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Does your house need rewiring?
If so, it's a major job, but if the wiring in your house is old and potentially dangerous, rewiring it should be undertaken as a matter of urgency.
If you're in any doubt, the first thing to check is the colour of the cables. If you find black coloured cables, this is an indicator that wiring could need checking. Modern electrical cables are either white or grey and are covered with a PVC sheathing, whilst the old black cables were sheathed with perishable rubber.
The old rubber sheathed cables could well be 40 years old and over the time, the deterioration can allow allow the copper wires inside the cable to touch. This will cause a fuse to blow and if the fuse is replaced, it will simply blow again. Only replacing the wiring will cure the fault.
Other warning signs to watch out for are:
- Metal conduit running to the sockets or lights
- Round pin plugs
- An old and inadequate consumer unit
Modern dwellings have higher load on the electrical system than years ago, so if you have old wiring drawing a heavy electrial load, it's potentially a disaster waiting to happen.
Even if the safety issues weren't bad enough, if you're intending to sell your property, you'll have to get the electrics updated before you can sell. Very few mortgage lenders will lend money on a house that is a potential total loss!
If you have concerns about the wiring in your home, it's imperative to have a qualified electrician to check it out. This is not a job for a DIY'er.
Under the new IEE wiring regulations in place, there are strict rules on the jobs that you can do yourself. These can include:
- Replacement of existing sockets, switches and ceiling roses and individual cables or flexes.
- The adding of lighting points, sockets and fused spurs. Always providing that these additions are not carried out in a kitchen, bathroom or outside and as long as the Wiring Regulations are followed.
Rewiring your house or home has to be carried out by a trained and qualified electrician, who would then issues a certificate to the householder, and notify Building Control at your local council. They will record the work undertaken and issue a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate.