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Thread: The Electrical Certificate of Compliance explained

  1. #21
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    Thanks gents. Yes all 3 feeds have been identified clearly. Would it however be correct if they all share one earth 70mm single core and then bonded to each separate earth bar for normal, essential and UPS? I spoke to a chap at the ECA and he recommended I use an additional test report form and add that to the COC. This way all the circuits are identified and accounted for. Seems like a good idea. Any thoughts on this way? I would rather ask the question than do it just because they require one. People just don't seem to get it that a COC is actually really important and should be carefully considered when handing one out.

  2. #22
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I think it's a bit of a grey area depending on the exact layout. If it's 3 separate incoming supplies with 3 different points of isolation supplying different final circuits but just sharing a MET I'd be inclined to go with Sparks suggestion of separate certs. If the ECA recommend a single cert with a supplimentary report and their opinion was based on a good understanding of the DB arrangement I'd also be happy to go with that, I think as long as the precise scope of the certificate is clearly defined with additional sketches and drawings it would be acceptable.
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  3. #23
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    Thanks, Sparks. I understand a lot more but I still need assistance. How can a buyer, an agent, and/or a transferring attorney ensure that a CoC with a pre-printed ECA number is valid. I bought a property with a valid CoC. The electrician retracted the CoC after transfer and only I reported electrical problems. The ECA have approved the retraction because their member allowed a friend to use one of his ECA certificates. Their ECA-registered electrician is not responsible for the CoC because he was "simply helping a friend". The ECA have advised me to take legal action against the "friend". The "friend" is 67 and may not even be a qualified electrician.
    The transfer could not have taken place without a valid CoC so by implication. the transfer of the property is also invalid.

  4. #24
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemangwe View Post
    Thanks, Sparks. I understand a lot more but I still need assistance. How can a buyer, an agent, and/or a transferring attorney ensure that a CoC with a pre-printed ECA number is valid. I bought a property with a valid CoC. The electrician retracted the CoC after transfer and only I reported electrical problems. The ECA have approved the retraction because their member allowed a friend to use one of his ECA certificates.
    I didn't know it was possible to retract a certificate of compliance and as for the ECAapproving a retraction I'm lost for words.

    Quote Originally Posted by nemangwe View Post
    Their ECA-registered electrician is not responsible for the CoC because he was "simply helping a friend".
    If the registered electrician has his signature on the CoC then he's the responsible person.

    Quote Originally Posted by nemangwe View Post
    The ECA have advised me to take legal action against the "friend". The "friend" is 67 and may not even be a qualified electrician.
    On what grounds could you take action? The friend hasn't signed the CoC so I don't see how you can take legal action. From what I understand here the friend was working under the registered electrician with his consent and full knowledge which is allowed. It's the responsibility of the regestered electrician to supervise and check his work before signing the certificate.

    Quote Originally Posted by nemangwe View Post
    The transfer could not have taken place without a valid CoC so by implication. the transfer of the property is also invalid.
    I can't comment on the transfer side of things.

    What you say above sounds like there may have been confusion somewhere, it just doesn't sound right. Can you attach the communications from the ECA or from the regestered elerctrician that you received, I'd like to see them if you can.
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  5. #25
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Could you please clarify -

