Surface mounted wall sockets and Fuse Box question

23 Oct 2011
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United Kingdom
Hello Guys,

On the hunt for a new house and the missus has found the house of her dreams... the only thing that concerns me is the wiring/electrics which i have no idea about apart from the basiscs (replacing sockets and light fittings etc!

SO, the house has surface mounted wall sockets, i'm assuming this means the electrics could be old? can any one determine rough age from pic of the fuse box below?

Many thanks in advance, obvioulsy if we proceed i would look to get a full survey carried out and if any issues highligted also do an electroical report!

Many Thanks for any reponses
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Surface mount wiring and/or sockets is usually an indication that whoever last rewired the property was on a tight budget. I can also occasionally be an indication that something about the house construction makes flush wiring difficult or impractical.

The CU on the right looks to me like it dates from the 1990s or early 2000s. The switchfuse on the left looks much older. My main concern with an old installation would be if there is any rubber cable still present. If there is then said cable is long overdue for replacement.
The consumer unit is at least 25 years I would estimate.

The smaller board doing the immersion heater is at least 50 years, looking at the ancient cable at the bottom feeding it.

The wiring emerging from the consumer unit could be in good condition, but hard to say any more at the moment.

Since you have surface mounted sockets, and probably in the wrong place, and probably want to decorate, it would be sensible to think hard about rewiring.

Now is the best time to do it.

More pictures will help.
Thanks for the replies, what should I take more pics of?

Re the immersion heater, that has been removed, so would assume that if the box is not live I can remove
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It will cost around 1% to 2% of the cost of the house to get it re-wired. In the whole scheme of things if you like the house you don't worry about the wiring.

Surface wiring does have some advantages although it may not look that good at least you can see any faults and easy to re-new. It also means replacing a consumer unit is easy not short cables etc.

Looking at the silver Bill switch to left I see one black wire going into the neutral of the DNO head which is clearly not double insulated can't see where the brown goes but although not in its self dangerous it rings alarm bells and one would want to check for further poor practices.

But in the main it's not the method but condition of cables which is important and your not going to get that from pictures. So until you have bought the house getting an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is likely going to be hard and do you really want to pay out for the report before you buy the house anyway?
Thanks for the replies, what should I take more pics of?

Re the immersion heater, that has been removed, so would assume that if the box is not live I can remove

Takes pictures of whatever you can.

Take pictures of the sockets, might be able to put an age on them.

Take pictures of the kitchen, anything really so we can get a rough idea.
AndyPRK";p="3381115 said:
It wouldn't stop me buying the house.

Wonder what the taped up cable is.[/qu

It used to supply next doors immersion :LOL:

To back up what others have said.

The Wylex NB board with RCD incommer would be mid 1980s - early 1990s

The Bill crown switchfuse is going to be 1960s and is likely to contain a woven asbestos flash pad

I'd hazard a guess that the wiring 1960's vintage, likely PVC but prone to the plasticiser migration issues affecting the early generations of PVC. Lights may or may not be earthed. Board change in the 80s and a few DIY additions since then

A re-wire could probably be justified if you planning to re-decorate. However it is likely not in desperate need of one

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