Lighting Upgrades 101: You may need a new Certificate of Compliance

Lighting Upgrades 101 Certificate of Compliance

So you’ve finally decided to upgrade your indoor lighting… You’re picking out options in another browser tab right now. You’ve got a budget, and you’re actually sticking to it this time. You’ve considered everything, or so you thought. 

Don’t get us wrong, we love installing lighting upgrades, and we love seeing the joy they spark. We just want to remind you that with great upgrades come great responsibility; you have to get a brand new Certificate of Compliance issued. 

What is a Certificate of Compliance?

An electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC) is a legal document certifying that all of the electrical work and installations in a building are safe, in good working order, and up to standard. A CoC can only be obtained from a qualified and registered electrician. CoCs are valid for two years from the original issue date. It’s compulsory for all home owners wishing to sell their houses to have a valid CoC at the time of sale. 

Who needs a CoC?

Ideally, every building owner should have a valid CoC at all times. It’s important to ensure that all the electrical work in a building is safe and up to standard, especially in older buildings that are prone to electrical wear and tear. Even in new houses, it’s generally just a good idea to have your building inspected every 2 years. In order to sell a building, the seller must have a valid CoC issued before sale.

Why do I need a CoC?

In short, you need a CoC to certify that the electrical system/s in your building are fully functional, and above all are safe. 

A qualified, registered electrician will be able to thoroughly inspect the building and either issue the certificate if all is well, or pinpoint any problem areas. If any electrical aspect is malfunctioning, faulty, or poses a danger to any person or animal in the building, it must be removed, replaced, or repaired. 

Most insurance companies require the owner to have a valid CoC before they will insure the building. 

In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) no person may market, sell, let, or supply an electrical installation that is unsafe. This means that the Seller of a property is obligated to obtain a COC before transfer of the property may occur. The certificate must be issued by a legitimate contractible company, and must comply with all the criteria stipulated by the authorities, as well as conforming to the latest Code of Practice.

What does a CoC cover?

The electrical certificate covers: 

  • everything in the main distribution board and any sub-boards, circuit breakers, earth leakage etc.;
  • the earthing system and connectivity throughout the installation;
  • the bonding of all metal components (antennas and satellite dishes); 
  • the socket outlets and light switches; 
  • all isolators for fixed appliances;
  • all the cables from the mains incoming point to the main distribution board;
  • all the cabling from the distribution boards to switches and plugs (including the wall plugs and light switches, through to the connection at the lights);
  • all circuits and wiring to any fixed appliances, even if they are plugged into a wall socket (excluding the actual appliance itself);
  • the positioning of electrical equipment (e.g. light switches and plugs that may not be within a certain distance of taps, shower, baths etc.);
  • the mains switch and its accessibility within a certain height from the floor in case of emergencies;
  • ensuring that all electrical equipment in the installation is approved by SABS or other relevant approvals, and be of the correct type and rating for the application;
  • ensuring that all electrical equipment must be installed in an approved manner;
  • ensuring that all electrical equipment is securely attached in place and suitably protected from little fingers trying to gain access – thereby safeguarding curious children;
  • ensuring that all parts of the permanent electrical installation is in good working order (including safety features), and lastly,
  • readings are taken to ensure that voltages, insulation, earthing, and other values adhere to regulatory requirements.

How do I get a CoC?

Only a qualified electrician with a Wireman’s License (and who is registered with the Electrical Contracting Board of South Africa (E.C.B)) can issue a CoC. Our Sunburst Electric service professionals are registered and fully qualified to issue a CoC.

Contact us today and one of our service professionals will be in touch with you as soon as possible to set up a date and time to inspect your property. We are standing by to check your electrical compliance today!

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