Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Inspection reports and certificate of compliance

  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KZN
    Posts
    1,587
    Thanks
    76
    Thanked 138 Times in 118 Posts

    Inspection reports and certificate of compliance

    There seem to be another problem in the industry, understanding the difference between and inspection report and a certificate of compliance. We have discussed this in the past but everyday I faced with the same problem.

    An "electrical inspector" will be called to a property to carry out:

    AN INSPECTION REPORT : This report will include all his test results and visual findings. Which SHOULD BE RECORDED. If the property doesn't pass the test, a fee is charged for the INSPECTION REPORT, if it passes and you have quoted to issue the COC then all good and well. You bill the customer for the test including the COC and all or good and we move on to the next job.

    This is the part where all systems seem to fail, when the property fails the test or visual inspection that's when the wheels seem to fall off. Because many of the inspectors do the tests and repairs, the inspection report is "generally" incomplete, what I mean by this is I am handed a piece of paper which states that it is private and confidential with pieces cut off the pages because it includes the quote to repair. 99 % of these INSEPCTION REPORTS are incomplete. The inspection report will have a list of fault which look like this...

    1/ no earth on light
    2/ plug faulty
    3/ labels incomplete
    4/ switch faulty

    price to repair xyz

    This price would normally include the extra couple of hours required to complete the inspection report correctly and fix whatever else they find. People wonder why these amounts are over the top expensive.

    If I come across an inspection report like this, I instruct my assistant to get out the ladders, all the test equipment and torches clipboard. I then go through the property taking note of every little thing and make up a real inspection list, detailing every single fault or defect, show it to the customer and instruct them not to pay for the incomplete job the previous inspector did and advise them to tell the inspector he is welcome to take us to court for his incomplete inspection report. Unless your inspection report is FREE, you need to make sure that it is done in a manner that the poor sucker who has to come in after you and fix the list of faults. if I am the sucker who is going to come in after you and only be paid for the repairs and not re-inspect then your inspection report is going to be attached to the COC with all your details. If it is incomplete then the inspection report will be done correctly and you will not get paid for wasting everyone's time and money.

    People need to understand something about these inspection report/ certificate of compliance, you may get away with it today but when it is your turn to sell or suddenly things start going wrong and you get a real electrician in to do work, that's when you gona feel it and it is going to burn a hole in your pocket.

    As I have said on many occasion, IF YOU ARE LIKELY TO MAKE ONE OF THE BIGGEST INVESTMENT IN LIFE, make sure it is done right. If you are stupid enough to trust the seller to do the inspection, then you must pay the price.

    The reason I started this thread is because in the past 3 weeks I have been exposed to 3 electrical installations which all have COC issued and not one of the them are worth the paper they are written on.

    The most recent one in Durban north was issued 2 years ago and the switch is wired with twin flex, but that isn't the problem because it has been working for 2 as long as it has been wired like that, it is not the A/C unit which is wired to the same twin flex circuit... but the twisted joint without any insulation tape nothing, in the steel pipe which is cut off from the rest of the installation so the earth continuity was removed, which means ever time you switch on the light the pipe is live. Then I had to climb in the roof to pull new cables in and that when the real fun started. Geysers connected with a red and black house wire and no earth open in the roof space, the geyser was bonded believe it or not but not earthed. There is about R60 000 worth of repairs required to get this house up to standard. Maybe the sellers got a mate to sign over the property and now the new owner is in for a nasty surprise. There is nothing the new owner can do, unless they have huge amounts of money to sue and pay and pay and pay and hope they can recover some of the costs which is highly unlikely the way the industry is protected at this point in time and the laws which are not upheld because the DOL are even more incompetent than the inspectors carrying out the tests.

