Why do you need to rewire a house?
There are very good reasons to re-wire a property. The biggest and most important reason is safety! Old wiring can present a significant fire risk. We’ve listed a number of key reasons why you should rewire your property;
- Your property has not been rewired within the last 25-30 years. It is probable it will need upgrading, at least in part, to bring it up to current standards. Old wiring can be potentially dangerous as it will not be able to cope with the power demands of modern living (TVs, Computers, Mobile Devices and Kitchen Appliances)
- If you plan any major work that constitutes a “material alteration” as defined by the Building Regulations, it is likely that you will need to rewire part, if not all, of the property, including upgrading the consumer unit, commonly referred to as the fuse box.
- If you are extending your home, or converting an attic or garage, this will constitute new work and all of the new wiring will have to conform to Part P: Electrical Safety, and all existing wiring will have to be improved to ensure that it is able to carry the additional loads safely, it is earthed to current requirements and that cross bonding is satisfactory.
- Where you are extending or remodelling, the rest of the existing wiring does not have to be upgraded, except where upgrading is required by the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Regulations, i.e. central heating controls.
How do I know if my property has already been rewired
You should be able to tell if a house has been rewired recently by inspecting exposed parts of the wiring and by the checking the Consumer Unit (commonely known as electricity meter and fuse box. Please see below image for current and previous wiring
If there is an old-fashioned-style fuse box, with big white ceramic-style fuses, then it is highly likely the whole property will need to be completely rewired.
Another sign that a rewire could be necessary is a mix of different socket and switch styles. This could indicate that a partial rewire has been done, especially if there is evidence of surface-mounted wiring running along skirting boards and up walls.
REMEMBER – Electricity is dangerous and if you are in doubt, always get a qualified Electrician to check your electrical system.
Okay, what are my next steps if my property has not been Rewired?
Unless the wiring is the modern PVCu coating type, then a rewire is most probably required. If you see any old rubber insulated cabling, fabric insulated cabling (used until the 1960s), or lead insulated cabling (used until 1955) then it needs replacing as the insulation can rot or break down, leading to short circuiting: a fire hazard and potential electrocution.
It is possible that older PVCu cable may need replacing if it is not twin earth cabling (with a second earth cable running within the outer sleeve). This will only be evident if you are remove a switch or socket faceplate and look closely.
If there is any doubt, it is best to assume that a total rewire is the needed and budget accordingly. It is possible that the system could be improved for a smaller budget by upgrading earthing and cross bonding.
Okay, I need to rewire my property, what should I budget?
There are a number of factors that will impact the cost of rewiring your property;
- Size of the Property
- How empty the property is
- How accessible the property is (e.g. Types of walls, ceilings)
As a rough guide, the average cost of rewiring a three-bed house is £3,500.
However, a full rewire can be avoided providing the existing cabling is sound and able to carry any additional loads. In many cases it may be possible to upgrade the wiring by adding a modern consumer unit.
How long will rewiring a house take?
Again this will vary depending on the size and accessibility of the house. For example, a kitchen rewire may take two days. A larger property will take much longer.
Do you think your property needs a rewire? We can do a Electrical Conditioning report to assess your property’s wiring and if a rewire is actually needed. Click here to contact us