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To rewire or not to rewire?

(11 Posts)
scaredofthecity Tue 03-Jan-17 13:56:44

We recently moved into a 70s ex council house. It's a 2 up 2 down mid terrace. As far as we're aware apart from a few new sockets it's mostly the original wiring. The fuse board is an old style and is only on 4 circuits, which are 2 lighting ones, sockets and the shower.

There is no escaping from the fact that the wiring will need to be done at some point, but the house hasn't been very well loved in recent years and needs new floors throughout and paint ect. We also hope to do the kitchen and bathroom later.

The issue is that we only have about 3k and won't have anymore funds for a while. Obviously to rewire will probably cost that much, maybe more leaving us nothing for anything else.

We see ourselves staying here maybe 5 years, and then we hope to get something bigger. Do we need to do it, or can we just leave it for the next person? I obviously know it may affect the resale value, but I'm not sure I want to do it, and am willing to accept that.

We've asked around our neighbours and it seems that nobody else has rewired or sees the need to.
We have never blown a fuse or have any indication that the current wiring is not up to scratch. I frequently have all my appliances running at the same time.


PigletJohn Tue 03-Jan-17 15:18:51

If you're planning to redecorate and renew the kitchen, then of course do the wiring first. You won't enjoy hacking and drilling through all the new work, or lifting your new floors and carpets.

Find a well -recommended local electrician.

It is possible to rewire in stages. The kitchen probably needs doing first. Often a kitchen is given its own circuit(s) now, for example one for all the sockets and appliances you need including the extractor and the working lights, and an outlet for the new boiler in a better place. A separate circuit for a cooker (perhaps another cooker point on the other side of the room for when you change your mind); and for the freezer so a fault elsewhere doesn't cause all your food to melt.

TheWanderingUterus Tue 03-Jan-17 15:51:31

I think I'd replace the fuse box and live with it for a bit. I have no idea about the wiring in our current house (1912) which had been rented out for years before we bought it. The house came with a fuse box like yours which we replaced 6 years ago - cost about £300.

It has been very useful to be able to safely shut off areas of the house to replace plug sockets and light fittings etc, and also when a dodgy dishwasher was shorting out a circuit somewhere. The actual wiring has not been any problem at all, DH replaced a lot of sockets to update them and that's it. We knew we weren't going to live here for years so didn't want to spend a fortune on wiring if it wasn't needed. The electrician who came to do the fuse box couldn't see any immediate cause for concern.

When you decide to do the kitchen in the future it might be worth factoring in the cost of an electrician to check everything is ok first.

scaredofthecity Tue 03-Jan-17 16:52:54

Thanks for the replies.

PigletJohn I completely agree that it would be foolish to decorate and then rewire but do we really need to rewire in the first place?

My dad is insisting it is necessary but I'm not so convinced. If nobody else on our street has rewired (and they were all built the same time) and we can cope with the lack of sockets and aren't seeming to have any problems with overloading is it going to be needed in say the next 5 years.
We are not massive electricity users.

Wondering it would be great to just replace the fusebox but my understanding is that the issue is there aren't enough circuits by modern regulations and a new fusebox isn't going to solve that.

Believeitornot Tue 03-Jan-17 16:55:28

How do you know no one else has rewired?

Ask an electrician to test the system. We did that when I was worried about our place. They noted that the incoming cable was too thin but we left it.

Then we had a power cut a few years later as it burnt out. This was in a November when it was freezing. Not pleasant with two preschool aged children.

PigletJohn Tue 03-Jan-17 17:40:00

older layouts have far fewer sockets than we use now. As a minimum I'd say you need 4 doubles in a bedroom. In a living room, a double in each corner and one half-way along each wall. One each end of hall and landing. One each end of the loft. One in each corner of the garage and one half-way along each side.

in a kitchen, more than you would believe possible.

Testificateman Tue 03-Jan-17 19:55:31

What colour is the sleeving on the live and neutral wires in your existing cable? You will have to switch off your electric and undo your sockets to find out.
Fusebox definitely needs changing. Depending on where you live, can cost as little as £250.

flownthecoopkiwi Tue 03-Jan-17 20:12:24

We have a 1920's ex council house. When we bought we had main box replaced. Just had an electrics survey done as selling - all wiring safe and fine.

flownthecoopkiwi Tue 03-Jan-17 20:21:53

Oh, should mention though that when we did our kitchen they had to upgrade the wire for the oven, but did this through lifting couple of bedroom floor boards, so no big hassle

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 03-Jan-17 20:26:14

You might not have to do a full rewire. Get an electrician to test the wiring and take it from there. My Victorian terrace only needed a new fuse board to make it safe, having previously been unable to cope with a light AND a computer running at once.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Tue 03-Jan-17 20:27:55

Definitely better to get it done first, it's a bloody messy job.

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