    I know I am wasting my time even typing this thread but at least I have had my rant for the morning.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    761
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 55 Times in 51 Posts
    Interesting. Not sure whethert I fully understand this though.
    So how about I make an offer to purchase and make the cost of the COC the sellers costs, but I am the one who is appointing the inspector? This then requires that I can appoint one with confidence, but how do I find a decent one to avoid above scenario? I am making an offer in teh next few days so its a bit urgent.
    Houses4Rent
    "We treat your investment as we treat our own"
    marc@houses4rent.co.za www.houses4rent.co.za
    083-3115551
    Global Residential Property Investor / Specialized Letting Agent & Property Manager

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KZN
    Posts
    1,587
    Thanks
    76
    Thanked 138 Times in 118 Posts
    I don't see what would stop you from doing just that, it is a sale agreement, a standard agreement made up by the estate agents, just like you make an offer to purchase at an amount, what stops you from adding a few other clauses.

    I have on numerous occasion in situations where my customers are aware that there is a huge cost involved to bring the property up to standard, so they sell the house without the certificate (write it into the agreement), I don't know if you can still do this as I am not aware of the latest laws. They change the rules all the time.

    How you find one, normally word of mouth would be the safest route.

    You must understand something which most people don't, AN INSPECTION REPORT IS NOT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE, it is the tests and visual inspection carried out prior to issuing the COC. A COC is only issued if the electrical installation complies with the general safety principles of SANS 0142 and is reasonably safe in the case of an existing installation or the installation including all accessible components complies with SANS 0142 in the case of new installations.

    I have many people contacting me for a COC, they think because I go and do a test, the COC will be issued regards of the test results. This is something the DOL should be educating the public.

    The only person who suffers when things go bad with a COC is the property owner, the full responsibility falls on the property owner, the investigation, the repairs the law suit all costs involved in getting it up to standard. This is why I keep saying it over and over, DONT RELY ON THE SELLER TO ISSUE A COC. The worse part about it is the installation is really bad they can switch off the supply and insist you fix it before they switch it back on again, once again at your cost. You can get a test for a standard domestic installation for less than R1000 in fact much less. The important factor being he is looking after your best interest not the seller.

    Just a word of advice for people doing COC's or any inspections for that matter, never answer the telephone and say to a customer, we gona make lots of money out of you, chance are you NOT gona get the job. I had one the other day tell my customer that she is a cash cow, how dumb could you be.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KZN
    Posts
    1,587
    Thanks
    76
    Thanked 138 Times in 118 Posts
    Just when I thought nice easy job today, callout out to replace a circuit breaker, bonus in and out. I wish it was that easy, brand new installation complete with a pretty yellow piece of paper which again is not worth the paper it is written on, circuit breaker way tooo big for 4 mm wire. supply cable under rated. no buzzbars on the breakers, wire too small to carry load of all the breakers and so the f^&*%$ just goes on.

    Today it is weekend baby, slap a new breaker in and run like hell, I didn't sign the COC thank goodness.

  5. #5
    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    761
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 55 Times in 51 Posts
    So what are you saying is that a Seller knows that all is no great whith his installation for some reason. So he seeks a not so great sparky and somehow makes him issue a COC which then enables transfer? The buyer may later fidn out all was a fraud and then has a problem? Are a lot of Sellers really that clued up and are there so many sparkies risking to get caught for that? I believe only certain qualified wiremen (?) can issues COC's. I woudl imagine if caught or even worse someone gets hurt bringing it all out would have far reaching consequences for that person or not at all? Is that really that common? I would think most sellers have no clue whether their installation is correct. Or are you saying above is preceded by an inspection which then triggers off the con?
    Houses4Rent
    "We treat your investment as we treat our own"
    marc@houses4rent.co.za www.houses4rent.co.za
    083-3115551
    Global Residential Property Investor / Specialized Letting Agent & Property Manager

