Testing and verifying electrical installations
Licensed electricians must test all new electrical installations and any modifications to existing installations, including repairs, before putting them into service or use. This is to verify that the installations comply with the requirements of the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3000, where applicable.
Requirements of the Electricity Act 1996
Under the Electricity Act 1996 (section 61) a person undertaking work on electrical installations or proposed installations must ensure:
- work is done in line with the requirements of the regulations
- examinations and tests are done as required by the regulations
- notification and certificate of compliance requirements of the regulations are met.
Breaches of the Electricity Act 1996 (section 61) may incur penalties ranging from $315 per breach to the maximum penalty of $5000.
Testing electrical installations
Electrical workers must ensure all tests and examinations are done on the installation before issuing an electrical certificate of compliance. The installations must not be energised before an electrical certificate of compliance is completed.
When testing an electrical installation for compliance:
- all parts of the installation, such as switchboards, sub-mains or outbuildings, must be inspected and tested for a full verification of the installation
- if a test fails, all preceding tests that may have been influenced by the fault must be repeated after the fault is rectified.
In testing electrical installations, the provisions of AS/NZS 3000 (section 8) represent the minimum standards of inspection and testing. These provisions are required to satisfy the safety principles set out in Part 1 of the standard.
Testing and verification sheet
The Office of the Technical Regulator has developed testing and verification information to help with recording test results:
- information for the owner/occupier
- a visual inspection form
- a schedule for recording the test results
The visual inspection form, the test schedule and a copy of the electrical certificate of compliance are required for reconnecting the electricity supply.
Other Australian Standards for testing and verification
Other standards referred to in AS/NZS 3000 relevant to testing and verification are:
- AS/NZS 3017 Electrical installations verification guidelines – the standard sets out common inspection and testing methods to verify the compliance of a low voltage MEN electrical installation with AS/NZS 3000 and its accompanying standards
- AS/NZS 3019 Electrical installations periodic verification – the standard outlines the requirements for periodic verification of existing installations connected to low voltage AC supply system.