SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 216
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here's no getting away
from it - rewiring your
home can be expensive
and messy. But faulty
electrics can be a
serious ﬁre hazard and may cause
electrocution, so it's important to
consider upgrading your current
system if it isn't up to scratch.
If you're thinking of buying a
property that's more than 25 years old,
check the wiring is up to date before
you buy. An electrician will typically
charge £100 to £150 for a survey
and verbal report. For a full electrical
survey with a written report, expect to
pay between £250 and £350.
HOW DO I KNOW IF
I NEED TO REWIRE?
If your property hasn't been rewired
in the past 25-30 years, the chances
are it will need at least some work to
bring it in line with current standards.
An old-fashioned fuse box, or
consumer unit, with large, ceramicstyle fuses is a good indicator that a
property may need to be completely
rewired. Old round-pin sockets or
original dolly switches are also signs.
A mix of diﬀerent socket and switch
types could indicate that a partial
rewire has taken place, especially
216 | MAY 2017
if there is surface-mounted wiring
running along the skirting boards
and up walls. This usually means
some upgrade works will be required.
Another clue is the colour and
style of the cabling, which should be
visible at light ﬁttings and around
the consumer unit. Modern electrical
installations are wired in grey or
white PVCu-insulated cable, so if
your cabling has a diﬀerent kind of
insulation, it is likely to be old.
A full rewire can be avoided if the
existing cabling is sound and able to
carry extra loads. It may be possible
to upgrade your system by adding a
modern consumer unit and installing
proper earthing arrangements.
Rewiring is undertaken in two stages:
the ﬁrst ﬁx, when cables and wiring
are installed, and second ﬁx, when
everything is joined up and made 'live'.
The second ﬁx is also when the front
faces of socket boxes, switches and
lights are ﬁtted. The ﬁrst ﬁx is best
done without furniture and carpets, so
ﬂoorboards can be lifted and ceilings
cut into more easily. To position
new sockets and switches in optimal
places, plaster generally needs to be
cut into, so cables can be buried.
needs to be
all three are
WORDS: TRISH LESSLIE, IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES
SPARKS MIGHT FLY IF YOU NEGLECT OLD OR POOR-QUALITY
ELECTRICAL WORK, SO DON'T PUT COST BEFORE YOUR HEALTH