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Thread: How you deal with invalid/ non compliant COC's

  1. #1
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    How you deal with invalid/ non compliant COC's

    Lets say you get an electrical job done at your house be it a normal electrical job or a backup systems etc and the contractor is not a member of any association.

    My understanding is that you would first contact the contractor and offer them the opportunity to make it right (it should have been done right the first time, but hey we all make mistakes, I believe in second chances, unless you are an arrogant Ahole, then oh boy that is when the real fun starts.

    If the person decided that they are not prepared to engage and make an effort to sort out the non compliant items, you have 2 choices, either do what we did the last time, you create a list of the non compliant items, supported with time stamped photos and an independent observer. You pay the rent less the persons bill for sorting out the non compliant items. That is where the fight normally starts, so make sure you allow for a little wiggle room (like and extra 5 hours of back and forth)

    Or you report it to the DOL, who will either visit the site or appoint the AIA. You will be liable for all the costs and have to appoint an attorney to claim for the costs from the contractor. I have neve heard of anyone every getting their money back.

    Lets us know if you have.
    Last edited by Isetech; 06-Jun-24 at 04:18 AM.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  2. #2
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    Then we move on to members of associations, let me first give the associations the opportunity to offer advice on how this should be dealt with before I go into details.

    I would think the association would first take a look at the COC that has been issued and decide, if they feel the COC is compliant, then once they have acknowledged that it complies, then forward an email to the customer informing the customer that the installation and COC, was done in accordance with the regulations, that the responsible person was present on site during the installation and there is no need to forward the document to the DOL and the AIA to verify if the COC is complaint.

    If I am wrong then it will be a good learning experience for me.

    It would be a good exercise for everyone to see how customers and other contractors should deal with installation they feel might not be complaint.

    We will leave names out of this exercise,

    just refer to the person who issued the COC as the member,

    the member who has been appointed by the association to deal with the matter as the moderator,

    the home owner as the customer,

    the person who pointed out the issue to the customer as the other contractor,

    The person who the other contractor has appointed as the mentor as one of the people/companies who is reviewing the copies of the COC ( he is my mentor and lecturer for both my IE and MIE courses)

    The COC has been sent to a few other parties for comment, the response I got is that the customer should take this further.
    Last edited by Isetech; 06-Jun-24 at 04:24 AM.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  3. #3
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    Can anyone post a sample of what a solar COC should look like, is there even such a thing as a solar COC ?

    Lets first get an understanding of how this works, please correct me if I wrong.

    The associations (more than 1) protect the electrical contractors?

    The DOL protects the customer/public?

    The AIA is appointed by the DOL to protect the customer/public?

    The customer being the responsible person for the site elctrical installation , would do the right thing and contact a registered electrical contractor (registered with the the DOL department of labour) to carry out an electrical installation on site, the registered elctrical contractor would appoint a registered person or PR engineer to design the electrical installation, the electrical contractor would then appoint a registered person to oversee the installation, the registered person would visit the site on a regular basis to determine that the work has been carried out as per the SANS 10142 electrical regulations, once the work is completed, the registered person would then carry out a visual inspection, followed by a list of test results, as required. If the visual inspection and test results comply, then a COC/test report is issued to confirm the electrical installation is reasonably safe.

    The customer being the responsible person for the site, who has taken reasonable steps to ensure the site is reasonably safe, would receive the document and store the document in a safe place.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  4. #4
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    Lets say the customer had the property built or purchased, they should receive a document which states "initial COC" stating which DB the test report covers.

    If there is more than one DB on the property, then there will additional test report pages attached to the initial COC.

    A couple months later if the customer decides to get a new socket outlet installed. They would contact an electrical contractor which is registered with the DOL to install the socket outlet as per SANS 10142 and issue what is called a supplementary COC/test report, which they would attach and file in a safe place for future reference.

