polegate wrote: »
I have been quoted £1500 to replace my old fuse box, at 72years old I will have to take my chances as I cannot afford that,
harryhound wrote: »
This is posted for discussion on behalf of my son daughter in law and two grandchildren:
The young family have fully extended themselves and bought an inter war semi.
It was a sought after house and there was some competition, they had the edge as they were renting. With the benefit of hindsight an official survey of the electrics might have been money well spent, had it been used to haggle the agreed price down a bit. It was an executor's sale for someone who had lived in the property for 30 years before dying.
A change to the plumbing was needed, so I have had the upstairs floorboards up for the first floor and on the ground floor it is possible to crawl underneath the suspended floor.
The electricity supply to this 4 bed home, used to come underground in a galvanised wire braided cable, larger in diameter than the circle made by my thumb and forefinger - this still lies (connected?) under the ground floor, but has been replaced by a shiny black plastic cable the size of a thick garden hose.
On the consumer's side of the newish meter, it appears the wiring is on its 4th set of wires:
The inter-war stuff appears to have been individual wires braided in cloth and "greased" with some sort of red wax stuff.
There followed, in perhaps 1939 or 1946, some sort of wire in a hard "plastic" brittle coating with both wires encased in black rubber, the earth was (is?) a naked wire fixed along the joists next to the routing of the black cable.
Circa 1960 there followed a wiring of several strands in the standard red & black PVC, but encased in something black that could be PVC but is really greasy to the touch.
The final rewiring was say 25 years ago using a standard grey PVC cable but in black red and naked single conductor format.
The wiring for the lights is a number of earthed cables meandering under the floor boards and above the lath and plaster ceiling.
About 20 years go an extra lighting circuit was taken out to the garage and shed to be followed by a ring main to service both as the laundry arrangements had been moved out the the garage.
This was done at the same time as a kitchen makeover involving the installation of an electrical wall oven.
The surprising thing is that everything (with the exception of the garage power) is on a radial system of wiring fanning out from two major fuse wire arrays plus additional boxes for garage and kitchen.
There are 14 fuses in all. They are housed in second hand (?) industrial style boxes, where the pencilled identification did not match the reality of the layout.
I am surprised that 4 generations of electricians have used the original inter war layout and extended circuits by running extra cable along the skirting boards to surface mounted sockets..
Ideally a new modern system should be chased into the walls, protected & re plastered, however it cannot be deadly because the house has not burnt down in the last 3 months. A complete rewiring in a household with baby and toddler is not physically sensible, let alone affordable.
Could it be allowed and make sense for an electrician to fit each fuse box with an incoming Residual Current Device and perhaps retro fit the power Wylex fuse array with Miniature Circuit Beakers ?
[The lights are some other manufacturer's ceramic fuse array, the garage power has a RCD and the oven some sort of cartridge.]
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