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Discuss How badly does my house need rewiring? in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net

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nathandance1996

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I am not the owner, I am 16 and live in my Mum's house.


The wiring hasn't been replaced since the 60's by the looks of things and I am worried by several things:

numerous switches that do nothing, numerous fuses that do nothing, insulation that is brittle, "scruit" (twist on) connectors in lights,sockets under drainpipes, multiple fuseboxes with ludicrously overrated fuses (ring main on 45a) as well as arcing switches, missing earth sleeving, poor earthing and an uncovered meter surrounded by flammable material.

P030812_18.41_[02].jpgP030812_18.41.jpg< switch inside ceiling, totally inaccessible.
P030812_18.34.jpgP030812_18.37_[01].jpgP030812_18.35_[01].jpg< ancient fusebox mess.
P030812_18.42.jpg< socket with drain pipe directed towards it
P030812_18.55.jpg< spider webs inside this light fitting, no earth sleeve.
P030812_18.50_[01].jpgP030812_18.50.jpg<typical old fittings
 
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telectrix

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really need a site visit to determine the condition of it. sure if you post your area, some on here will be close to you, have a quick look.
 
That switch is ridiculous but what does it do?
The CUs obviously don't comply with new regs but may still be good for continued service
As long as everything is watertight that's not too bad
Get the vacuum cleaner out to remove the webs
Old fittings, what can I say?
If nothing has been done since the 60s then it may be coming to the end of it's useful life but only a full inspection and test will tell you that mate. Shift the flammable material to be on the safe side
 
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vernam616

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  • #5
Quite switched on for a 16 year old

are you an apprentice training?
 
No mate it isn't, at least I don't think it is having had PM conversations with the OP
 
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nathandance1996

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  • #9
Quite switched on for a 16 year old

are you an apprentice training?
no, I am aiming to do an Engineering diploma (providing exams results 5 c and above). at the moment I can't decide between mechanical and electrical engineering as a career.
 
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nathandance1996

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  • #10
That switch is ridiculous but what does it do?
The CUs obviously don't comply with new regs but may still be good for continued service
As long as everything is watertight that's not too bad
Get the vacuum cleaner out to remove the webs
Old fittings, what can I say?
If nothing has been done since the 60s then it may be coming to the end of it's useful life but only a full inspection and test will tell you that mate. Shift the flammable material to be on the safe side
the ceiling was actually installed after the switch, hence the ridiculous location, just controls a PIR outdoor light (why you'd need to I don't know).
 

plugsandsparks

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As already mentioned, could just do with some TLC or the main insulation of the cables could be as you say going brittle, which means attempts to update the faceplates or even repair broken ones could result in damaging the cables even more.

Didn't see any RCD on the property, that would help with safety providing there are no faults. Also remove all stuff from around the electric box, service head etc that could catch fire.

There appears to be a separate cct for heating of some type i assume (the single way wylex i think)

Worth spending a little to determine how good / bad it is before deciding to spend thousands on a re-wire as best case is that the wiring will give another 5 years and you update the CU to latest type giving a much safer install, oh and get some smoke detectors in there as well
 
It's amazing how an electric meter can double-up as a handy picture shelf. :)

Seriously tho Nathan, only a proper inspection by a qualified electrician will tell you whether the installation is coming to the end of its useful life. Sometimes a few hours of remedial work is all that's needed.
 
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nathandance1996

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  • #14
As already mentioned, could just do with some TLC or the main insulation of the cables could be as you say going brittle, which means attempts to update the faceplates or even repair broken ones could result in damaging the cables even more.

Didn't see any RCD on the property, that would help with safety providing there are no faults. Also remove all stuff from around the electric box, service head etc that could catch fire.

There appears to be a separate cct for heating of some type i assume (the single way wylex i think)

Worth spending a little to determine how good / bad it is before deciding to spend thousands on a re-wire as best case is that the wiring will give another 5 years and you update the CU to latest type giving a much safer install, oh and get some smoke detectors in there as well
what if I where to temporarily use sleeving to prevent split insulation in the boxes and lights causing problems? there is the problem that temporary fixes often become permanent.
 

telectrix

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as a quick fix, you might get away with it, but is it worth the risk? would you use duct tape to stick a broken brake caliper together on your car.van?
 
If there are insulation problems then it would definitely be sensible to get someone in to test and inspect. I'm sure you are a very able and intelligent young man, but please don't go trying to re-sleeve damaged cables.
 
what if I where to temporarily use sleeving to prevent split insulation in the boxes and lights causing problems? there is the problem that temporary fixes often become permanent.
Nathan that isn't the answer mate, it's a bodge really. Get your folks to get a test done and that will tell what needs to be done
 

Marvo

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I would say old isn't necessarily bad. You should find one of the trusted members from here who lives close to you and trade him a go on your weedeater bicycle for his opinion on where you need to go with your moms electrical installation.

Nice website by the way, I'm sure you'll make a good engineer, you've obviously got a passion for it. Shame there aren't a few more like yourself :)
 

plugsandsparks

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what if I where to temporarily use sleeving to prevent split insulation in the boxes and lights causing problems? there is the problem that temporary fixes often become permanent.
Sometimes the damage is caused by heat, if so, then if there is slack you can re-terminate. Its not the stuff you can see, its the stuff you cannot see which could be the wirings un-doing. We use a tester to see if the insulation holds up under stress. The readings we get, in Meg Ohms gives us an idea of how good the insulation is.
 
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londonlec

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  • #20
Be careful I think that old fuse box has asbestos flash pads.
 
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drew35

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  • #21
That switch is ridiculous but what does it do?

Could it be a way of doing the stair light without two way switching? You just go upstairs and put your hand down through a hole to switch off. I think its the way forward, save cable, save the environment!
 
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shocking_eg

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  • #22
love the OP's Website ! lol
 
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nickblake

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  • #23
Regardless of the installation which an EICR would provid information wether it requires rewiring or not the thing i noticed in the pictures is the fact that the whole room where the cutout and consumer unit is is full of conbustable material and looking at it its under the staires i may be wrong but its not a good combination and in the event of a fault could well cause a fire and block an escape route , here a article from the ESC As part of its electrical fire safety campaigning, the Electrical Safety Council has made a supply of labels and leaflets available to Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) across the UK. They warn householders not to store combustible materials close to the electrical intake equipment in their homes.

The label and leaflet will be offered to householders by FRS fire prevention officers during their home safety visits. The warning is particularly appropriate where, for example, the electrical intake equipment (service head, meter and fuse box) is in a cupboard which is used to store items such as coats, cleaning materials and other items that can be easily ignited. Fires in under-stair cupboards are particularly dangerous, as the means of escape from upstairs can be cut off.

This joint initiative with the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) followed an investigation by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service into the cause of a fatal fire in Eastbourne, and then into a number of other fires in domestic and similar properties in their area, that had started in the vicinity of electrical intake equipment. The most likely cause of the fires was found to be resistance heating at deteriorating cable terminations and fuse contacts.

Whilst the number of such incidents is relatively small, some have caused real risk to life due to the nature and circumstances of how and when the fires occur (often at night when people are asleep, combined with the typical location of an electrical intake being near the means of escape from a property).

Whilst electrical equipment is designed to contain the thermal effects of faults, overheating can and does ignite materials that are in close proximity.
 
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