How long is an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC) valid for?
A CoC is valid for two years from the time it was issued. However, if the owner continues to live in the property after two years he/she does not have to have a new CoC issued, a new one is only required if the property in question is sold after two years.
Can fixtures, lights, fans, electrical gates, swimming pool pump etc. be exluded from an Electrical Compliance Certificate?
In terms of the Electrical Installation Regulations 2009 (which are a Schedule to the Occupational health and Safety Act), an “electrical installation” is defined as any machinery, in or on any premises, used for the transmission of electricity from the point of control to the point of consumption anywhere on the premises. The point of control is defined as the point at which an electrical installation on or in any premises may be switched off by the user from the electricity supplied from the point of supply; and the point of consumption means any point of outlet or the supply terminals of machinery which is not connected to a point a point of outlet. A point of outlet is defined as any termination of an electrical installation which has been provided for connecting any electrical machinery without the use of a tool. In other words, a socket outlet is a point of outlet, and anything plugged into that socket is not deemed to be a part of the electrical installation.
The only situations in which something that is “plugged in” becomes a part of the installation is a swimming pool, spa bath etc for which specific provisions are included in the Wiring Code (SANS 10142-1), and extra low voltage lighting. Such Code lays down the minimum safety standards for any electrical installation in South Africa.
Insofar as fixtures such as lights, electric gates, cookers and fans are concerned, the installation terminates at their connections. So, for example, if the fan motor is not functioning but the earthing and connections to the fan are safe, it is not a requirement for the electrical contractor to ensure that the fan is working. This would be an issue between the seller and the buyer because the expectation of the buyer is that all he sees is in proper working order.
As far as the gate motor is concerned, the installation is up to the supply terminals of the motor, or if it is plugged in, at the socket outlet. However, in terms of clause 126.96.36.199.5 of the Code, each motor shall be supplied by, inter alia, a manually operated disconnector; or the removal of a plug from a socket outlet that is readily acceptable and mounted on or next to the motor; or visible from the motor; or lockable on the open position; or housed in a lockable enclosure other than a distribution board.
As far as fixed appliances are concerned, the Code states in clause 188.8.131.52 “fixed appliances do not form part of the electrical installation other than their positioning in relation to the supply and the wiring carried out between the different parts of the appliance”.