When Does an Old House Need Rewiring?

Domestic Electrician

Rewiring is Essential from Time to Time to Keep Your Home Safe

One of the hotspots for attention with an old home is the electrics. Does yours need rewiring? And if so, what does it involve?

Rewiring a house. It is a phrase that can strike fear into any home owner, conjuring images of disruption, mess and astronomical bills. However, it does not have to be such a nightmare, and if your wiring really is past its best, turning a blind eye could have catastrophic results for you, your family and your property.

Here, we have taken advice from a firm of Chelmsford electricians to get the low down on how to assess whether a rewire is really needed.

Visual inspection

One of the joys of British houses is that there are so many that have survived from bygone eras. The Victorians might not have had the tools and technology that we have today, but they certainly knew a thing or two about building houses that would stand the test of time.

Of course, these houses will have been through various stages of renovation and modernisation over the years. But when it comes to the electrics, any property that is more than 30 years old or so could have electrics that are no longer fit for purpose in 2018.

Most installations that were put in prior to the mid-80s used aluminium wire instead of copper. This is at least 50 times more likely to cause a fire, as it runs at a far higher temperature.

The type of wire in use is not always obvious, but there are a couple of simple checks you can make. One is to note whether plug sockets get hot during regular use – if they do, this is a sure sign of trouble. The other is to take a look at your consumer unit or fuse box. If it is an old-fashioned-looking thing mounted on wood, it is probably 50 years old or more, and definitely due for a change.

Get a survey done

The best way to learn the condition of your wiring is to ask an expert in domestic testing to conduct an EICR Survey. This stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report, and will provide definitive information about the condition of your household electrics.

It is a great way to learn how old everything is, along with if and when upgrades are needed. Landlords typically arrange these inspections as a matter of course on rental properties, but they make every kind of sense for a privately owned home too.

What’s involved in a rewire?

The EICR will provide the information you need as to what aspects of your electrical installation are showing the signs of age. In some cases, the wiring itself is fine, and you just need to upgrade the consumer unit and perhaps the socket outlets. Whether the job is large or small, it is also a great opportunity to upgrade and improve your facilities for the new electronic age, for example by adding more outlets and including USB ports for charging phones, tablets and the other gizmos that we surround ourselves with in the 21st century.

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