What is an Electrical Certificate of Compliance?

We all wish that our electrical installations could last a life time but this is unfortunately not the case. All electrical installations require regular inspections to ensure they are safe and meet the minimum standards as laid out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

So what is an electrical certificate of compliance? An Electrical Certificate of Compliance (ECOC) or coc certificate (COC) is a legal document also known as a compliance certificate which verifies the electrical installation at a specific premise on a specific inspection date is compliant with all the legal requirements as stipulated in the Electrical Installations Occupational Health and Safety Act.

After your property has been inspected, you will be issued with an electrical compliance certificate. This certificate proves that your property complies with regulation and will allow the continued transfer of your property when selling your home.

An electrical certificate of compliance when issued ensures that:

  • All your electrical circuits are healthy and functioning correctly.
  • Your premises is free from any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
  • Your premises is free from any defective electrical work.
  • That your premises has been correctly earthed and bonded.

When an electrician inspects your property, tests are carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to ensure they are safe and free from defects. 

Who should perform the work for electrical certificate of compliance inspection?

The electrical certificate of compliance inspection should be done by a qualified and accredited person, such as a registered electrician. The electrician will need to validate that the electrics conform to the South African wiring code (SANS 10142-1) – Requirements for Electrical Installations.

Transfer attorneys are required by law to insist that Electrical Certificates of Compliance have been signed off by a fully qualified and registered electrician. This certificate will also ensure you are covered by insurance in the event that someone is shocked by your electrical installation. Also if something should happen such as an electrical shock your insurance may not cover you without a valid electrical certificate. Take the following steps so you know you are not wasting your money or taking a risk:

What work is carried out during an electrical certificate of compliance inspection?

An electrician will carry out the following work when performing an inspection:

  • Check that the premises is adequately earthed and bonded.
  • Ensure that your electrical main switch is compliant with regulation.
  • Ensure that switches, sockets and light fittings are still functioning correctly. The electrician may identify that some items will need replacing such as older plug sockets, light switches and cables.
  • Check the type of wiring system and inspect its safety condition. E.g. Older cables were often covered in rubber, lead and fabric, and these cables would need to be replaced. Modern cables use longer-lasting pvc insulation.
  • Check your fusebox and ensure it is fitted with a suitable residual-current circuit breaker (Trip switch)
  • Check that your switch box is labelled adequately and has the correct warning signs.
  • Check for damage, wear and tear or any other deterioration to your electrical installation.
  • Ensure you are still using the electrical installation as intended and have not compromised the installation in any way.

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