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Thread: Coc question Regarding Earth for other services.

  1. #11
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    Why do you say that on a Test & Inspection for existing installation the answer would be N/A ?
    Because it is not a requirement of the "reasonably safe" standard.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Reasonably safe standard? Please elaborate?

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    Are you maybe referring to this :

    OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT, 1993 (ACT NO. 85 OF 1993)

    SCHEDULE

    ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION REGULATIONS

    “reasonably practicable safe electrical installation” in relation to an electrical installation that existed prior to the publication of the current edition of the health and safety standard incorporated into these regulations in terms of regulation 7 (1) means that such electrical installation complies with the general safety principles of such standard

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The general safety principles contained in Section 5 of SANS 10142-1, together with such other standards referenced from section 5.

    As you know, the issuing of electrical CoCs is under the Electrical Installation Regulations (currently R242 of 2009).
    If you focus on s9.2.b of this regulation, you'll see:

    9. (1) No person other than a registered person may issue a certificate of compliance.

    (2) A registered person may issue a certificate of compliance accompanied by the required test report only after having satisfied himself or herself by means of an inspection and test that
    (a) a new electrical installation complies with the provisions of regulation 5(1) and was carried out under his or her general control; or
    (b) an electrical installation which existed prior to the publication of the current edition of the health and safety standard incorporated into these Regulations in terms of regulation 5(1), complies with the general safety principles of such standard; or
    (c) an electrical installation referred to in ...

    Now read the opening notes to Section 5 of SANS 10142-1.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    Are you maybe referring to this :

    OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT, 1993 (ACT NO. 85 OF 1993)

    SCHEDULE

    ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION REGULATIONS

    “reasonably practicable safe electrical installation” in relation to an electrical installation that existed prior to the publication of the current edition of the health and safety standard incorporated into these regulations in terms of regulation 7 (1) means that such electrical installation complies with the general safety principles of such standard
    Yes. (Essentially).

    What it all comes down to is that there are two fairly significantly different standards in play when it comes to issuing CoCs, one for existing installations, and one for new installations, additions and alterations.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Ok in regards to the EIR why would marking the earthing terminal as N/A be acceptable as reasonably safe?

    Reason I am asking this is as it is a requirement from 2006 to have said earthing terminal installed. I can understand if the installation was done prior to the publication of said standard as per 6.11.5 (amdt 6 & 8 , 2006 & 2012) that it's valid to argue that it would not be required as it is the same with old (bobbin) wiring used, but where alterations done the installation should then be treated as to the latest standards.

    Also unclear as to why the opening notes of Section 5 SANS10142-1 has anything to do with this, if you could also please explain?

    5 Fundamental requirements
    All commodities in an electrical installation shall be installed in
    accordance with the requirements in this part of SANS 10142 and with
    the manufacturer’s instructions, where applicable. Amdt 8
    NOTE 1 This clause contains the general safety principles applicable to electrical
    installations. Amdt 5; amdt 8
    NOTE 2 The manufacturer’s instructions may contain more stringent
    requirements. Amdt 8

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    Also unclear as to why the opening notes of Section 5 SANS10142-1 has anything to do with this, if you could also please explain?
    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    NOTE 1 This clause contains the general safety principles applicable to electrical
    installations.
    Amdt 5; amdt 8


    As additional reference, the brown stuff started heading toward the fan on this issue on TFSA round about here.

    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    Reason I am asking this is as it is a requirement from 2006 to have said earthing terminal installed. I can understand if the installation was done prior to the publication of said standard as per 6.11.5 (amdt 6 & 8 , 2006 & 2012) that it's valid to argue that it would not be required as it is the same with...
    I know that this is what has been promoted by some very prominent folk in the electrical contracting industry for the longest time already. The underlying argument has always been that if it was compliant with regs when it was installed, it remains compliant today.

    I've listened to a number of folk wax lyrical about this progressive applicability of standards.

