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Signs that property will need rewiring?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by NHW, 9 Feb 2021.

  1. NHW

    NHW

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    Morning,

    btw full disclosure i know nothing about electrics so i'm pretty much asking from moreso a consumer standpoint, recently bought a 3 bed semi which need modernisation before moving in and i have everything pretty much planned out so far minus the electrical side.

    As far as i can understand from what i have looked into, any property that hasnt been rewired within the last 30+ years may require it to be done in order to bring it up to current standards, i didnt get much of a chance to look fully into the electrics as i was too busy looking at the structural side of things and only managed to take a picture of the existing Fuse box / Consumer Unit (shown)

    20210204_160547.jpg

    i know that from looking that the meter itself is new since it seems to be a smart meter but i guess the fuse box looks pretty old and that will most likely need replacing to an RCD consumer unit?

    Just looking at average prices it seems like a rewire of a 3 bed semi (empty property with no laminate flooring) assuming:

    -New cabling
    -7 single light switches
    -3 double light switches
    -Majority of sockets in the rooms are singles (7 rooms 2 hallways), so upgrading each one to a double (approx 10)
    -New Consumer unit
    cant think of anything else that might be in a standard rewiring quote?

    would it be right to assume that £3,000 would be about right in the ballpark figure (based in the northwest of england)?

    If so i am not sure that would be affordable in my case, would it be safe to assume that just upgrading the consumer unit would suffice in this case?

    Any advice is apprecaited, thank you
     
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  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    There is no absolute requirement that you have to bring an installation up to modern regulations and standards. If it met the standard when it was installed and meets your present requirements.

    Having said that, it would be worth having it checked out, to make sure there are no hidden nasties and replacing that old Wylex consumer unit (fuse board) with a modern, up to date unit for your own convenience and additional safety. You will probably find there are not enough sockets to suit modern use anyway, so consider having more installed at the same time.
     
  4. NHW

    NHW

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    Ah right ok so its moreso a personal preference kind of option? yeah i was moreso looking at the increased load that it will be having due to obviously using more devices than i guess it would have been intended when it was originally installed.

    But again, i guess that all boils down to what is currenly there and if it will suit my lifestyle needs.

    Yeah i think the minimum that i would do is to replace the consumer unit purely for safety and convienience reasons, also i think when resale time comes i guess its more of an expected standard to some point, whereas actual cabling behind the walls you would never even know.

    Socketwise there seems to be 2 in each side of the room but they are all singles which are not enough, would at least need 1 of them to be a double at least and possibly an extra in the office.
     
  5. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    More electrical items doesn't always equal increased load on the installation. Modern equipment such as TV's, lighting etc. generally use much less than when that place was wired in the 1970's. If you are refurbing anyway, that would be a good time to look at planning extra sockets and swapping singles for twins. You can never have too many sockets.

    The consumer unit looks like it might be a five or six way - so probably two lighting circuits (up and down), two ring main circuits (up and down) and an immersion heater. Modern kitchens have greater power demands than before, so nowadays the kitchen normally has it's own separate ring main. Something to consider if you are doing a full kitchen refit.
     
  6. securespark

    securespark

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    I know of that spark, based in Sale.

    Would guess that rewire was between 75-85ish?
     
  7. NHW

    NHW

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    oh right yes i didnt even think about that, i guess the overall consumption of electrical items has decreased due to efficiency, but we just have more of them than before, so hence extra sockets is a must haha

    yes there is an immersion heater in the house at the moment which we are just going to get rid of and get a Combi boiler installed as part of the refurb.

    ah that is indeed correct, we are knocking down a wall to make openplan kitchen/dining space and we assume this room will be where the bulk of the power will be used (washer, dryer, oven & cooker, downlights, microwave etc) so yeah i think having a seperate ring main would be the best idea if we are essentially starting from scratch.