    Just who's details are on the CoC - the ECA member's details, or the "friend"?
    And who signed the CoC? The ECA member, or the "friend"?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #26
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    Andy has given a great answer again, as usual. I however would go so far as to say that because the registered electrician is the one who purchased the COC as an Accredited registered contractor, he is liable. The COCs' are registered on a National database and no other person may use them. That is fraud.I agree that there is no such thing as retracting a COC. It can be declared invalid by the AIA in which case legal action may be taken against the registered electrician. This will in all likelihood get you nowhere as it is dependent on action by the DOL. They too busy picking their noses as is the senior prosecutor from whose desk the case will just disappear. If you can prove that the seller was aware of the situation or that the registered electrician was aware that the person who was supposed to do the repairs is not an accredited electrician you can make fraud cases against them and claim damages. You can also under the CPU challenge the registration due to the illegal certificate which was used. For registration a valid COC must be submitted.
    This yet again proves how essential it is for the purchaser to have everything checked himself.
    It is understandable that the seller does not want to spend money on a house he has sold, but he may not sell the property without a VALID COC. The electrician signing the COC is obligated to ensure that the installation meets the applicable standards. This is like a roadworthy certificate. Guys do it as a favour without considering the consequences. The buyer is entitled to a legal and safe installation.
    By naming the registered electrician as well as his friend you might actually help prevent a recurrence. Should this not be an isolated case, it would strengthen your case as well as any others to have even more evidence against registered electician.
    I am not surprised that the ECA have approved the retraction because they would be liable for a mess by their member. The "helping a friend" story is to relieve them of that obligation. This is why I am not one of their members. People do not realise that they are not a governing body, they are an association and will go to any length to protect their members because it will at the end of the day save them money. That is why people join them!
    It even sounds plausible to me that you should be able to sue ECA as well for supporting the retraction for monetary gain. You most certainly need to get legal advice and not from just any lawyer but one who knows his story. Their cover-up is a licence for all electricians to do the same.

  7. #27
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    I however would go so far as to say that because the registered electrician is the one who purchased the COC as an Accredited registered contractor, he is liable. The COCs' are registered on a National database and no other person may use them.
    It would be helpful if you could point me to the relevant regulation that says as much.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  8. #28
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    OK - I have (ab)used my contacts at the ECA to dig into this Shelley Beach matter a little deeper. Arising from a discussion with Brian Bilton -

    1. An ECA member contractor did supply another electrical contractor with a pad of the ECA pre-printed COC forms.
    2. Apparently this practice is not uncommon between electrical contractors.
    3. This other electrical contractor is not a member of the ECA, a fact that the member contractor alleges he was not aware of at the time.
    4. The COC in question was issued and signed off by the non-member electrical contractor (and IE).
    5. This non-member electrical contractor is registered with the DoL as required by the Electrical Installation Regulations.
    6. The complainant (nemangwe) called the ECA as they were concerned that the electrical installation might not be compliant/COC was invalid.
    7. Arising from this complaint -
    • The member contractor that bought the pad from the ECA was approached by the ECA
    • The member contractor then tested the electrical installation at no charge to the complainant
    • The member contractor confirmed that the installation was not compliant and has produced a list of faults
    • The member contractor has attempted to assist the complainant by contacting the non-member contractor
    • Relations between the member contractor and the non-member contractor have... let's just say "deteriorated" since.

    8. The matter has been reported to the DoL by the ECA. On this aspect, I can advise Babalo has been on leave and is only returning to work on Monday coming. I can also advise that he has other matters that have been referred to him while on leave; who knows what is at the top of the pile.

    There was no mention of the COC being "retracted" in the conversation. The phrase used, which in my experience is usually the case in these things, is that "the COC would seem to be invalid."
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  9. #29
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    Sounds like the COC scam which runs from Balito. One fella arrives at my house to carry out an inspection report and repairs. When asked about his test equipment, the response...wait for it, "no man we dont need a tester we just do a visual test, my connection knows what the test results are suppose to be." You should have seen the poor fellas face and all when he saw the caddy in the garage with all the electrical contractor signage �� Like most of the crap i stumble upon, its water off a ducks back, just couldnt be bothered to waste my time and energy reporting stuff.
    Last edited by ians; 23-May-15 at 04:29 PM.

  10. #30
    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    This new information does change a lot. The non-ECA member being DOL registered is now the person to be held accountable for issuing an "invalid" COC. I will have to look up where the National database of COC numbers clause is as I do not know that offhand. Under the CPA the purchaser has a better chance of recourse than by trying to get DOL to do anything. They do absolutely nothing. By getting legal advice the purchaser will be able to find out whether the registration can be reversed and he can get his money back. It is imperative that when people ask advice here that they give all the correct information or else they are bound to get incorrect assistance. Thank you for going to the trouble of finding the facts out Dave, it does make a difference. When purchasing COCs' I must produce my DOL registration, which is checked to see if it is up to date, as well as my wireman's licence. There is no way I will just hand over a block to someone.

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