    But take a close look at the regulations. That is not what the regs are saying.

    Progressive applicability of standards is a wonderful, romantic myth.
    When it comes to current legislation on the issue of an electrical CoC today, there are two current standards in play. Period.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    As additional reference, the brown stuff started heading toward the fan on this issue on TFSA round about here.
    Lol, just briefly viewing that post I do see what you mean about "brown stuff heading toward the fan..."
    It is a very sensitive topic and seems the older the electrician the more "harde gat" he would be.
    Funny thing thou, lots of them are still stuck on old regs and have completely lost track of amendments made and additional regs added.
    This I blame personally on the ECB, not that I had much to do with them, only got my first ever CoCs from them and then started making my own.

    if it was compliant with regs when it was installed, it remains compliant today.
    Well that all depends if no change have been made since to the characteristics of the circuit.
    I am in some ways also still confused about this especially with the most common BOBBIN WIRING

    Long ago we (me as qualified electrician with a registered wiremans) did a CoC on a house which had 4 different time periods of wiring in the roof space, obviously as time progressed things where changed and addition things where installed.
    Anyways then through knowledge of the wiremans (not proper old school, but more mid school) and through advise from the ECA PTA (Cecil) and JHB (Louis) I was taught you have to rewire everything unto new standards as the old installation was modified.
    Ok so we did that, cost the client thousands and more, but it got done and we moved on.

    Then not so long ago also doing a CoC on an old installation, then myself being the registered wiremans, we had a situation where one side of the house was twin flat and the other side bobbin. Half of house was rebuilt due to some explosion that happened close by. So then also confused as after doing my unit standards at the inspector and him teaching us that should the old part of the installation comply with the standards used at that time and once I satisfied myself through test and inspection that the installation is reasonably safe I could issue a CoC for such ticking both (a) and (b) under section 4.13

    Also because I found 1 or 2 problems with the bobbin wiring as a new geyser was installed in that roof space and so the bobbin wiring was poorly connected and cut + also some of the bobbins where broken. Therefor I phone the inspector and asked him what must I do now. His words then was to asses the installation and to review the extend of modifications to be made. Since it was a small part to be repaired he said that without the installation of additional wiring and without changing the characteristics of the circuit to repair the wiring as to the general safety requirements and so it is reasonably safe.

    When it comes to current legislation on the issue of electrical CoCs, there are two current standards in play. Period.
    I agree that there are two standards at play, one for new installations and the other for existing installations and then also another additional part for existing installations "prior to the publication of this edition of SANS 10142-1"
    But that does not mean that the rest of SANS 10142-1 gets ignored. Well at least I can say that is how I have been taught and that is the way I interpret the regulations. The way I understand that statement in the EIR is that special care needs to be taken when it's an existing installation and especially when it's an existing installation "prior to this edition of SANS 10142-1" Thus taking into account the current requirements and also what has been installed and when it was installed.

    Just now in the MIE specialized codes they where hammering on the fact that an age for the installation should be obtained as the verify the standards that was used in order to confirm if the installation complies.
    The regulations has a lot of loop holes, even the inspector mentioned a few to us, but at the end of the day I am a professional and need to verify that the installation is safe. I sometimes bend the rules, but within limits of safety.

    The reason I chose not to go to the guy who was offering the unit standards other side of the mountain from me and rather drove 2hrs every Saturday to train at the AIA, was cause he would be the guy I would face in court should my installation not comply and/or pose a safety risk. He was originally trained as an inspector in UK and I have much respect for most 1st world countries in regards to their code of conduct of their electrical industry (especially NZ) So if something is unclear to me and I am confused as to what the regs are trying to say I would give him a call and ask him. Not so easy sometimes as he is constantly busy.