    i'm just thinking, do the electrical prep works need to be done in a certain timeframe? as in, i'm assuming that having the wall taken down would be the first part as then we know what we are dealing with in terms of space, and then im guessing it would then be the best time for the electrician to come in for the first fix?

    again appreciate all your advice, will save me some valuable time when i come to assess what i do/want to do once i get the keys
     
  8. ETAF

    ETAF

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    Edit
    quite a few replies , while i was composing
    does your modification include a kitchen, may find that would mean an upgrade , we had ovens which needed to be hardwired 16/20A and a seperate ring main installed , also we had a electric shower added at 40A - so your modernisation may actually dictate changes to the consumer unit anyway
    Consumer unit upgrade was around £500 in west sussex, but of course loads more being spent on the rewire.

    In Surrey , small 3 bed house i was quoted around £7000 (varied +- £800) by 3 electricians for a rewire
     
  9. NHW

    NHW

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    Oh right yeah, the house is in the trafford area near Sale lol

    I didnt even spot that there were company details listed on there until you mentioned it haha
     
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  11. NHW

    NHW

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    Oh wow that seems wayyyy out of my budget, considering your lowest quote was £6k :(

    the only thing we wouldnt be having would be an electric shower, but would have a combi-boiler instead which i guess will still be using/needing electricity. So all in all sounds pretty similar to what i might need doing based on if i went for a full rewiring option
     
  12. ericmark

    ericmark

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    1966 was a mile stone, before that date often no earth on lights, 1970's there was a problem with supply of copper, and some twin and earth had a plasticiser leaching problem, but by 1980 your reasonably safe that the plastic cable will not have deteriorated, so after that date looking at consumer unit and stuff not done to standard to start with.

    Just over the boarder in North Wales a three bedroom detached house quote for rewire was £3,000 to £5,000 in the main it was down to what you wanted, both quotes did not include making good.

    Unless rewired, you have to consider there may be faults unseen with any inspection, and fitting an RCD means they may trip. So better using RCBO's then if a circuit trips, only that circuit affected. And with only 4 fuses/MCB's/RCBO's the cost difference is very little. Other consideration is will there be an electric car? if so a larger consumer unit may be required to take the extra RCD and MCB or RCBO for that, it could need 5 slots, or 1 slot depending on charge point, but having a consumer unit with room for expansion makes sense.

    The kitchen/utility area will likely need more power, as you say, but if only kitchen/utility area, then maybe just part re-wire. My parents house was in the end fully rewired as 1954 rubber cable, but before that was done, the kitchen was rewired with its own mini consumer unit and steel wire armoured cable around outside of house to the main consumer unit.
     
  13. securespark

    securespark

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    Can I just add that some 80s cable had 1 Milli CPC, which, fed via a 3036 was not an ideal solution.
     
  14. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    It looks as if it should well postdate that, but we only have the consumer unit as a clue so far.

    OP - any chance of more photos of the rest of the installation please? Sockets switches, lighting drops?
     
  15. NHW

    NHW

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    Unfortunately i didnt think to take a picture of anything in specific, moreso just the rooms themselves but i'm hoping that maybe these might give some clues?

    20210107_123438.jpg 20210107_123451.jpg 20210107_123836.jpg 20210107_123846.jpg 20210107_123850.jpg

    as you can tell there is alot needed to be done with the house and hence why we are trying to stick to a decent budget in order to ensure that we dont come across too many issues along the way lol

    Thanks again for all your help guys, much appreciated
     
  16. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I would suggest, from those photos if they are representative, 1970 to 1980. Lighting circuit should have earths and be green sleeved. The only serious concern would be if aluminium cables have been used, but unlikely.
     
  17. NHW

    NHW

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    I just checked the Title register which says that the property was built in 1974, if it hasn't had any work done since then i would assume that would roughly be the standards that it was at during that time.

    Guess won't really be able to gauge accurately until i maybe get the keys and open up one of the sockets to check what it looks like behind?
     
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