Why it’s important to get an Electrical Certificate of Compliance done right

Moving house is complicated. There’s packing, wrapping, and clearing out of unused items. But one element people often neglect is ensuring that their homes are safety-compliant when they put them on the market.

What is a Certificate of Compliance (COC)?

The electrical Certificate of Compliance is compulsory for homeowners wishing to sell their humble abodes. You can obtain an electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC) from a qualified, registered electrician only, such as those who are part of the Sunburst Electric team. The certificate proves that all of the electrical work and installations in your home are in good working order, and up to standard. COCs are valid for two years from the date of issue. 

Who needs a COC?

Before the home is placed on the market, the owner should have it inspected to ensure all electrical elements of the property are properly installed and working as they should. Any aspect that does not meet the requirements should be removed or repaired.

What is covered by my COC?

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 taken to ensure that voltages, insulation, earthing, and other values adhere to regulatory requirements.

What is NOT covered by the COC?

Like your car’s roadworthiness certificate, the electrician issuing the COC does not service or upgrade the electrical installation. S/he merely ensures that what is already installed in your home is operational, complies with regulations, and is deemed safe.

Your COC also does not cover upgrades to electrical installations in older homes. Fixed home appliances are only checked in order to ensure that they are connected to the installation via approved means, rather than making sure that they are in working condition. This includes items such as: 

  • ovens
  • stoves
  • hobs
  • air conditioning units
  • swimming pool pumps
  • bore hole pumps
  • pool lights
  • garage and gate motors
  • pond pumps
  • HVAC systems
  • alarms
  • wall heaters
  • geysers
  • stoves
  • motors
  • fans
  • underfloor heating
  • any other fixed appliances

Your COC does also not include temporary installations. This means that it does not cover something that can simply be unplugged and removed by hand, and that was clearly intended for temporary use only. 

That being said, if you have performed the installation in such a manner as to indicate that it is intended for permanent usage, then it will need to be done according to regulation.

Our qualified and friendly service professionals are fully trained and are able to answer any questions you may have regarding your COC. We are standing by to check your electrical compliance today

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