  6. #6
    Full Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Western Cape
    Posts
    55
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
    Very interesting thread. i say and i will be bliksemed for this, but anyway here goes. The buyer should get the electrical inspection done and a COC when all ok. After all its in the buyers interest to get a house in good shape or at least the electrical installation should comply.
    The buyer in most cases just wants to skrew the seller..
    Ok a bit over the top, but thats the impression we get.
    As i have said in previous posts, the current COC and test reports are too complicated and cumbersome. They should be simplified, and made in a way a layman can understand.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KZN
    Posts
    1,587
    Thanks
    76
    Thanked 138 Times in 118 Posts
    Let me make it simple for you to understand. In 2 weeks i have dealt with 4 properties with 4 coc issued in the past 2 years. NOT 1 would have passed if done correctly. 3 common problems found on 3 of the 4, 2.5 mm with 30 amp breakers, one with 50 amp breaker using 4 mm wire, these where just one of the many other issues found.

    The way I see it, we are not all perfect and sometimes make mistakes, but a simple things like a label on a DB missing means the COC is not valid. Some will say but that is being petty, well then where do you determine what is petty and what is not. If labels are a petty excuse to fail a COC then why even have it on the inspection report? Where do you draw the line, a green wire used as a return for a PEC a petty thing do you pass it because it is a petty thing or fail it. So we can go into long debates about silly things.

    Lucky for us inspectors, there is no recourse for our shoddy workmanship at present so we can ride it until the DOL get themselves sorted out, you can still get away with the odd fire here and there, insurance companies haven't quite figured out that yet, they do try throw in a few clauses for thermal inspections, problem with that it takes a 2 week course and fancy camera and a person is now qualified to give you a full report with no electrical experience what so ever, had a few laughs reading some the reports. So long as nobody dies we can get away with it, but if some one dies on the site for what ever reasons then you will see the DOL come out the wood work and boy do they throw everything at you.
    Last edited by ians; 03-May-14 at 03:11 PM.

  8. Thanks given for this post:

    Dean Russell (17-May-14)

  9. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KZN
    Posts
    1,587
    Thanks
    76
    Thanked 138 Times in 118 Posts
    One thing people seem to miss, design. A normal house doesnt " generally" require any special attention to design, but on occasion it is critical, like house which has an aircon in avery room a jacuzzi, swimming pool, laundry, granny flat, a workshop etc etc. as with a shop for example if used used to stock stuff on the shelf and a couple of lights then you can get away with a 15 amp plug to run the whole building, but it is not always the case, so a little more attention to design is required, another issue i had to deal with yesterday, an 80 supply with a 16 mm 4 core cable, 80 metre from the meter room with voltage of only 206 volts and the shop draws 102 amps per phase under normal operating conditions, mostly heaters.
    Last edited by ians; 03-May-14 at 02:54 PM.

  10. #9
    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Port Elizabeth
    Posts
    823
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 110 Times in 88 Posts
    For starters let me say that the "Test Report" included in "Annexure 1" is not the same as an inspection report. The "Test Report" is legal documentation required to accompany the COC. An "inspection report" is a detailed list indicating your findings after a comprehensive inspection of the installation. It will include the details of the "Test Report" as well as a detailed description of all the "faults"/ non-compliant issues of the installation. Obtaining a COC is 2 steps. An inspection for which a fee is payable and no COC is included. Thereafter the actual issuing of a COC for which a fee is payable. These are two separate things. Should the installation "fail" the inspection, a 3rd step will come into play, the submission of a detailed quotation with a "faults list" indicating what it would cost to repair the "faults" on the "inspection report". After the repairs have been done the "Test Report" included with the COC is completed with the test results all being compliant.
    I will never work off another contractor's inspection report.

Similar Threads

  1. certificate of compliance
    By murdock in forum Electrical Contracting Industry Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 17-Apr-12, 09:25 AM
  2. Certificate of compliance
    By murdock in forum Electrical Contracting Industry Forum
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 07-Jul-11, 05:44 PM
  3. certificate of compliance again...
    By murdock in forum Electrical Contracting Industry Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 15-Jul-10, 09:30 AM
  4. Labour on KwaZulu-Natal wholesale and retail sectors inspection reports
    By I Robot in forum Electrical Contracting Industry Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18-Jun-10, 03:38 PM

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •