Occasionally, majority of home owners are confronted with the huge task of getting their homes rewired not knowing what this involves. Rewiring may become necessary to avert dangers of fire and shocks often associated with old or faulty electrical cables and consumer units. Electric rewiring involves replacing all or part of electrical cables, switches and refitting of your lights according to required standards. Rewiring may also involve replacement of consumer unit/ fuse box in order to conform to the latest industrial regulations.
However, it may not be easy to know if your house needs rewiring or not without a trained eye. Therefore conducting periodic inspections on your house would probably be the easiest way to determine whether to rewire or not. It will be necessary to invite a qualified electrician to your house to help you assess the quality and safety of electrics in your house. Before you make that call to the electrician, there are some simple assessments that you can do.
Age of electric system
Houses often appear to have deceivingly newer electrics simply because all the sockets, lights, and switches have been changed. However, a close examination can reveal the actual age of the wiring. Professional testing is the only way to determine the state of wiring and if there is need for rewiring.
Assess the cable insulation. If the cable insulation into the consumer unit are rubber coated then the wiring in your house might be as old as up to forty years. Usually, rubber insulation are bound to degrade over time posing great hazards if not replaced, thus, the need for rewiring.
Tripping and burn marks
Does your consumer unit trip regularly? Constant tripping of consumer unit and frequent blowing of fuses are warning signs that there could be something wrong with your wiring and might need rewiring. In addition, you need to check whether your sockets overheat. This is a common trait with ancient or faulty wiring. The other sign to check are burn marks around the socket outlets. This is a sign of improper socket wiring, hence consulting with an electrician will be essential to ascertain this for you.
Laying of electric cables
Incorrect installations of electric cables are obvious signs that your house needs rewiring. According to the required standards, all electrical cables should be laid vertically or horizontally from plug sockets and switches and not diagonally. In addition, cables protruding from walls or from switch and socket boxes are equally good indicators for the need for rewiring. Hanging live cables protruding from sockets pose greater risks of electric shocks and should be addressed with urgency.
Rewiring an old house
Due to the demands of modern technology, rewiring of your old house becomes essential. Most old houses were built when 60 Amps was considered sufficient electricity for a single house. In recent times, new homes are built with up to 200 Amps service. Therefore, rewiring is essential for older homes in order to meet current standards for electrical installations. Although the cost implications may be considered high, it is necessary to ensure safety from fires and electric shocks that may result from damaged or degraded electrical systems.
It is important that you and your family stay safe within your house and electrics should be checked regularly. It is essential that you get a qualified electrician to assess and test your electrics. However, there are some simple checks that you can do by yourself in order to pinpoint possible electrical faults before calling an electrician. On the other hand, if the wiring has not been replaced for a long period, it may be appropriate for you to think about doing a full electrical rewiring.
About the Author
Voltstar Electrical’s qualified electricians advise property owners and landlords on electrical safety matters when taking on a new flat or home. With over 12 years experience in electrical installations and rewiring projects, both commercial and residential.