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Doing a bit of work for a family member, fuseboard change etc..

Having a look around I found that the DB is a bakelite, wooden backed wylex 10mm tails 4mm earth.
All earthing is in black cable.
No bonding
Lighting circuits have no earths
Many switches are round on wooden pattresses
Oval-ish shaped bakelite MK sockets on wooden pattresses
PVC twin, 3cores have white has L2

Anyone guess a date just out of interest? they seem to think it is from 1961.


Problem I have is the lighting circuits, I can rewire the feeds but not the switchwires, as they are clipped, painted, caulked, painted and painted onto the door frames of recently decorated rooms and are extremely awkward to remove!
Is this worth doing?
Or should I just convince them to change the odd metal fitting back to pendants/class 2 fittings?

EDIT:- Forgot to mention IR is fine, well over 100 mOHms
 
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P

p11jor

How about sending a seperate earth Back to the switches in singles? Maybe find a different way round?
 
Twin and Earth was around early 60s but the round switches I would think would be mid 50s

To be honest with that old a PVC the paint will have reacted with it and it is really a ticking bomb.

You are going to be in a rock and hard place here. What I would be recommending is that it needs replacing. Chances are it is 50 yrs old and to be frank it would need it. Once you start changing fittings it could all start going horribly wrong.

You do have a care of duty to advise what you feel is best, but in the end it is up to your family what they want doing. In the end as it is family it will wind up costing you either financially or otherwise as your unlikely to be able to just walk away
 

snowhead

-
Mentor
If they are happy with caulked, painted and clipped cable, then they shouldn't be too dissappointed with either oval or mini trunking caulked and painted and running down the same route.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Twin and Earth was around early 60s but the round switches I would think would be mid 50s

To be honest with that old a PVC the paint will have reacted with it and it is really a ticking bomb.

You are going to be in a rock and hard place here. What I would be recommending is that it needs replacing. Chances are it is 50 yrs old and to be frank it would need it. Once you start changing fittings it could all start going horribly wrong.

You do have a care of duty to advise what you feel is best, but in the end it is up to your family what they want doing. In the end as it is family it will wind up costing you either financially or otherwise as your unlikely to be able to just walk away
I do take your point malc, cabling does appear to be in Very good condition and meggers well however I can't really inspect those painted cables, looking at the 'history of wiring thread' it may be ashathene, is there any way of identifying it? This is just out of interest and will not affect my decision!
It is 3 starnded lighting cable, I'm guessing 3/029?

Family jobs always pose a problem and of course this has come from an insurance company request for a PIR, not through a desire for safer electrics!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
If they are happy with caulked, painted and clipped cable, then they shouldn't be too dissappointed with either oval or mini trunking caulked and painted and running down the same route.
Haha!
I take your point but with all the layered paint/paper/caulk etc. the cables are barely noticable!

On a side note, any of you boys used that d-shaped trunking? I have tested a house wired in it, looked a lot better then YT2! Where would one get such stuff?
 
G

Guest111

Haha!
I take your point but with all the layered paint/paper/caulk etc. the cables are barely noticable!

On a side note, any of you boys used that d-shaped trunking? I have tested a house wired in it, looked a lot better then YT2! Where would one get such stuff?
Forgive me for swearing but the big orange shed sells it.:yes:
 

topquark

-
Mentor
Arms
I'd have said before 60's. Those wylex boards were still being used in the mid/late 1960's but the switches would make it older than that.

What about utilising wireless switching for the lights (you can still rewire to the pendants/fittings).
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Think you may be right on the age, the fuseboard says 'patents applied for' inside it so would appear to be very early, and beautifully made!
 
It will really depend on it's condition IMO. These boards were predominately BS 3036 and if I found one that retained it's integrity concerning IP ratings, such as keeping it's original cover for the fuse carriers, there were not great chunks missing from it etc then I would most likely not give it any code.

That though is as rare as hens teeth, and the norm is to find them with covers missing, chunks cut out of them, and you would then have to start to think about coding it.

This for me would be again down to location. If it's up high inside a cupboard say and unlikely that you would accidentily get access to it then I would code it a 2. If though it was low level in the open and had easy access to it then most likely a 1
 
regarding the wood, as far as im aware its no codes, as the operatimg temp ofthe equioment is not high enough to cause ignition.
 
R

Rauer

I was always told if it was wooden backed its a potential fire risk and the board needed changing
 
S

SPARTYKUS

I was always told if it was wooden backed its a potential fire risk and the board needed changing

Don't think so. They would have considered this before fitting 200,000 of them.

Plastic CU's - seen a melted heat damaged one? Are they all coded as a potential fire risk ;-)
 
Your EICR should really reflect the condition of the installation and the safety of it's continued use.

As always stated for these you can not apply strictly the standards of BS 7671-2008 to an installation that was installed perhaps 50 yrs ago to perhaps the 13th edition.

As posted you have to risk assess the CU and decide from there what you need to do. Even if the CU was pristine I would still advise the client, by way of leaflets, the ESC ones are good for this, that it is old and there are better and more modern alternatives available.

