The significance of an Electrical Certificate of Compliance ( ECOC):
Only a registered electrical contractor may undertake to work on electrical installations and only an AC accredited electrical tester for single phase or an installation electrician or Master Installation Electrician may issue a Electrical Certificate of Compliance (ECOC) for that installation or work undertaken. To register as an electrical contractor, the contractor must be registered as a qualified AC Accredited Electrical Tester for single phase, an installation electrician or Master Electrician with the Department of Labour (DoL) or must employ a person with said accreditation on a full time basis at a permanent physical address.
This is very important to have Electrical Certificate of Compliance as it is a compulsory legal requirement for the home owner to be in the possession of such a valid certificate as is required for insurance purposes. It is also assurance for the new home owner that the electrical wiring system is in good working order and poses no threat or danger to the occupants, especially in an older house where wiring can deteriorate over time. This certifies that the electrical installations in the dwelling is safe as set down by the regulations of the South African National Standards. Failure to be able to produce such a certificate should any damage occur due to an electrical fault might case the insurance company rejecting the claim.
As of changed legislation in 2009, the original Electrical Certificate of Compliance may not be used indefinitely as used to be the case. This means that a new Electrical Certificate of Compliance must be obtained whenever a property is being resold. Registration of the property cannot take place without it. The implication is that a qualified electrician must inspect the property’s electrical wiring and installation if the ECOC is older than two years or if any changes or improvements have been made to the electrical system. This Certificate of Compliance must be kept by the new owner of the property and must be able to produce such said Certificate of Compliance certificate should an inspector require to see it.
It remains the responsibility of the property owner to make sure that the electrician doing the inspection or any electrical installation is registered with the relevant authorities and has a valid wireman’s licence or is working with the supervision of an electrician who has such a wireman’s licence. The property owner must ask to see the electrical contractor’s accreditation certificate and registration card and these must be produced by the electrical contractor as proof that he is authorised and qualified to issue the Certificate of Compliance. This is important as the electrician only needs to declare the wiring installation as safe, not necessary that it is in good working order. A test certificate must be issued with the Certificate of Compliance. Once the new property owner has had some electrical work done on the property, the new work is not covered by the Certificate of Compliance that he got when acquiring the property and a new Electrical Certificate of Compliance (ECOC) must be obtained for the new work being done to declare that safe as well. A good option would be to have the entire property tested once all the electrical work has been done.
It would be good maintenance practice to have any property inspected at a regular interval of two years for general safety as there are wear and changes that take place, regardless of whether the owner intends selling the property or not. The same implies for rented property and the home owner is required to have an Electrical Certificate of Compliance for the property being rented out and must supply the tenant with a copy of said Electrical Certificate of Compliance. If a rental agent is used, they must also see the Electrical Certificate of Compliance before renting out of such property.
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