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Chris1895

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Hi,

Moved into a property of late that has the following fuse box. Got advice telling me that it's safe, but doesn't meet current regulations, as well as that it could go in the next year, or last another 15.

Want to get opinions on next steps. Ideally, I'd like to replace it with a consumer unit, but conscious that might be tricky. Any views on differing options would be much appreciated. House is ex-local ~1960s.
 

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Mikegh

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Suppose it depends on the overall condition of the installation

New distribution board in itself may not be enough
 
westward10

westward10

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Doesn't look overly safe to me looks like you can put your hand into it. The wiring looks predominantly original and looks like PBJ (PolyButyle Jute), I would suggest that is beyond its reasonable service life.
 
James

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Looks like the property is wired in metal trunking.
this trunking is providing the earth (cpc) to the accessories at the end of the circuits.

it may well be advised to change the cables at the same time, due to there age.
not a bad idea but you need to find an electrician who has done similar properties to a high standard.

do not go for the cheapest quote, ask neighbors who have similar properties if they can recommend a good electrician, hopefully you will find one who will show you a rewire of their house done by said electrician.

experiance is the key to doing a house like yours, if it’s their first go, there will be mistakes, disruptive redecorating and a poor looking finished job.
 
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Chris1895

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Looks like the property is wired in metal trunking.
this trunking is providing the earth (cpc) to the accessories at the end of the circuits.

it may well be advised to change the cables at the same time, due to there age.
not a bad idea but you need to find an electrician who has done similar properties to a high standard.

do not go for the cheapest quote, ask neighbors who have similar properties if they can recommend a good electrician, hopefully you will find one who will show you a rewire of their house done by said electrician.

experiance is the key to doing a house like yours, if it’s their first go, there will be mistakes, disruptive redecorating and a poor looking finished job.
Based on the property, would you recommend trunking over chasing?
 
Strima

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Based on the property, would you recommend trunking over chasing?
It looks to be cables run in conduit, so much easier to replace as you just pull new cables in using the old ones to drag them through. A lot less mess and disturbance than chased in.
 
James

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@Strima is correct,
I had a bit of a brain fart moment, I thought conduit but typed trunking.
 
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Chris1895

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It looks to be cables run in conduit, so much easier to replace as you just pull new cables in using the old ones to drag them through. A lot less mess and disturbance than chased in.
So a pro could be come and use the current cabling to push through new cables?
 
Matthewd29

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I wasn't paying close enough attention I've just seen the Cabling and it's likely you could be needing a rewire as it is probably past its serviceable life
 
telectrix

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not just the age/condition of the cables. probably not be anywhere near the number of sockets you need, and never in the right place/s. back then was maybe a socket or 2 in living room/s, 1 single socket per bedroom, bit of luck might be 2/3 in the kitchen. then there's the option of smart control, TV points, data points, etc. best done as a complete job in 1 hit.
 
7029 dave

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I am surprised that it was not rewired by the council before they were sold off, we done loads in the 80's. IMO that installation is older than 60's with all that VIR. Possible though
 
7029 dave

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I think most of us have pulled new cabling through existing conduits providing they are not blocked but as @telectrix says reusing the existing points may prove to be inadequate for modern needs.
With a complete conduit system the whole point is to make rewiring possible that is the concept. I fully agree with the modern needs etc, however Id take the like for like approach on such a job like this or pass it bye.
 
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In my honest opinion looking at the pictures the property is 90% VIR / Rubber without RCD protection and the MCB’s are beyond their serviceable life. This installation needs rewiring urgently to avoid serious fire and or electric shock.
 
Vortigern

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Chasing may not be an option if the structure is all concrete. You would need somone to really have a physical look at it. I think you summed it up quite well in your opening post as to the longevity expectations. It really all depends on whether you are living in it or intend to rent it. If the latter a rewire is almost inevitable. I imagine that the cables at the lights and sockets may be pretty frazzled, but then sometimes they are not. The conduit may be good and maybe rusted away at certain points. It may necessitate surface wiring all round in some cases if it is all concrete walls/ceilings. What kind of structure is the property i.e. bricks or????
 
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pc1966

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In my honest opinion looking at the pictures the property is 90% VIR / Rubber without RCD protection and the MCB’s are beyond their serviceable life. This installation needs rewiring urgently to avoid serious fire and or electric shock.
While I agree it is probably beyond its serviceable life, in conduit I would say the risk of fire/shock is quite low.

However, any external sockets that don't have RDC protection are a very real shock danger!
 
GLENNSPARK
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Old Skeleton board with 3871 plug in's...
I'm surprised no-ones bothered to ask if there's any crossbonding in the property....but just jumped straight into the "no RCD" thing instead...

I'm not saying it shouldn't be replaced....but no-ones even bothered to ask if any of those mcb's are meeting times etc...
 
Pretty Mouth

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Old Skeleton board with 3871 plug in's...
I'm surprised no-ones bothered to ask if there's any crossbonding in the property....but just jumped straight into the "no RCD" thing instead...

I'm not saying it shouldn't be replaced....but no-ones even bothered to ask if any of those mcb's are meeting times etc...
As a DIYer, the OP may well not be able to tell us if disconnection times are met, or if supplementary bonding is in place, whereas we can see from the photos that there is no RCD.

RCD protection would remove the need for supplementary bonding, and (assuming all other things being satisfactory) would assure disconnection times were met. Plus would provide additional protection, which current regs require for at least some, if not all, of the circuits of the installation
 
M
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This all depends on current funds available, if they are low then first of all I would get a RCD Retro fitted into that enclosure at least, this can easily be done. This would ensure disconnection times could be met, I would also get a trustworthy Electrician to remove some of the accessories to confirm the condition of the cables, yes (PBJ, Butyl, Rubber) is old wiring - however this does not necessarily mean its degraded and poses and immediate risk.I would also get them to check bonding. Long Term - I would assess what you need as extra sockets & lighting points (This decision will determine your end costs) - If its not too different from what you have now then i would have that done in conduit as it is now, & all the existing wiring replaced. If your needs are radically different to what sockets & lighting point are already there, then a full rewire in sheathing would be the answer.
 
littlespark

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Changing the CU to one with rcd is not advisable with wiring that old.
There may be faults, borrowed neutrals etc that won’t cause a visible problem until rcds are introduced.
Testing has to be done beforehand.

If it can all be done together, then that is preferable.
 
7029 dave

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Changing the CU to one with rcd is not advisable with wiring that old.
There may be faults, borrowed neutrals etc that won’t cause a visible problem until rcds are introduced.
Testing has to be done beforehand.

If it can all be done together, then that is preferable.
Yep, just moving them cables could make the insulation crumble to dust.
 
OP
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Chris1895

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Thanks all. Some great advice. I'm leaning towards getting it all done in one hit. Chasing would be the preferred option, but as some have mentioned, the walls might dictate the feasibility of that.
 
littlespark

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I suppose it might depend on the area, but wasn’t poured concrete walls more in the 70’s 80’s?

Style of house may also determine construction methods. Ie, semi detached vs high rise flats


Hit a wall with a big hammer and see what moves.
 

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