Winnipeg poised to allow homeowners to replace their own light switches

The city is poised to change its electrical bylaw to allow people to swap out a light switch, replace a light fixture or conduct other basic electrical work without having to apply for a permit.​

Proposed change would get rid of a permit practically nobody actually seeks

Winnipeg wants to allow you to replace a light switch without calling an electrician. Right now, pretty much no one applies for a permit. (CBC News)

Congratulations, Winnipeggers: you'll soon be able to change a light switch without breaking any rules.

The city is poised to change its electrical bylaw to allow people to swap out a light switch, replace a light fixture or conduct other basic electrical work without having to apply for a permit.​

The city is making the change because few people apply for permits to do simple electrical work right now and the city doesn't bother to enforce the rule.

"Currently, almost no permit applications are received for the simple replacement of electrical devices in housing situations," development and inspections manager Stan Dueck wrote in a report to council's property committee.

"It is difficult to both communicate and enforce the requirement for an electrical permit with a permit fee of $77 to replace a receptacle which costs $2.50 or a light fixture which may cost $50."

At the same time, the proposed bylaw amendment would prevent Winnipeggers from applying for permits to do complex electrical work that should be handled by a licensed electrician.

Homeowners who are licensed electricians would be allowed to do such work, the report says.

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