly according to the Canadian Electrical Code and Safety Standards. Before approval, the project will be inspected and certified safe. However, when you upgrade an electrical panel without a permit, you would not realize if there was a mistake, thereby exposing the building and all residents to fire hazards, electrical shock, or electrocution. Nothing is worth risking your family’s safety for.

6. Loss of Money
If the decision to upgrade the electrical panel without a permit resulted from the desire to save money, it will be a total waste of money in the long run. If the project was not done right, you need to start all over again by applying for the permit and have the upgrade done correctly by hiring a licensed electrical contractor.

7. Delays in Electric Service
You may upgrade electrical panels without a permit in your home without anyone knowing. However, when it is found out, the consequences may be unbearable. By law, the electricity to your home will be turned off by the power company until the upgrade has been brought to code with the required permits and inspections. Of course, it is going to cost more than it would have originally. The inconveniences that will be experienced can be devastating.

8. A Stop-work Order
If you choose to upgrade the electrical panel without a permit and the City of Calgary finds out, a City Issues Stop-work Order will be handed to you. Your home’s electricity will be disconnected and you must pull relevant permits and schedule inspections before the project can be resumed or completed.

9. Undoing Work
The City of Calgary will order you to undo the electrical panel upgrade when it is discovered that the project was not permitted. If the project included new wiring, affected drywalls will be torn out and you will start from scratch. You will unavoidably process the needed permit before undertaking the project again. Consequently, you will spend more due to upgrading the electrical panel without a permit.

10. A Fine
The City of Calgary can impose a fine of up to $2,000 on you if found that you upgraded the electrical panel without a permit. The fine may be in addition to a Stop-work Order and undoing the job. Whether you want to do the upgrade yourself or hire a contractor, it is important to get relevant permits to avoid issues.

Final Thoughts

Choosing to upgrade the electrical panel without a permit is daring the consequences. The City of Calgary has procedures that must be followed before altering or upgrading electrical work in any building. The first step is to pull a homeowner’s electrical permit if you will do the work yourself. And if you will hire a contractor, the contractor must obtain a permit and follow other procedures.

From the above warnings, it is obvious that upgrading electrical panels without a permit in Calgary is like looking for trouble. If it is not detected now, the consequences await you in the future. To avoid all troubles, hire a licensed electrical contractor in Calgary for the upgrade. You will have peace of mind, assurance of a quality job by professionals, and have the electrical panel upgrade approved officially.

This post is part of our commitment to transparent, helpful, and informative content for our readers and visitors. For more details on our editorial process and how we ensure accuracy and reliability, please visit our Editorial Process page.


Corey Hayes

Corey Hayes is a seasoned marketing professional with two decades of experience in small business marketing, dedicating 15 years of his illustrious career to elevating Ampt Over Electric's brand. His expertise and visionary approach have been pivotal in shaping the company's market presence and success.

Jorden McCullough,

Master Electrician, CEO of Ampt Over Electric.
Jorden, is a highly skilled Red Seal Master Electrician, with over 20 years of experience serving Calgary’s communities in a commercial and residential electrical capacity. AMPT Over Electric was established in Alberta in 2009 and proudly serves Calgary and surrounding areas. Our goal is, and has always been, to build relationships in business on integrity and respect. Our commitment to our community is to provide safe, high-quality electrical service. In order to guarantee that, we only employ competent Calgary electricians who share the same passion that we do.

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