A 1960 Ford Anglia was a good car, but for safety it is not a patch on the 2012 Fiesta say, and that is how I would explain it. But emphasizing that unless it is down right dangerous, then there is no need to upgrade if they didn't want to
 

topquark

-
Mentor
Arms
Check the PFC as well, along with the rating of the fuse carrriers, most of those fuses are 1KA, 2KA or 3KA In if IIRC. Looked at one over Winchester a couple of weeks ago and PSSC was 3.0KA. Even the plug in fuse replacement MCBs are only 3KA rated.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
Hi all thanks for replies, fuseboard is in excellent original condition, cover intact, wood drilled neatly and neatly made off, However with it supplying outside sockets, undersized tails etc. I am gonna change it especially as its for a family member. The PFC is 3.47 kA , so even with Mini trips it would still not comply as I don't think the 16kA conditional rating applies to these units?
I would never code it JUST for being wooden unless it was showing charring.
Anyways I'm gonna change it but was just worried about the lighting circuits with no earth supplying metalclad fittings, Fortunately I've sussed how to do upstairs including switch wires with minimal damage, downstairs is a different kettle of fish as the place has carpets, underlay and hardboard before the floorboards. Not being used to domestic , it seems like a hell of a job to me, I would think of cutting hatches in the ceiling but its lath and plaster so thats out!
I Think as the cables megger very well, I may just reccomend fitting class 2 fittings for downstairs, until they have another reason to lift the floor.
 
R

Rauer

Multi cutters are amazing I bought the Bosch GOP 10.8 last week and love it!!
 
J

jdd

What the hell! I am dreaming? Just rewire the property, seriously...???
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #24
What the hell! I am dreaming? Just rewire the property, seriously...???
They Don't want the hassle of a rewire, or really 100% need it mate. Its a 'not for profit' job for family.
My plan is Change CU,
Upgrade bonding,
Replace a few od the dodgier sockets,
Rewire upstairs lights
Fit double insulated downstairs lights.
Give it an EICR and EIC for works
 
J

jdd

I'm not saying make a profit out of it mate, just do the job properly instead of 'bodging' as a favour. I doubt you will get thanked if something goes wrong.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #27
I'm not saying make a profit out of it mate, just do the job properly instead of 'bodging' as a favour. I doubt you will get thanked if something goes wrong.
they would be happiest if nothing could be done and they got a cert for the insurance mate, as with a lot of the population!
At the end of the day where's the bodge? It is safe meggers ok has enough sockets for what they need etc.
 
J

jdd

Doing a bit of work for a family member, fuseboard change etc..

Having a look around I found that the DB is a bakelite, wooden backed wylex 10mm tails 4mm earth.
All earthing is in black cable.
No bonding
Lighting circuits have no earths
Many switches are round on wooden pattresses
Oval-ish shaped bakelite MK sockets on wooden pattresses
PVC twin, 3cores have white has L2

Anyone guess a date just out of interest? they seem to think it is from 1961.


Problem I have is the lighting circuits, I can rewire the feeds but not the switchwires, as they are clipped, painted, caulked, painted and painted onto the door frames of recently decorated rooms and are extremely awkward to remove!
Is this worth doing?
Or should I just convince them to change the odd metal fitting back to pendants/class 2 fittings?

EDIT:- Forgot to mention IR is fine, well over 100 mOHms
Sorry if you think I'm being negative mate, but what you have just described above needs ripping out and rewiring. In your own estimation it is over 50 years old. How many alterations could have been buried in the walls etc. Why make them pay anything at all and then decorate when in a few years they may be having to re decorate as well.
They are asking you as the competent person for your honest opinion, don't be swayed by someone non technical asking you for a favour. Don't lower your standards mate.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #30
I'd love to say re-wire it Jdd mate, but they won't do it. They're not interested in doing it... yet, maybe next time they do major works. The fact is with a few mods it could pass an EICR and be 'safe for continued use' In fact it is pretty much intact original spec with only 2 extra sockets added over the years and no extra lighting points!
It would be a nightmare to rewire with split levels, flint walls, lathe and plaster etc.
If I rewire upstairs lights, thats one less thing to do when it does come to need rewiring.
A good days work now would see it through another ten years, to do a decent spec rewire would take 2 weeks and cost a fair bit, I can see no reason for it not to pass another couple EICR's after this one, although it is only delaying the ineveitable!
 
An uncle and aunt of my wife got someone out to get their upstairs lights working again a few years back. I went up a few days later on an unrelated thing and took a little look at what they had, it was an old memora CU with rewireable porvelain fuse carriers, VIR cable which was well past it's sell by date and the CU was showing signs of water ingress. I told them that the CU needed to be moved and they should seriously think about rewiring, her uncle (who was tighter than a duck's backside)told me that I didn't know what the hell I was talking about because everything was working and that I was trying to screw him for money.
What can you do? When he died he left just over 250k in cash
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #32
An uncle and aunt of my wife got someone out to get their upstairs lights working again a few years back. I went up a few days later on an unrelated thing and took a little look at what they had, it was an old memora CU with rewireable porvelain fuse carriers, VIR cable which was well past it's sell by date and the CU was showing signs of water ingress. I told them that the CU needed to be moved and they should seriously think about rewiring, her uncle (who was tighter than a duck's backside)told me that I didn't know what the hell I was talking about because everything was working and that I was trying to screw him for money.
What can you do? When he died he left just over 250k in cash
Well we can only advise mate, this place seems a tad better then that, well at least no VIR in sight! I have suggested rewire but I won't go as far as saying its dangerous - as IMO it isnt.
A rewire would be to much for me to do anyway, I don't have much experience of doing them and no chasing machine etc., and more importantly - not enough time!
 

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