How Can You Know that Your House Needs Rewiring?

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Rewiring your house is not a minor task. But if your house’s electrical wiring has deteriorated or been damaged, we advise you to rewire your house immediately to avoid any unpleasant incident that can happen due to damaged wiring.

It is better to get it checked before a major remodelling or if you are purchasing a new home. You can hire a professional electrician who can perform tests and check whether you need to rewire your house or not.

The important question is, how can you tell whether your house needs rewiring or not? There are no hard and fast rules about rewiring your house. However, there are some signs that can reveal the need for rewiring.

Is Rewiring Your House Really Necessary?

In some cases, yes, rewiring your house can be a necessity. For example:

  • If the wiring is almost 50 years old and it is not able to cope with loads of today’s houses, it is better to rewire the house up to the requirements.
  • If you are planning a major remodel of your house that includes changing the existing electrical system and loads. You may have to rewire your house partially at least, if not completely.
  • If you are building an extension, this will require new wiring in extensions and improvements in existing wiring to handle new load conditions.

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When is the Time to Rewire the House?

There are no specific guidelines that can answer this question. However, old wiring can start showing some signs that can tell us that it is time to rewire the house. We have described some signs below that can answer your question:

  • Tripping

If your circuit breakers are tripping frequently for no reason, it indicates a fault in the electrical wiring of your house. It might be possible that there is some leak or damage in the system which is causing the safety switch to trip.

  • Rodents

We all know that rodents are able to eat almost anything, including the insulation of electrical wires. If the wires are exposed, they can start electrical fires or can cause short circuits, which can be potentially dangerous for the occupants.

  • Electrical Burns

If you smell an electrical burn, but you are not able to see it, it is probably coming from within the walls. If your electrical wiring is too old, it can release an excessive magnitude of electrical current in some areas that can cause the insulation to burn.

  • Frequent Fuse Blowing

Modern houses require way more electricity than older houses. If the wiring of your house is old, its fuses might not be designed for the electrical capacity needed by modern houses. Hence, they will blow out frequently.

  • Burnt Switches

Loose connections or faults in the wiring can cause switches and outlets to burn due to internal sparking. This can also start a small localised electrical fire.

  • Lights Flickering

It is very normal in old or faulty wiring that lights start to flicker or dim. It happens because of irregular potential differences that lights are receiving. This could be a sign that there is some overloaded circuit in the wiring.

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What if the House has not Been Rewired?

Like everything, electrical wiring also tends to deteriorate over time. However, unlike most things, deteriorated electrical wiring can cause some serious damage to the property. Hence, if the electrical wiring of your house is too old, it must be replaced at once.

If you have recently moved into a house, you can hire an electrician to check the quality and deterioration level of the current wiring. It will give you a rough idea about the age of the system.

If the cables are insulated with old rubber insulation, that means your house was wired at least 50 years ago. These rubber insulations are potentially hazardous if used with modern electrical equipment as they are not designed to run heavy loads, and they must be removed immediately for safety concerns.

Electrical Conditioning Report:

An electrical conditioning report can reveal whether your house needs a rewire or not. Moreover, it can also provide answers to what kind of and how much work is needed. The electrical conditioning report will also provide a rough estimate of the cost of the work.

You can hire an electrician to conduct the survey. Electricians usually charge around £200 for a survey, this cost can vary with the size of the house.

How Long Will Rewiring Take?

This depends upon the size of the house and the amount of work. A typical complete rewire for a single-bedroom house can take 4-7 days, and a house with three bedrooms can take 8-10 days to be rewired.

However, if you need to rewire a selective part of the house like the kitchen or any new extension, it will take less time depending upon the nature and size of the work.

Can You Rewire Your own House?

Well, of course, you can, but only when you are a professional electrician. Although doing it yourself is not illegal, there is a law in Building Regulations to regulate it. This categorises the building work into two categories i.e. notifiable and non-notifiable.

In general terms, it differentiates major works from minor works. For major works like rewiring your house, you have to notify the building office of your local authority.

Rewiring is not an ordinary job. So for the safety of yourself and your family, you need to hire a professional electrician. If you carry out a poor job while trying to save money, this can cause a serious and potentially dangerous incident anytime in the future. It is better if you get the work checked by local authority inspectors, they can come to your house for a fee, and they will check if the work has been carried out properly and meets the building regulations.

Cost of Rewiring Your House:

If you are planning to rewire your house completely, you should be mentally prepared because this will take several thousand pounds depending upon the size of your house and the length of wires needed. It also depends upon the addition of new circuits and switch panels.

However, if your cables are sound enough to fulfil your requirements, you may not need total rewiring. You can install a new modern consumer unit for around £350. Before installing a new consumer unit, make sure that it is tested and certified. 

Electricians usually have a fixed price which depends upon the time required to complete the given job.