    I personally made a choice not to blindly follow regs and the question everything (yes I am from that generation)
    So when confronted with something and the regs aren't clear about it I will contact a few accredited informers and scrutinize their answers and then implement the requirements.
    Main priority for me is safety and then from there on I will consider the rest. At the end of the day, I have to put my signature in that certificate and take responsibility. Still can't understand how some sparkies blindly just sign CoCs and thumb suck the test results. I am one of those that does a earth resistance test on every plug point on domestic / light commercial and average on heavy commercial / industrial and yes there are annexes added.

    This has probably not much to do with the original question of the earthing terminal for other services on new installations and on existing installations prior to this part of SANS 10142-1, but I will get back on this once I have had a chat with the inspector.

  10. #19
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    I agree that there are two standards at play, one for new installations and the other for existing installations and then also another additional part for existing installations "prior to the publication of this edition of SANS 10142-1"
    But that does not mean that the rest of SANS 10142-1 gets ignored.
    For the sake of clarity, not all of it. You still need to pay attention to other parts of the code referenced out of section 5. It does make vast swathes of the code irrelevant though.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    For the sake of clarity, not all of it. You still need to pay attention to other parts of the code referenced out of section 5. It does make vast swathes of the code irrelevant though.
    When reading a certain standard you always have to take into account the rest of the standards around that certain standard. One can never just isolate one standard and then make that the required regulation to be used only for that specific part. Only when it specifically says you have to only use that one standard under said condition then you will be able to do that, which I have only seen with specialized installations as they would say that these special locations takes into the account SANS 10142-1, but is in addition to such (i.e. medical locations and hazardous locations)

    I always compare the electrical regulations with the bible. When doing study of the bible you never just pull something out of context and make that your thing to live by. You reference it with different parts of the bible, read all that is before and after that specific piece and if you really want to make sure you know your stuff even look at different translations.
    Apart from the different translations, the SANS 10142-1 for electrical installations (non - hazardous/medical locations or specialized earthing) is treated in most cases the same as doing bible study.
    If looked at Section 4.13(b) on the CoC it can be seen
    13(b) In the case of installations that existed before the publication of this edition of SANS 10142, the installation complies with the general safety requirements in this edition of this part of SANS 10142 and is reasonably safe
    and then also (not to sure if it is on all the different types of CoCs offered by ECB / ECA etc.) it says (i.e. Section 5)

    Now for me this means that when certifying an installation that existed before this part of SANS 10142-1 that the installation complies with the general safety requirements as set out in Section 5 with taking into reference the rest of SANS 10142-1 also taking into mind the date of the installation and the relevant regulations that was used according to age of installation. Then after satisfying myself that the installation is reasonably safe I then issue a certificate of compliance.

    Now looking at the 15 Visual Inspection points on Section 4 of the CoC I would then thick 13(b) as YES as for the rest of the points I have to ensure that everything comply with the relevant standards and answer YES. Only where an item is not applicable then I would mark it as N/A and where it is marked as NO then you cannot give the certificate of compliance (PS : the test/inspection report can be answered with NO as this can be given to the person requesting an test & inspection report and does not normally mean it is for a compliance certificate)

    Take an example, you install a plug point on a already existing circuit. You issue a CoC since the characteristics of the circuit has been changed (which before the change there was already a CoC issued for) and also since a alteration to existing installation have been made and new materials have been installed.
    On the Visual Inspection in regards to the plug point having been installed, which will have to be marked as YES (as to comply and to be able to issue certificate of compliance) and which would have to be marked as N/A (obviously nothing will be marked as NO since this will in-able you to issue a compliance certificate, so for argument sake the circuit from point of supply to point of consumption is compliant)

    Once you can answer this question then it would be easy to answer the question when you are doing a CoC (Test & Inspection only) on a property under Section4.13(b) as indicated on the CoC.

    Also take into mind the tests that needs to be carried out when an addition or alteration has been done what needs to filled in and what needs to be answered N/A and same with existing installation.
    That is why I agree that the CoC is issued differently as a new installation compared with an existing installation and also compared with an alteration/modification to a existing installation and that what needs to be answered as YES and that what can be answered as N/A

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