    The work would have to be carried out by a suitably qualified person which could be a eleconop Who would have some form of identification indicating their skill level (not allowed to work on live installations) , under the supervision of the registered person (as crazy as it sounds, just imagine what it would cost to send a registered person every time you had a new socket installed) who would then carry out a visual inspection and test results, then connect the wires to the live electrical installation and complete the tests and hand the documents to the customer, happy days.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  5. #5
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    Then we move onto the situation we are experiencing, the solar installation.

    The customer purchased the property 2 years ago at which time a COC/test report was issued, I have reviewed the copy of the initial COC, as an MIE with 40 years of hands on experience in the industry, I have no reason to doubt the Initial COC was carried out by a person with the correct qualifications, who must have visited the site to include the detailed description and test results listed on the document.

    Last yeart (2023) the customer decides to get a backup system installed on the property, as mentioned above, the customer (the responsible person) took reasonable steps to ensure the electrical installation on the property is reasonably safe. As mentioned the property has what looks like a valid initial COC.

    The customer then contacted a company which indicated that the installation would be designed, installed, inspected and tested by suitably qualified people, as you are aware a green card holder is not a suitably qualified person for any electrical installations. So we would assume that the elctrical installation was done according to the regulations, by a person registered with the DOL.

    The solar installation was completed and a COC/test report was issued, happy days or is it ?

    The customer being a responsible person, has since decided to do a few building alterations, so they have contacted a registered builder who I assume has taken the correct step to ensure the alterations will be completed as per the building regulations. They also contacted me as a registered electrical contractor to do some electrical work on site, a few alterations and additions.

    Being a registered electrical contractor, before I step onto site, I requested copies of any COC's issued.

    The right thing for me to do would be to stay off site until valid COC are issued, however slabs were being thrown and conduits had to be installed, so we took a bunch of photos prior to commencing any work on site. We also advised the customer that the the initial COC seemed to be valid, however the supplementary solar COC looked like the person who signed might not have been on site nor seem had the correct equipment to carry out the test results, as indicated in the test result "no tester" in the place where the test result was suppose to be filled in.

    The customer then contacted the company which did the solar installation, who indicated that things like indicator lights, battery fuse disconnector etc are new regulations which have been amended in the past year since the time of the installation and issuing of the supplementary COC/test report. Fair enough, I am not aware of these "new regulations" since last year, so they took the opportunity to return to site, do the inspection and testing as require, adjust the electrical installation to make it reasonably safe and issue an updated COC, happy days.

    A copy of the new COC was forwarded to me, so that I could continue with my work, and people is where this fight started.

    My advice to the association, you have a copy of the COC issued by the member, take good look at it, establish if it is a valid COC, then email the customer directly and inform them that the other contractor (my company) can procced with the alterations and additions.

    The customer can attach a copy of the email to the COC which they have been issued.

    The part which is going to create a challenge is when I have to have to connect to solar part , I cannot connect to the solar part of the installation because as a person with my level of competency, should know better, which means I cannot connect to what seems to a non compliant elctrical installation.

    I would walked away from this job when I saw the the solar COC, however I was recommended by a few of my valuable customers, so now I am involved and I suggest all parties, including myself do everything 100 % by the book.

    I would suggest the moderator stop wasting my time, and read the documents forwarded to the association, make a decision, then proceed to either forward an email to the customer or contact the member and get them to issue a valid COC.

    It will save everyone a lot of time and frustration.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    What is the big deal with this supplementary COC.

    If I didn't have to work on the site, I would have just smiled, and kept walking, because we all know this is such a massive problem at the moment and nobody is going to stop it anytime soon.

    We all know what happens, the day I step on site and open that DB, everyone points a finger a me, "you should have known better" or you connected a new socket outlets and now all the COC's are no longer valid, as stupid as it sounds, it is a reality in this industry. I am sure you have experienced it at some point.

    What I am trying to figure out, if you do a solar installation and modify the main DB and the sub DB's to essential and non essential, do you have to issue a new COC for the main DB and Sub DB which has modified ?

