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Can we have fuse board upgraded without rewiring?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Sparkhelp, 14 May 2021.

  1. Sparkhelp

    Sparkhelp

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    Hello! New here.

    Looking for a bit of advice before we call an electrician so we know what to expect.

    Just moved into an old house with this fuse board:


    Would it be possible to have the fuse board upgraded without having to have the whole house rewired? Or is it not possible to tell?

    Many thanks
    Emma
     
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  3. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Welcome to the forum.
    As you seemingly surmise, really "not possible to tell". However, that does not mean 'impossible', but you would need an electrician to assess the state of the wiring and of the rest of the electrical installation to get an answer.

    Sorry not to be more helpful!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  4. Sparkhelp

    Sparkhelp

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    No problem, thank you John. I wasn't sure if it was possible to say from an image. So it's a maybe depending on the state of the rest of the wiring in the house?
     
  5. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    You won't definitely need a rewire, thats a relatively young box (80s or maybe 90s), the cabling looks like pvc so should still be good.
    You may find that you want to add a lot of sockets, possibly wall lights, outside lights and power and other fripperies, have a think about what you'd like then get someone in to price for a replacement with capacity for your wish list
     
  6. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Exactly. Not just the wiring, per se, but everything connected to it (switches, sockets, light fittings etc.) as well. If too much needs attention and/or if you now have increased/different requirements (more sockets/lights/whatever), a 'complete re-wire' can sometimes be the simplest, maybe even the cheapest, solution.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  8. plugwash

    plugwash

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    There are several main things that can effectively condemn an installation.

    1. The cables are old rubber, old rubber cables often become brittle and as a result the prevailing advice is not to work on them except in an emergency.
    2. The cables have degraded despite having plastic insulation, while most plastic insulated cables last a very very long time, there have been some exceptions.
    3. The cables were not selected and/or installed correctly in the first place.

    Looking at your picture, there seem to be three equal-sized cables, visible which do look like modern plastic. They have white sheaths which in some parts of the country indicates DIY work (of course not all DIY work is bad work and not all paid-for work is good work). I would expect that there are also more cables that you can't see (I'd expect at least a smaller cable for lighting and a larger one for the cooker circuit), which may or may not be the same type.

    The fuse board itself looks like a wylex rewirable board, but it's white rather than brown which suggests a later model.

    Unless this is a very small property I find the presence of only a single circuit of each type to be rather stingy. Especially if you find yourself using plug-in electric heaters.
     
  9. Sparkhelp

    Sparkhelp

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    Thank you, a lot of work was done on the house in 1991 so likely dating from then. The house is in reasonably good decorative order currently so wouldn't want the pain of rewiring right now if we can get away with it but would feel more comfortable with a more modern consumer unit.
     
  10. Sparkhelp

    Sparkhelp

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    Thank you, when you say "parts of the country" is that an analogy or literally geographical areas?

    It's essentially a 2 up 2 down type of house but we have gas central heating and the boiler is relatively new and is connected to a fused spur(?) as is the electric cooker. There is also a mains fed shower rather than electric. There should be no requirement to use electric heaters, unless something catastrophic happens to the boiler!
     
  11. plugwash

    plugwash

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    My understanding is that before 2004* the DIY sheds tended to stock white cable. In some parts of the country the electrial wholesalers only stocked grey while in other parts they stocked both. I think it was a north verses south thing, but I can't remember which way round.

    * post 2004 with the move to harmonized core colors the powers that be apparently decided that all PVC twin and earth would have a grey sheath with white now being reserved for LSF cables.
     
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  12. DIYnot Local

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