Electrical CoC Tips

Tests for Electrical Certificates of Compliance is a speciality of Alcocks Electrical Services.

The following list of tips and general information is designed to help our clients reduce common problems and misperceptions experienced in this field.

General information:

  • The electrical C.O.C. does not assure that fixed electrical appliances are in good working condition. Unless specified otherwise in the Sale Agreement, issues related to the working condition of fixed appliances normally fall under the “voetstoets” and maintenance responsibility clauses.
  • Avoid unnecessary return call costs for tests and repairs by ensuring:
  1. That all light and plug points are accessible for testing.
  2. That there is access to the geyser.
  3. That there is access to every single room including garages, roof space, outbuildings and under buildings.
  4. That vicious dogs are safely locked away in an area where there are no electrical points to be tested.
  5. That all computer data is saved and computers switched off. Also switch off and unplug DSTv PVR’s, TV screens and other digital media equipment.
  • Please check immediately after an inspection or repairs have been carried out to ensure that fridges, freezers, fish tank pumps, pool pumps etc are working.
  • Sometimes ‘nuisance’ tripping occurs once earth leakage units are installed or circuits are restored onto the earth leakage system.
  • Despite the excellent track record of our staff, it is always a good policy to lock valuables away before admitting strangers to ones’ homes.

For the seller:

  • Never use a contractor who is not registered as an electrical contractor with the Department of Labour.
  • It pays to use a reputable company. There are serious implications if an invalid certificate is issued.
  • A charge is levied for the inspection test. It is NOT a free quote.
  • The price of an installation test depends on the size and complexity of the installation being inspected.
  • The inspector reports on what he finds; he is not responsible for work done previously by others.
  • Because something works does not mean it is necessarily compliant.
  • Any repairs necessary are not included in the inspection price.
  • Unless payment is guaranteed by the conveyancer, all costs are to be paid before the certificate can be issued.
  • Fees remain payable in the event of the collapse of the sale.
  • The seller remains responsible for the inspection fee if he chooses to use an alternate electrician to effect repairs. If the seller wishes the first electrician to issue the C.O.C but not effect the repairs, a re-inspection will be necessary for which a charge will be levied, commensurate with the amount of re-inspection involved.
  • Before advising the contractor to remove lights or disconnect circuits etc., please bear in mind the purchaser is entitled to receive all fixtures present when an offer to purchase is made. If fixtures are not for sale with the property, it should be disclosed to the purchaser for transparency or removed before the property is marketed.
  • Sometimes, whilst effecting repairs, additional faults may be revealed. If the associated cost of repairs thereto exceeds 10% of the quoted repair bill, we may request an additional authority to proceed.

For the purchaser:

  • An electrical inspection is not done to check that things work. It is done to ensure the reasonable safety of the installation.
  • Many complaints/disputes can be avoided if a more detailed Offer to Purchase is completed.
  • An important point to note is that anything off a plug top, extension cord or that plugs in, may not be covered by the Electrical Compliance Certificate
  • Appliances are excluded from the Electrical Compliance Certificate. This includes stoves, ovens, air-conditioning units, geysers, pool motors etc.
  • Pool lamps and other lamps and light bulbs are not covered
  • A contractor cannot be held responsible for any nuisance tripping which may occur once a faulty earth leakage unit has been replaced or a new one installed or when circuits are restored onto the earth leakage system.
  • In order to prevent unnecessary problems, ensure that the process of obtaining a C.O.C. is completed before commencing any alterations to the property.