    Where do you install visual indicators for the essential parts of the installations, under the inverter or in the same part of the DB that has the essential circuits?

    If you re-arrange and add main switches and ELU's to any DB on the property to allow for essential and non essential, do you have to issue a new COC for that specific DB?

    Can you tap into the meter main cable and feed a sub DB directly form the that main cable?

    Do you have to attach a single line diagram for the solar or can you just tick no drawing attached?
    Last edited by Isetech; 07-Jun-24 at 11:56 AM.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    Tapping into the main cable after the meter to feed a sub db is not allowed as you will be bypassing the point of control.

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    Once the customer has contacted and sent a copy of the the COC to the association to review.

    The association has appointed the moderator, who contacted me and I have advised the moderator to deal directly with the customer, as I dont feel that customer should be billed for me to deal with this issue.

    Apparently the member was suppose to contact the customer to get whatever is required to make the installation and document compliant.

    What I need to know is how long should we allow for this to drag out, I need to start my project which is now being delayed because as we all know if I open a DB, then this whole thing will get complicated.

    I think it would be fair to give the association and the member until Friday 14/06/2024 to get this sorted out and forward an email to the customer to confirm that the installation and COC issued is compliant, then I can review the email and verify the information is correct and start my project on Monday.

    If this is not sorted, then I think it would be fair to start posting copies of everything on this platform for everyone to comment.

    Or maybe I should just post copies of the COC on this forum to see if I am being unreasonable ?

    If I contact Carte Blanche, I wonder if they would be interested in creating a story about invalid COC's being issued by so called registered electricians.

    It might be the only way we are going to expose the rot in the industry.

    A note, there are electrical contractors who are trying to improve the industry, but it seems certain people are taking advantage of the lack of policing.
    Last edited by Isetech; 10-Jun-24 at 05:01 PM.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    Just a thought, maybe I should sell copies of a valid COC which is filled out correctly, with all the values within spec, and details.

    People can just copy it and use it, by doing this at least the customer gets a COC that looks sort of legit ?

    It would stop some of these registered electricians from embarrassing the electrical industry and associations and the customer.

    As we are all aware, there is an online COC that makes it difficult for people to mess it up, clearly this isnt even working, as we have experienced in the case we are busy with at the moment.

    So maybe posting copies of COC's which are completed, with main and copies of additional pages and even a supplementary for solar, that way at least the customer has a COC they can use for insurance claims or send to me to review, etc.

    What do you think good idea, I can create a legit looking one and sell them for a small fee, you just fill out the name and address and your details.

    Doing it this way if anything is not as per the list of electrical installation, you can always say your neighbor or brother in law did some work, so you just need another supplementary

    Chances that you going to get caught zero %, because there is no policing in this industry, its a free for all, at least the document is sort of correct. If the readings are not the same, they will never be the same , so that cant be used against you.

    By the way is you do a solar install, at least put a bunch of stickers on all the equipment to make it look like you know what you are doing (seems to be the trend with solar).
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  10. #10
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    I dare anyone to do a survey for the users, to see how many people think they have a legit COC.

    I would bet all my old bicycle tubes, that the percentage would be at least 90 % who think they have a legit COC.

    The sad part is that it is not the responsible persons (user) fault, in many cases, they employ the services of a so called legit registered elctrical copy thinking that they have done the right thing.

    They assume that the form which is suppose to be a legal a document, was handed to them from a company came highly recommended on a group or friends.

    Even worse they are used for the sale of properties and handed to attorneys as proof that the electrical installation is reasonably safe, you would just assume it is done properly and legal. Unfortunately as we experience a couple of months ago the installation was so dangerous, as it had a standard socket outlet 200 mm above the bath ..........................eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiii sh, imagine if someone died, do you think maybe then something would be done ?

    It time people wake up, before someone dies, dont let this thread become a I told you so.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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