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Dodgy electrics. WWYD

(18 Posts)
faffalotty Fri 02-Sep-16 11:59:47

Had an electrical check carried out on the house I'm buying (built in mid 60s) as the vendors had no electrical certs.
They have found that none of the lighting is earthed and there has been some dodgy splitting of sockets done.

They recommend a full rewire at cost of £2.5k -£3k. Not including any replastering.

The house appears well maintained so I didn't expect that anything like this would be required.

Would you think it acceptable for the vendors to accept a reduction in the price? My accepted offer was only 2% below the asking price.

YelloDraw Fri 02-Sep-16 12:02:19

I think if you do a full electrical survey, these issues will always be found in any house that hasn't been rewired in the last 10 years!

No older houses are up to modern electrical standards.

You can earth individual sockets for high-value appliances cheaply, and if I was your vendor i'd be telling you to jog on, obviously it won't meet curent standards.

faffalotty Fri 02-Sep-16 12:04:52

I know nothing about these things. I got the impression from the electrician that it was a death trap

Doje Fri 02-Sep-16 12:06:44

I'd ask for 3k off, and negotiate from there.

YelloDraw Fri 02-Sep-16 12:43:38

I really don't think not having the lighting circuits earthed is a deal breaker:
www.mybuilder.com/questions/v/1206/is-it-essential-to-have-an-earth-on-my-lighting-circuit-i-am-planning-to-rent-the-property-out

You want a house that is up to modern electrical standards? Buy a new build.

rallytog1 Fri 02-Sep-16 12:44:10

Tricky. Presumably you wouldn't otherwise want to replaster? I think you need an electrician who can explain to you in clear terms which things are actually a danger (as opposed to perfectly fine but just not compliant with the latest regs) to give you an idea of what actually needs to be done.

faffalotty Fri 02-Sep-16 13:09:07

I think the report they issue will have more specific information. I just had a quick call from them this morning after they'd finished the inspection. On my way back from holiday at the moment so not able to investigate at the moment. Just thought the wise mnetters may have some advice ;-)

PigletJohn Fri 02-Sep-16 13:22:34

If you want it to be safe, not very difficult.

The unearthed lighting is common in houses of that age. You just have to use all-plastic switches and fittings. No metal.

The sockets, you might mean there are unfused spurs with multiple sockets on each. You could have them modified to be fused spurs. This will be fine for low loads such as table lamps, PCs, TVs, phone chargers, but you can't have more than one significant load on each (washer, drier, toaster, kettle, fan heater). This is probably not much hardship. The sockets on the original ring will work as normal. It would be best to add an RCD on, at least, the socket circuits, there might be one or two, and anything serving the bathroom. A house of this age probably has a Wylex Standard CU which is not really suitable for modernisation.

The kitchen and the utility room (where there are lots of appliances) would probably most benefit from new electrical circuit(s). This would be the time to add lots of sockets above the worktop, and two cooker circuits (one on each side in case you move the plan around) and a separate freezer circuit; and new lighting, and an extractor hood point.

the other rooms can wait if necessary; though, if you can afford it, the best time to have rewiring done is just after you buy, and before you start redecorating, reflooring, refitting the kitchen.

Rewiring is to be expected in a house of this age so the sale price might already reflect it.

You will want to add RCDs, though my recommendation is RCBOs which will cost more but are much better.

If you do a partial rewire, ask for a 20-way consumer unit, which will have space for future additional circuits, and leave all the old circuits on the old CU until they are replaced. The cost of the larger empty box is insignificant.

faffalotty Fri 02-Sep-16 13:51:13

Thanks pigletjohn

They do have some metal wall lights at present so I assume they are unsafe? They said there was an issue in the kitchen with multiple loads.

faffalotty Fri 02-Sep-16 13:52:37

The house wasn't priced lower than modern houses of similar size.

PigletJohn Fri 02-Sep-16 14:22:20

metal lamps are unsafe when not earthed.

YelloDraw Fri 02-Sep-16 15:16:05

You can buy double insulated metal light fittings which are safe so its not 100% that the ones they have are unsafe.
www.double-insulated-lighting.co.uk/class-2-lighting-ranges.htm

PigletJohn Fri 02-Sep-16 15:21:10

Possible, though it's unusual. You're sure those aren't Chinese imports with a fake stamp? They don't look as bulky as I'd expect.

YelloDraw Fri 02-Sep-16 16:30:29

You're sure those aren't Chinese imports with a fake stamp? They don't look as bulky as I'd expect
No not sure at all!

The perils of Chinese manufacturing: Oh you need a CE stamp, no problem <stamp>

PigletJohn Fri 02-Sep-16 17:54:36

the website suggests the retailer is reputable, and I found comparable lights at JL, so perhaps I was too suspicious.

venys Fri 02-Sep-16 21:14:44

If you do go full rewire , be prepared it will destroy your house. Every room will need redecorating and it often ends up being a snowball effect (eg strip wallpaper, Ind damp, pull wall down, new tiling on roof and new insulation is my latest one). The rewire won't cost you £3k - it will be much much more. Only do a rewire if you are going to refurbish fully anyway.

faffalotty Fri 02-Sep-16 22:13:21

I just want to be sure it is safe really. Would rather not go for the full rewire even if I can get a deduction on the price.

I'm going to ask the electrician what needs to be done to get it safe and ask the EA to find out if the metal lights are double insulated.

Many thanks for all your comments

PigletJohn Fri 02-Sep-16 22:20:27

I would suggest just going straight to ordinary white plastic light switches and fittings. Will most likely be cheaper and quicker.

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