Five SignsThat You Need To Rewire Your Home

Five SignsThat You Need To Rewire Your Home - Infographic

 

 

Rewiring a house is a job with many factors to consider, such as the costs involved, the timescale of the job, as well as just how much it will affect your day to day home life. Typically it’s a job that tends to get put off, as rewiring can mean major disruption. However, getting it done sooner, rather than later is generally the best, and sometimes the safest options, particularly if any of the following are causing concern:

  • Visible signs of old age and damage to sockets or visible wiring
  • Warm or hot plugs, or sockets mainly placed in the corners of rooms
  • Dim or flickering lighting, or bulbs failing too often
  • An outdated fuse box which might be fitted on a wooden panel, with black rubber wiring and cast iron switches
  • The need for more sockets, in more convenient places

 

What does it involve?

A thorough and professional rewiring project, performed by a certified electrician involves replacing all electrical cabling and the installation of a new consumer unit (fuse box). From day one, to completion takes on average around 2-4 weeks depending on the size of the property, number of rooms and whether the property itself is occupied and full access to all switches and sockets will be needed.

How to actually tell if your property needs rewiring is a common source of confusion, wires are buried out of sight, in walls, under floors and within ceilings and roofs, if you flick a switch and the light or appliance does what it is supposed to do, then all is well…right?

Well yes, but it isn’t always quite so simple, and with the safety of you, your family and home at stake, it is worth looking a little more closely.

The signs of old age

Probably the first and most obvious things to look for are the visual signs of old wiring, they can be things such as old fashioned (original) round style switches, often black in colour, braided flex on ceiling lighting, even round pin type sockets are all tell-tale signs of old wiring in urgent need of changing.

Plug sockets

A visual inspection of plug sockets can sometimes be a good indication of when a property was last rewired, if they look discoloured and worn, or feel warm when in use, that may be a cause for concern. It is also worth noting the number and location of sockets, just one or two, situated in the corners of rooms is generally a sign that no wiring work has been done for a long time.

Light bulbs

Dimming or flickering lighting might be a sign that the circuit is overloaded or is suffering from a poor connection, similarly if your bulbs are blowing a little too frequently; it may be a sign that the fixture is not suitable for the wattage of the bulb. Both are reasons to consider rewiring as a priority in your home or property.

Fuse boxes

If the fuse box or consumer unit is missing a sticker stating the installation date, this may also be a clue that your home needs rewiring, likewise an older consumer unit, fitted on a wooden panel, or with iron switches and a black, rubber insulated cable, are all warning signs to get your wiring looked at. Bear in mind; a modern fuse box may not necessarily be a sign of modern wiring.

Convenience

Older houses were simply not designed for our modern lifestyles and power hungry consumption habits. If you rely a little too much on extension cables and generally have something on charge at any given time of the day, rewiring and a host of new sockets just where you need them may be a good idea.

Rewiring surveys

Many houses rewired in the mid-eighties or earlier used aluminium wire, which heats up much more than the copper wires used today, wires used at that time also didn’t have an earth wire in the cable, causing a much greater risk of electrocution in the event of an overload. A competent and qualified professional electrician can perform an electrical survey (Periodic Inspection) on your property to ascertain the type of wiring and determine whether your property needs rewiring. The result of the inspection would be an electrical safety certificate (Electrical Installation Condition report) detailing the condition of the electrical installation.

Given the risks involved with old wiring, sockets and fuse boxes, a survey by a professional and a recommended check every ten years is a very good plan.

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