Electrical tip: testing and commissioning

February 21st, 2014, Published in Articles: Vector


The objectives of testing and commissioning are to verify that equipment is functioning properly after installation;
that the performance of the installed equipment/systems meets with the specified design intent through a series of tests and adjustments, and to capture and record performance data of the whole installation as the baseline for future operation and maintenance.

Legislative, regulative requirements

Before carrying out any test, the contractor shall ensure that the installation complies with all relevant statutory requirements and regulations. The T&C works shall comply with all site safety regulatory requirements currently in force, including but not limited to:

  • OHSA 1993/85; EIR 2009; EMR; SANS 10142-1.
  • All codes applicable to the nature of work.

Testing and inspection during construction

The purpose of these tests is to ensure that all components and systems are in a satisfactory and safe condition before start-up. Preliminary adjustment and setting of equipment at this stage shall also be carried out at the same time to pave the way for the coming functional performance tests.

Functional performance tests

The purpose of functional performance tests is to demonstrate that the equipment/installation meets the functional and performance requirements as specified in the general or particular specifications.

T&C works: scope

The contractor shall take the following steps before carrying out T&C:

  • Obtain design drawings and specifications and be thoroughly acquainted with the design intent.
  • Obtain copies of approved shop drawings and equipment schedules.
  • Check the manufacturer’s operating instructions and statutory requirements.
  • Physically inspect the installation and equipment to determine variations from designs and/or specifications.
  • Check individual components, e.g. switches, conductors, disconnecting devices circuit breaker status, etc. for proper position and settings for completeness of installation.
  • Issue the relevant Certificates of Compliance for all work done.
  • The contractor shall submit his proposed T&C procedures together with the necessary Certificate of Compliance in the form of Annex I test reports, where applicable. The registered person shall sign approval for section 5,4 Test and Inspection. Any person who undertakes to perform electrical installation work on behalf of any other person, but excluding employees of the other person, is legally required to register as an electrical contractor.

Contact Nico van den Berg, South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH), Tel 079 766-5346, info@independent-inspectors.co.za

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