Graybar Canada Blog

Standards in the Electrical Industry

July 5, 2016

In the electrical industry, standards are priority at all times from product choice to system installation. Some important standards to take into consideration when choosing products for your project include:

The Canadian Electrical Code
The Canadian Electrical Code is a standard developed by the Canadian Standards Association. Divided into five distinct parts, parts 1 and 2 are the key requirements of the Canadian Electrical Safety System. The Canadian Electrical Code was first published in 1927 and the most current copyrighted edition was published in 2015.

Part 1 is the Safety Standard for Electrical Installations – the foundational standard for safe electrical installation practices in all buildings, structures and residences. Part I is regularly updated and republished every three years. Part 2 is the General Requirements, which governs the manufacturing and testing of electrical equipment, including consumer, commercial and industrial products.

Part 3 is Electricity Distribution and Transmission, Part 4 is Objective Based Industrial Electrical Code, and Part 5 is Electrical Inspection Code for Existing Residential Occupancies. For more information, visit

NEMA Classifications and IEC IP Ratings
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) defines standards used in North America for various types of industrial electrical enclosures. The purpose of the standards are to improve safety and make the product selection process clear and easy. Visit for a full list of defined ratings.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is an international standards organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.  Published by the IEC are IP Ratings, which classifies and rates the degree of protection provided in electrical enclosures against things such as soil, tools, human contact, moisture, etc.

For NEMA or IEC standard requirements, you need to know the NEMA or IEC IP rating (based on location and application) required in order to choose the right products.

Recognized Marks of Standards
UL: Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is an independent nonprofit organization that tests products for safety and certifies them.

CSA: The same group that makes the Canadian Electrical Code, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a nonprofit association setting standards for industry, business, consumers, and government. If you need a CSA rated product, we will make sure that the one you get has that specific CSA rating and label.

ETL: The ETL Listed Mark and C-ETL Listed Mark signify compliance with nationally recognized standards such as ANSI, IEC, UL, and CSA in the US and Canada.

The ISO 9001 standard is based on multiple quality management principles such as continual improvement, a strong customer focus, and the motivation and commitment of top management. It establishes and streamlines processes through complete documentation and greatly increases operational efficiency. Graybar Canada’s Markham Branch and Kitchener Branch, including Graybar Energy, are registered to ISO 9001.

All locations operate under Graybar Canada’s Quality Management Program – ensuring that our products and services meet both the specified customer requirements and our business objectives in a consistent, economical, and reliable manner.  These requirements are based on the needs of our customers as well as applicable International and National Standards.


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