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Thread: Misleading articles on the electrical COC

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Misleading articles on the electrical COC

    I am currently dealing with a client who is querying our list of faults and recommendations for a property we tested for electrical compliance. The client quotes this article, Electrical compliance made simple in claiming "the electrician no longer has to guarantee that the system is in full working order. He has only to certify that it is, in fact, completely safe."

    How on earth my client came across such a misleading article is beyond me. There's hardly a paragraph I don't have a problem with.

    Where does one start in explaining to a client that the issues around an electrical COC are nowhere near as simple as this article would suggest, and in fact the article is grossly misleading?
    Last edited by Dave A; 08-Jun-10 at 01:18 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Depending on the mood I would tell the client to take it up with the journalist. Otherwise enjoy sitting down with client and the regulations. Maybe this is a good marketing op and write an article which tells it as it is about what the certificate means and importantly what it doesn't.

    Sometimes you wander if business is worth it.
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    Electrical compliance made simple
    16 Apr 2009


    New rulings regarding the issuing of electrical compliance certificates for residential properties, which will come into effect from the 1st of May, will simplify the demands made on sellers and buyers of residential property.all properties

    This is according to Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank (APKF), who said that the regulations had traditionally made it mandatory for the seller of a property to give the purchaser a certificate confirming that the electrical installations were in working order.reasoanbly safe never working order

    This, said Steward, had meant that the seller had to call in a registered electrician to inspect the electrical network and issue a current certificate and this had to be done prior to the transfer.still is the case to this day

    Now, however, any certificate issued in the last two years will be deemed valid, provided that no work has been done on the installation in the interim. Furthermore, the buyer does not have the right to demand a new certificate. If he wants such a certificate he must pay for it himself.the only change the coc is only valid for 2 year whereas prior to this amendtment it was valid for life so long as no additional work was carried out

    The electricians issuing such certificates now have to re-register annually, whereas before a once-off registration was acceptable.we have had to reregister with the ecb every year since i became a contractor nothing new here

    Under the new rulings, too, it is now permissible for the owner or lessor to sign an agreement with the purchaser or lessee whereby the latter accepts the responsibility for the safety and maintenance of the electrical system.you have always been able to change the agreement between purchaser and seller as to who accepts responsiblity for the coc...the estate agents are the ones who insist because they get a smal fee in return for all cocs done thru them

    In addition, the electrician no longer has to guarantee that the system is in full working order. He has only to certify that it is, in fact, completely safe. it has never been the case...we have always only had to make it reasoanbly safe

    This, said Steward, is a welcome clause because in the past electricians found themselves hauled over the coals time and again on account of minor malfunctions that they had not spotted, some of which may well have cropped after the transfer.there has never been any law insituted against any electricians and this will neve rstop regardless of the law

    An important provision in the new rulings, said Steward, is that the test certificate has to accompany any new electrical compliance certificate issued. Such a certificate, she said, would cover the entire electrical network.
    the test certificate and COC are the same thing 6 pages long

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    Dave A (09-Jun-10)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Ian, this is where this forum is really useful. If I had just critiqued the article my client might still question the answers. By posting here, someone else might critique the piece

    I might have framed some of the issues slightly differently, but ultimately the message is much the same and independent third party verification adds credibility.

    My sincere thanks, Murdock
    Last edited by Dave A; 09-Jun-10 at 09:58 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    i got a call a while back to replace an e/l unit...at the time of test it worked no problem...i record every single test result in the fluke 1653...there was no contest

    i believe the idea behind the coc is great the application and policing of it because the problem.

    the maintenance project i am busy putting together will incorporate the coc...and if executed correctly will save time and money especially if you sell your property or lease out properties...

    you could schedule inspections on an anual basis reducing the repair cost at the end of the lease...this way the tenant will respect your property because they know there will be an inspection and all repairs will be charged to the tenant...so when the tenant moves out you dont have to spend thousands fixing and fighting for your money...you would have to include this as a clause in the lease agreement...this would also cover you if a claim is lodged against for an unsafe installtion.

    i am busy with a property at the moment where i am making the installtion safe for the tenant...we found that the previous tenat damaged plugs...stove isolator doesnt work...stove is damaged...light fittings are damaged...pool db cover is damaged...the repair costs are a lot more than the deposit so the owner will end up having to pay the bill

    prepaid meters...if you lease out properties fit a prepaid meter...i have plenty customers sitting with huge unpaid electricity accounts...which they as the owner are now liable for as the owner before they will reconnect the new tenant.

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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    Pre-paid meters are becoming a problem for tenants now though. Municipal bylaws provide for them to deduct any outstanding amounts for rates etc. from the prepaid amount. Thus the tenant goes to buy R100.00 worth of electricity but because the owner has not paid his rates the municipality takes R80.00 of the R100.00 and gives the tenant R20.00 worth of electricity. Something must be put in the lease agreement so that the letting agent is responsible for the rates out of the rent recieved. That way the tenant is covered.

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    thats the joke of the centuary...i had my electricity cut again 2 months ago...what a bonus because i bypass the whole thing which stops my meter...so when i pay it and it gets switched back on the meter reads the same as when they switch it off i koose 80 bucks on the disconnect and reconnect but save around R750 on the 2 moths its off

    they dont suspect anything because the power is "off"

    i was gona apply for a prepaid and slow it down but if they are gona deduct from the card then it will be better if i just carry on doing what i am doing at the moment...i hate doing things like this but as they say if you cant beat them join them...do as the african do in africa not only that the 175 % increase is also crimminal so tit for tat...the only difference is that i am seem as the crimminal

    is there any reason why they dont switch off the water? last time they only switched it off after i hadnt paid for 3 months...then i decided to pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    Pre-paid meters are becoming a problem for tenants now though. Municipal bylaws provide for them to deduct any outstanding amounts for rates etc. from the prepaid amount. Thus the tenant goes to buy R100.00 worth of electricity but because the owner has not paid his rates the municipality takes R80.00 of the R100.00 and gives the tenant R20.00 worth of electricity. Something must be put in the lease agreement so that the letting agent is responsible for the rates out of the rent recieved. That way the tenant is covered.
    and they wonder why we are doing illegal connections.

    "apparently" ...another trick is to spike your under ground cable so it blows the fuse then put a tee joint underground run a cable to a changeover switch so they think its for a generator then switch it for short periods of time to sav the 175 % then switch it over...call the faults depatment and they will send some half wit to replace the fuse...just make sur ethe joint is done properly...and it will pay you to put a cheap generator next to the switch so it looks for real...no one will be the wiser.

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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    To get back to the original thread. I wrote to those publishers and after I replied in detail to their response they have agreed to post my writ in the readers comments and to do a follow-up. Hopefully they will think twice about publishing everything that lands on theirs desks.

  11. Thanks given for this post:

    Dave A (20-Jul-10)

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