What is an Electrical COC (Certificate of Compliance)?
A certificate of compliance or electrical COC is a legal document that verifies that electrical installations such as the plugs, lights, distribution boards (DB), geysers and wiring in your home comply with the legislated requirements as detailed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Why do I need an Electrical COC?
Electricity, just like water and gas, can “leak”. This leakage current is dangerous as it can flow through your body when you touch the “leaking” appliance. The earth leakage relay is designed to monitor for leakage current going directly or indirectly to earth and if it exceeds a certain value it will trip and disconnect the current flow.
If you own a property, it is your responsibility to own a certificate of compliance for your property. Without a valid COC, you could be held liable and the insurance on your house could be declared invalid.
How long is an Electrical COC valid for?
The electrical installation regulations state that an electrical COC is valid for two years for purposes of transfer. Your electrical certificate can expire. Due to changes within the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a COC certificate no longer remains valid indefinitely and can now no longer be transferred without limitations.
Who can issue an Electrical COC?
Only a registered electrical contractor may issue a COC after they have inspected and tested the electrical installation and found it to be safe. If any fault or defect is detected in any part of the electrical installation, the registered electrical contractor must refuse to issue the certificate until that fault or defect has been rectified.
How long does it take for an electrical contractor to inspect and test a property to issue a COC?
An inspection can take anything between two to three hours. Be wary if an ‘‘electrical contractor’’ issues a COC in under 30 minutes. The saying “You get what you pay for” rings true! Depending on the location and size of an installation, a legal COC could price anything between R1 400 to R3 000 or more. Paying a little bit more is worth it!
Do I need a COC when I do alterations to the electrical work on my property?
Yes. A COC must be issued when any alterations are done to an electrical installation, but small changes such as changing a plug socket or installing a light fixture will not require an electrical certification.
Where any addition or alteration has been done to an electrical installation for which a COC has already been issued, the user of that electrical installation must get a supplementary COC for the addition or alteration. Both certificates must be stored together in a safe place.
How do I know if an electrical contractor is registered?
If the electrical contractor is an ECA member, they are registered, as this is a condition of ECA membership. Take note of their registration number by insisting to see the contractor’s registration card and accreditation certificate.
Contact the Department of Labour in Pretoria on +27 12 309 4000, you can also contact the ECA (SA) in your region or go to www.ecasa.co.za.
7 Ways to spot an invalid Electrical COC?
- When an electrician carries out tests for a residential main DB, the elevated voltage should be less than 25 Volts. If it is more than 25 Volts, consider your COC as invalid.
- When an electrician carries out tests on the main distribution board, the continuity of bonding should not read more than 0.2 Ohms. If it does, your COC is invalid.
- The insulation resistance value should not be less than 1 megaohms. It can either be 1 or infinity. Do make sure that this is stated on the COC.
- Operating of earth leakage units must be between 15-30 mA (Milliamps), if it is not within that range, then your COC is invalid.
- Any alterations or corrections on the certificate make it invalid.
- When compiling a COC, there should either be Yes or N/A under inspection and tests section. If there is a “No” answer, consider the COC invalid.
- It is especially important for the electrician to sign the COC. If there is no signature your COC is invalid.
We charge no call out fee and the cost for an Electrical COC is R1 500 excluding VAT.
Mosswood Unit 6
1320 Van Der Kloof Road
Gauteng, South Africa, 1724