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    • shu32876
    • By shu32876 10th Jul 18, 2:26 PM
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    shu32876
    Rewiring required?
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:26 PM
    Rewiring required? 10th Jul 18 at 2:26 PM
    Hi,
    I'm a first time buyer and in process of buying my first house. The house we are buying is a 1930's semi-detached and is in need of some modernization which we will carry out gradually. I'm not sure whether it's need complete rewiring or not.
    A new consumer unit was installed and the electrics were checked in 2015 but wiring was not changed.
    Should I invest in rewiring the whole house? It's not a forever home for us but not sure currently if it is for long term or not.
    Any help, suggestions or ideas are welcome.
    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 10th Jul 18, 2:41 PM
    • 5,791 Posts
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    spadoosh
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:41 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:41 PM
    What makes you think it might need a rewire?

    If there was a new consumer unit in there i would be working on the basis that the wiring was suitable when it was installed. +3 years, it probably hasnt changed.

    Everyone all ways wants to rush in to doing loads of work in there first house. Its usually always a mistake. Live in it for a while, work out how you use the house then contemplate doing work.

    Lets say you get a complete rewire now. You want it top spec so excessive sockets everywhere and things like hardwired sky in all the rooms. You then ask some friends to stay over and they point out that in your second bedroom the sun gets right in the window at 4am, probably worth moving the bed to the other wall. So you do that, it works better. But the problem is your plugs and sky socket are behind the bed so you spent money on something that isnt useful.

    After youve lived in it a year or you know these things. And more importantly you probably realise its just not that worthwhile doing.

    Of course if you suspect there is a safety issue with the wiring you should get it checked out but that doesnt have to mean a full rewire.


    ETA a rewire is a particullarly messy job, you have to chase out walls etc. Its something you do prior to most decoration works but then only if its needed or a particular want. If the modernisation is a lick of paint then its probably not worth doing, if the modernisation is a new kitchen and bathroom its become more practical to get it all done at once.
    Last edited by spadoosh; 10-07-2018 at 2:43 PM.
    Don't be angry!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jul 18, 2:52 PM
    • 26,701 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:52 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:52 PM
    If the consumer unit was changed by a competent person less than 5 years ago the current installation should still be safe, so there is no immediate reason to suspect a rewire on that account.

    Only you can tell, however, whether the current arrangement, no of sockets etc is going to be adequate in the future as you grow into the house.

    As FTBs you might be in the ideal situation to organise a rewire, especially if you aren't needing to move in for a week or two, as it will be quicker and easier if the place is uninhabited.

    OTOH will you know what you want/ where the cooker/ sockets/ wall lights etc will all be if you decide to update the kitchen,or alter the living room, for example? It's easier for those who've done this sort of thing before to draw up a plan, but much harder when there are no specifics.

    I think in your position, I'd wait.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • shu32876
    • By shu32876 10th Jul 18, 2:56 PM
    • 24 Posts
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    shu32876
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:56 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:56 PM
    Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it.
    I read it somewhere that rewiring should be done after every 20-25 years, that is the reason I was thinking if it's required then doing it first would be ideal.
    But, it makes sense that not much would have been changed in last 3 years when the last check was done and consumer unit was installed.
    Currently in terms of modernization, the main priority is a new bathroom, paint and flooring.
    I agree that probably it's best to wait for a year may be and see show the house works for us.
    • shu32876
    • By shu32876 10th Jul 18, 3:03 PM
    • 24 Posts
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    shu32876
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:03 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:03 PM
    As FTBs you might be in the ideal situation to organise a rewire, especially if you aren't needing to move in for a week or two, as it will be quicker and easier if the place is uninhabited.
    This was the only reason I was thinking of rewiring, as the place could be uninhabited for a week or two making it easier.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 10th Jul 18, 4:02 PM
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    Risteard
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:02 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:02 PM
    If it is original wiring then it almost certainly needs rewired irrespective of what others have stated. Obviously I don't know what age the wiring actually is though so am not sure whether it is original wiring.

    Periodic inspection and testing may be in order to ascertain the condition of the existing electrical installation.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jul 18, 7:47 PM
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    Davesnave
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 18, 7:47 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 18, 7:47 PM
    If it is original wiring then it almost certainly needs rewired irrespective of what others have stated. .
    Originally posted by Risteard
    Well, yes, 1930s wiring would probably not be in very serviceable condition, considering that my 1948 wiring was totally knackered in 1977, when I was a FTB!
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 10th Jul 18, 10:03 PM
    • 3,353 Posts
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    Ectophile
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 18, 10:03 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 18, 10:03 PM
    Any chance you can peek behind sockets and light switches, to get an idea of what the wiring is?


    If it's rubber insulated, then it will be way past its "best before" date. Any attempt to move or modify things can lead to crumbling insulation and lots of grief.


    If it's PVC, then it's been rewired at some time since the 1960's. The good news is that PVC lasts pretty much forever if it's looked after. The wires may be the old colours, and even imperial sizes, but that doesn't make them unsafe.


