Electrician in Johannesburg Certificate of Compliance (C.O.C)
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What is an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (C.O.C), who issues this and why is it important?
An Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC) is a certificate issued by a qualified & registered electrician as assurance that the electrical work has been done to South Africa’s Electrical & Safety Standards.
This is relevant for any new work done and the electrician must issue you an original copy of the C.O.C. The electrician must retain a copy of the certificate of compliance and forward to the Electrical Contracting Board of South Africa (ECB) if requested, electrical certificates of compliance are requested on a random basis to undertake audits.
It is important to keep the certificate of compliance (COC) in a safe place!
You may need it for an insurance claim or when you’re selling your house.
The certificate of compliance (COC) also provides a standard procedure so that other electricians can know how the original job was wired when they make electrical repairs or do electrical installations in the future.
Note: A certificate of ccompliance (COC) is not required to be issued for maintenance work such as replacing sockets & light fittings.
In terms of the law no property may be transferred without a valid certificate of compliance (COC) for the electrical installation. Certificates of compliance (COC), which must be issued by a registered person, are only valid for two years and also need to be re-issued if any work has been done on the electrical installation in the interim.
The majority of banks granting home loans generally insist that their attorneys obtain a copy of the Electrical Compliance Certificate prior to the registration of a mortgage bond.
During the electrical certificate of compliance (COC) inspection we do a thorough physical check of all your electrical connections and receptacles followed by a series of tests:
Certificate of compliance – Voltage (on load) test
Certificate of compliance – Voltage (no load) test
Certificate of compliance – Voltage at the available load test
Certificate of compliance – High voltage insulation resistance test
Certificate of compliance – Line frequency test
Certificate of compliance – Impedance test
Certificate of compliance – Current test
Certificate of compliance – Earthing continuity test
Certificate of compliance – Earth leakage test
Certificate of compliance – Polarity test at points of use
How long is an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC) valid for?
A CoC is valid for two years from the time it was issued. However, if the owner continues to live in the property after two years he/she does not have to have a new CoC issued, a new one is only required if the property in question is sold after two years.
Can fixtures, lights, fans, electrical gates, swimming pool pump etc. be exluded from an Electrical Compliance Certificate?
In terms of the Electrical Installation Regulations 2009 (which are a Schedule to the Occupational health and Safety Act), an “electrical installation” is defined as any machinery, in or on any premises, used for the transmission of electricity from the point of control to the point of consumption anywhere on the premises. The point of control is defined as the point at which an electrical installation on or in any premises may be switched off by the user from the electricity supplied from the point of supply; and the point of consumption means any point of outlet or the supply terminals of machinery which is not connected to a point a point of outlet. A point of outlet is defined as any termination of an electrical installation which has been provided for connecting any electrical machinery without the use of a tool. In other words, a socket outlet is a point of outlet, and anything plugged into that socket is not deemed to be a part of the electrical installation.
The only situations in which something that is “plugged in” becomes a part of the installation is a swimming pool, spa bath etc for which specific provisions are included in the Wiring Code (SANS 10142-1), and extra low voltage lighting. Such Code lays down the minimum safety standards for any electrical installation in South Africa. Insofar as fixtures such as lights, electric gates, cookers and fans are concerned, the installation terminates at their connections. So, for example, if the fan motor is not functioning but the earthing and connections to the fan are safe, it is not a requirement for the electrical contractor to ensure that the fan is working. This would be an issue between the seller and the buyer because the expectation of the buyer is that all he sees is in proper working order.
As far as the gate motor is concerned, the installation is up to the supply terminals of the motor, or if it is plugged in, at the socket outlet. However, in terms of clause 126.96.36.199.5 of the Code, each motor shall be supplied by, inter alia, a manually operated disconnector; or the removal of a plug from a socket outlet that is readily acceptable and mounted on or next to the motor; or visible from the motor; or lockable on the open position; or housed in a lockable enclosure other than a distribution board.
As far as fixed appliances are concerned, the Code states in clause 188.8.131.52 “fixed appliances do not form part of the electrical installation other than their positioning in relation to the supply and the wiring carried out between the different parts of the appliance
Is there any way I can check online whether an electrician is qualified?
Currently (June 2013) not. In future any and all qualified persons will be registered on the SAQA National Learner Data Base.
Is there any way I can check online whether an electrician has a wireman’s license?
No. This service is not available online. Only a qualified electrician may obtain the further certification of “wireman’s licence” after passing a competency test.
Are qualified electricians issued with a card as is the case with the plumbing and refrigeration trades so the layman can ask such person to produce such card before he starts working on equipment?
This question must be answered in two parts:
No – the electrician is not issued with a card but only with a trade test certificate (qualification).
Yes – the “wireman’s licence” (a certification) will have to be produced by the electrician for certain types of work he/she is certified to do. This will be on an identity card or identity booklet supplied by the Department of Labour stating the certification as either ‘single phase tester”, “installation electrician” or “master installation electrician” with a unique licence number. This can be checked with the Department of Labour for its authenticity, unfortunately not on line. If this person is also an ECA member we can give feedback with respect to the qualification and certification status of the member. As a layman you would probably not know what certification is required for certain work and therefore it would be in your best interest to contact the Department of Labour for this clarification, or in the case of a contractor registered with the ECA, the ECA can be contacted for clarity.
What roles are played by the ECA(SA), ECB and DoL in the electrical industry?
The ECA (SA) – Electrical Contractors’ Association – is an employer’s organization and the only registered and representative organization which looks after the interest of electrical contractors in South Africa. As such the ECA (SA) represents all employers at the annual negotiations with trade unions in the Electrical Industry where conditions of employment, wage rates and benefits for workers are determined and then published in a Collective Agreement of the Bargaining Council for the Electrical Industry. Membership of the ECA (SA) is voluntary and all members of the Association pay an annual subscription fee.
The ECB – Electrical Contracting Board – was appointed by DoL in 1992 to carry out the registration of electrical contractors in terms of the Electrical Installation Regulations as published under the Occupation Health & Safety Act. The ECB carried out this function until 31 August 2012 on which date their mandate was cancelled. As from 01 September 2012 the DoL took over the registration of electrical contractors. The ECB is no longer permitted to register electrical contractors in terms of the OHS Act.
The DoL – Department of Labour – is responsible for registering electrical contractors. Only the DoL can issue a valid registration certificate as electrical contractor.
What are the legal requirements around electrical equipment and installations for a temporary construction site?
Chris Koen advises:
SANS 10142-1 does not required any log book(s) on temporary construction sites for electrical equipment.
The OHS act 85 of 1993 Regulations on Construction sites clause 22 determines the following:
(a) before construction commences and during the progress thereof, adequate steps are taken to ascertain the presence of and guard against danger to workers from any electrical cable or apparatus which is under, over or on the site;
(b) all parts of electrical installations and machinery are of adequate strength to withstand the working conditions on construction sites;
(c) in working areas where the exact location of underground electric power lines is unknown, employees using jackhammers, shovels or other hand tools which may make contact with a power line, are provided with insulated protective gloves or otherwise that the handle of the tool being used is insulated;
(d) all temporary electrical installations are inspected at least once a week and electrical machinery on a daily basis before use on a construction site by competent persons and the records of these inspections are recorded in a register to be kept on site; and
(e) the control of all temporary electrical installations on the construction site is designated to a competent person who has been appointed in writing.