Buying a house, concerns on the electrics

26 Sep 2013
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South Glamorgan
United Kingdom
I am in the process of buying my first home and think the electrics could do with investigation. The fuse box is of the old style. The rest of the house has been updated (new kitchen ~4yrs ago, bathroom, floors, boiler, etc...).

This is what it looks like:

What do you think my next steps should be with this?

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Get it inspected.

Your kitchen, bathroom boiler etc should be rcd protected, from what you've shown there, it isn't.
That brown tape is probably covering some holes that shouldn't be there.

The installation is clearly old, but needs looking at closely.

Get it inspected.
One or two visual non-conformities, if they have had recent electrical work done within the kitchen (4 years was mentioned) done, and this work required new cabling, new sockets then it should have certificate of compliance and either a minor works or installation cert issued.
Any cabling buried and additional new sockets would have required 30mA RCD protection, which you picture does not show evidence of.

You require an "electrical installation condition report" this will flag up most issue concerning the installation, price vary so could be between £100-£200
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Get it inspected.

Your kitchen, bathroom boiler etc should be rcd protected, from what you've shown there, it isn't.

Not true. Regulations are not retrospective for older installations.
Not true. Regulations are not retrospective for older installations.

It is a fair point, but the OP did suggest that recent work had been done in the kitchen, it is very rare when a new kitchen is installed that some alteration to the electrics does not take place and it could be possible that that work would have required RCD protection. Although this protection does not necessarily need to be introduced at the board but that would be dependant on what if any electrical work was actually done.

Something I would be wanting to know prior to purchase!

Have a read of the following guides from the Electrical Safety Council:

You will see that not having RCD protection for sockets where requipment can be used outdoors will these days be classed as 'Potentially Dangerous'. There are also circumstances where circuits for/in bathrooms may fall under this category if an RCD isn't provided (see page 13 of second link), or where a TT installation has no/non-working RCD.

Given this information, you may wish to budget for a consumer unit replacement, or at least get an electrician to advise on anything which is considered dangerous now (the code C1's). As advised however, there is no requirement to update an installation to the latest edition at each publication.
If the boiler was done by someone like BG they may have put in an RCD fused spur, eliminating the need for an RCD at the fuse box, unless a new circuit was added.

Re the Bathroom nothing probably changed unless an electric shower was added that was not there before.

The Kitchen is another kettle of fish and as PBOD says it would be unusual for the wiring not to have be altered in some way but also just looking at things face on does not tell you a lot unless you know what was there before.

Personally i would ask if any certs were available for any work done, if not i would want an ECIR at their expense.
BG have made a visit.

Can see a BG At risk warning sticker there. If you're lucky, you may find some paperwork to go with it: either a pink or a blue and white form (depending on how long ago they visited) detailing recommendations for upgrading the installation, usually split into NTCS (ie undersized bonding and no RCD) and dangerous or at risk issues (plate switches/ sockets in zones or exposed live parts).

The tape was used to cover IP breaches or exposed live parts where fuse covers are missing off Wylex / Proteus 3036 boards.

Nowadays sealant is used instead.

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