    There are exceptions for those comments on PVC. Aluminium wiring was a bad idea from the 1970's and is best ripped out. Some wiring from that era also suffered from "green goo" leaking out from the ends of the wires. If the backs of the sockets look like something out of a horror movie, that may also mean that a rewire is in order.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • shu32876
    • By shu32876 11th Jul 18, 9:01 AM
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    shu32876
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:01 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:01 AM
    Any chance you can peek behind sockets and light switches, to get an idea of what the wiring is?
    Thanks, I'll try to see or get some idea what's behind
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 11th Jul 18, 1:11 PM
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    Risteard
    Any chance you can peek behind sockets and light switches, to get an idea of what the wiring is?
    Originally posted by Ectophile
    Pretty silly asking someone who won't know what they are looking at to do that.
    • konark
    • By konark 15th Jul 18, 2:51 AM
    • 1,112 Posts
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    konark
    Pretty silly asking someone who won't know what they are looking at to do that.
    Originally posted by Risteard

    Pretty sure the OP knows what wires are when he sees them. If they're blue/brown they're less than 20 years old. If red/black more than that but if in PVC 2+earth will still be OK. Older systems that should be replaced use single wires in black and red.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 15th Jul 18, 4:15 PM
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    Risteard
    Pretty sure the OP knows what wires are when he sees them. If they're blue/brown they're less than 20 years old. If red/black more than that but if in PVC 2+earth will still be OK. Older systems that should be replaced use single wires in black and red.
    Originally posted by konark
    He will have no idea whether they are Vulcanised India Rubber (VIR) or PVC, for example, which is what was being alluded to.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 15th Jul 18, 6:32 PM
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    Davesnave
    We have dumbed-down a lot in 40 years.

    40 years ago, I rewired the house I bought because I was scared of what I found electrically and I'd no money to employ anyone. It was a basic 2 ring mains 2 lighting circuits job, but it took me a while, because I'd never done anything like that before. I had a book, though!

    After I finished and had checked continuity etc somebody came and tested everything for safety, gave it their certificate of approval and that was it. It was legit.

    Now, apparently, even with all the resources of the internet at their disposal, some poor person can't look behind a socket and understand what they see.....


    Mind you, they could have come back to tell us what check was done in 2015 and who did it; in other words do they know or are they going on hearsay? Makes a difference.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 15-07-2018 at 6:35 PM.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • shu32876
    • By shu32876 16th Jul 18, 3:07 PM
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    • 4 Thanks
    shu32876
    Mind you, they could have come back to tell us what check was done in 2015 and who did it; in other words do they know or are they going on hearsay? Makes a difference.
    To be honest, the only reply I got from the vendors when asked about rewiring was that the Electrics were checked in 2015 and new consumer unit installed. I didn't asked what specific checks were done and I haven't been back to the house to try and investigate further.
    I haven't exchanged yet for the house but things are going smooth and should be able to exchange hopefully by month end.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 16th Jul 18, 3:18 PM
    • 1,240 Posts
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    JohnB47
    Just to add - rewiring can also knacker your flooring.


    I've been progressively mending some cowboys work, done for a previous owner, where they ripped the floorboards up and didn't even bother to fix them down again. Never mind the mess they'll make of the walls, as already mentioned.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 16th Jul 18, 5:39 PM
    • 26,701 Posts
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    Davesnave
    To be honest, the only reply I got from the vendors when asked about rewiring was that the Electrics were checked in 2015 and new consumer unit installed.
    Originally posted by shu32876

    So, at present, your knowledge on this is just hearsay.


    The owners ought to have had an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) as a part of that work and you should have sight of whatever paperwork was issued. Your solicitor will ask for it, but he/she won't know to do this unless you say what you think has happened, or it is mentioned on the TA6 form (vendors' answers to questions.)
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 16th Jul 18, 5:44 PM
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    Risteard
    So, at present, your knowledge on this is just hearsay.


    The owners ought to have had an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) as a part of that work and you should have sight of whatever paperwork was issued. Your solicitor will ask for it, but he/she won't know to do this unless you say what you think has happened, or it is mentioned on the TA6 form (vendors' answers to questions.)
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    The replacement distribution board would require an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC). An Electrical Installation Condition Report can only be used to report on an existing electrical installation and does not and cannot certify any new work (such as replacement of the DB).
    • shu32876
    • By shu32876 19th Jul 18, 2:19 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    shu32876
    The owners ought to have had an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) as a part of that work and you should have sight of whatever paperwork was issued. Your solicitor will ask for it, but he/she won't know to do this unless you say what you think has happened, or it is mentioned on the TA6 form (vendors' answers to questions.)
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Thanks for your reply.

    The owners have provided a Building Regulations Certificate of Compliance for the work that was carried out
    Description of work says:
    Electrical
    Install one or more new circuits
    Install a replacement consumer unit

    Does it make sense to get an EICR done for the house?
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 19th Jul 18, 11:24 PM
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    Ectophile
    If you're willing to pay, it makes sense. A proper EICR involves inspecting and testing every circuit. The electrician should then give you a report listing all the problems, and their severity.


    C1 = Fix it now before it kills somebody.
    C2 = It's really not right, get it fixed.
    C3 = It's not up to current standards, but not actually unsafe. Fix it if you can be bothered.


    Be aware that a good electrician will find some faults. That's just the way it is. Even if the house was completely rewired, you can expect them to pick up on something that was done wrong.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 19th Jul 18, 11:34 PM
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    Risteard
    A proper EICR involves inspecting and testing every circuit.
    Originally posted by Ectophile
    A proper EICR involves inspecting and testing what has been agreed within the extent and limitations of the report.

    "Section D: Extent of the installation and limitations on the inspection and testing.

    "Extent of the electrical installation covered by this report: [!!!8230;]

    "Agreed limitations (including the reasons), if any, on the inspection and testing: [!!!8230;]

    "Agreed with: [!!!8230;]

    "Operational limitations including the reasons (see page No. [!!!8230;])

    "The inspection and testing have been carried out in accordance with BS 7671, as amended. Cables concealed within trunking and conduits, or cables and conduits concealed under floors, in inaccessible roof spaces and generally within the fabric of the building or underground, have not been visually inspected unless specifically agreed between the client and inspector prior to the inspection."
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