Rewiring a home is indeed a major task and involves lots of expenses in it. This is mainly due to the safety hazards of damaged or deteriorated wiring needed. So, how will you know when rewiring your house is necessary? Well, there aren’t any fixed rules for it and just because the wiring is old does not mean that it is unsafe. The wear and tear actually depend on the kinds of materials used and earlier usage.
It is suggested that a periodic inspection should be done by an accredited electrician in at least every 10 years for an owned house and five years for a rental property or during tenancy change. A well-qualified electrician will tell if your house requires rewiring and what can be achieved within a specified budget.
If you have a property that is more than 30 years old and has the original wiring, then it will probably require complete up-gradation for meeting modern standards including replacing a fuse box with a consumer unit. There might be a sign of rewiring a house in London if the fabric, rubber, or lead-insulated cabling is outdated. Modern wiring is colored grey, PVCu coated, white, and twin-earthed.
When the wiring becomes faulty and old, then it might cause the entire electrical system to trip often, blow fuses or spark a probable electrical shock or house fire. If you are planning to buy an old property, make sure you check the wiring is safe. An electrician can tell what work is needed to match with the present standards along with the cost estimation that you need to consider when making an offer.
Rewiring is a great way to improve safety and modern convenience by adding more plugs and switches for your kitchen appliances, computers and televisions. In case you are selling an older property, a recent rewire can boost its appeal to the buyers.
If you are planning a renovation project, then you will have to rewire all or part of your property. Electrical installations should be able to comply with Building Regulations BS 7671, also called the IET Wiring Regulations. This will set the standard for electrical installation in the UK. When extending your house or converting the attic or garage, all new wiring should conform to the latest Building Regulations and the present installation need to be updated to carry the extra load in a safe way.
Some warning signs to consider
Are you having an older property? Has the house not been inspected for many years? If yes, then it may be due to a rewire. Certain signs you may need to rewire your house include – circuit breakers that trip regularly, slight shocks from outlets and switches, frequently dimming or flickering lights, exposed or damaged cables and wires.
If you find any of these warning signs, then it is already time to call an electrician who will find out what work is needed and provide you an estimate of the costs involved.
How much will it cost to rewire a house?
The total rewiring may cost you several thousand pounds in case of a small property and significantly more for a bigger house. However, a full rewire may usually be avoided in case the present cabling is sound and can carry out extra loads. Older installations need to be updated with the addition of a modern consumer unit. New consumer units has to be certified, tested and fitted accordingly. When you need to replace an old fuse box with a modern consumer unit, it is usually needed to upgrade the installation’s earth bonding.
Electricians usually work for a fixed rate depending on how long they expect the work to be done. It is quite possible to agree with the rates for each additional power point, light or switch fitting.
What are the other issues to take into consideration?
Rewiring might be the reason for major disruption and so, it is a good decision to vacate the rooms while the work is being performed. Floor boards and floor coverings may need to be pulled up and channels routed out in the walls since new cabling cannot be surface mounted. In case rewiring is required, it has to be done before any decoration and plastering works around the same time unlike any plumbing and central heating installation.
Apart from rewiring for lighting and power, it is necessary to be sure that there are a sufficient number of switches and sockets that will meet your needs and those of homebuyers.
What happens when there is electricity in wet areas?
Kitchens, bathrooms and other wet areas like swimming pools usually have the highest risk of electrocution. There are some special restrictions on the electrics in wet areas. For example, shaver sockets should be placed away from the splash area of a shower and no other sockets are allowed in the washrooms. However, pull-cord switches are permitted only.
Electrical appliances in the damp areas, such as light fittings and ventilation fans should have mechanical protection and moisture called Ingress Protection or IP.
Can you do the rewiring work on your own?
A home rewire is an important job for you and your family’s safety. For this, you will have to hire a qualified electrician who can do the entire work for you. There are some serious and safety implications that have improperly installed electrics. This may put you and your family at greater risk however, insurance companies might not pay out in case of fire.
Do It Yourself electrical works are regulated by the law under “Part P” of Building Regulations. This will categorize the building works into two parts which are notifiable and non-notifiable. It differentiates between major work or work in high-risk areas such as bathrooms and kitchens and minor works like adding sockets or switches to the existing circuits. Major work has to be notified to the local authority’s building control department.
In case of major electrical works, including rewiring, the DIYers should submit a building notice to the local authority before performing the work. For a fee, local authority inspectors need to check that the work has been done in accordance with the Building Regulations.
Where will you be able to find an electrician in your area?
When searching for a registered electrician to “rewire my house”, get in touch with several electricians in your area and compare their prices. It is suggested to obtain at least three estimates from different electricians before agreeing upon any major work electrical work for your house. Don’t forget to ask for a proposal by providing the details of exactly what they propose and overall costs associated with you. This will enable to get the work done within your suitability.