How often should I have a full House Rewire?
As the owner of a Derby Electrical Company we get asked this question a lot when we are out doing Periodic Inspections and quoting for a house Rewire. Customers are concerned about how long they have left in their wiring or how long a new House Rewire will last them.
As the majority of you will be aware House Rewires are renowned for being big, messy, dusty jobs, as conscientious Electrical Contractors we do our very best to keep mess and disruption for the customer to a minimum, but at the end of the day the customer will require every room in their home to be worked in, and most walls will require some form of chopping out. It is understandable that the customer is worried about how long this lovely new set of cables will last them before it needs redoing again.
We also get asked by a lot of house buyers if we can carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report on older properties. This is great idea to have done before you decorate your beautiful new home in the latest Laura Ashley wall paper and have luxurious new carpets put down. Many older properties could have dangerous old wiring circuits which could pose a fire and electric shock risk to your family, so it is a very good idea to have this test carried out before you buy the house. If any problems are found the majority of customers choose to have a re-wire either before they move in (if possible) or as soon as possible before they decorate.
How long does a house rewire last
A house rewire should last 20 or more years, sometimes as long as 40 years, but eventually the insulation on the cables will begin to breakdown and you will need a house rewire. You can have your wiring checked by an electrician.
However there are not actually any set guidelines for how long a re-wire will last, it’s more to do with how your property has been used and the materials used to carry out the wiring. A lot of older rewires will have used materials which today are deemed not suitable such as lead cabling or tough rubber sheathing. This is why a lot of the advice you will read suggests that you may require a re-wire if your electrics are over 20 years old. This will then ensure your property is up to current regulations.
To ensure your wiring is safe you should have a Periodic Inspection carried out by a fully qualified, registered electrician every 10 years, and for properties with tenants in landlords should have this carried out every 5 years. This will ensure the electrics are safe and up to date.
Regular checks should also be carried out by the homeowner. Things to look out for are;
- The condition of your cables,
- The condition of sockets and switches,
- Any buzzing noises,
- Fuses blowing,
- discoloured sockets.
If you find any of these problems you will need to have them checked by a registered Electrician as soon as possible.
What can you do to help prolong the life of your cabling?
Insulation and sheathing around the cables can deteriorate with age, but one of the most common problems that our Derby Electricians come across when carrying out Periodic Inspections or Electrical Installation Condition Reports is cabling reaching excessive temperatures due to overloading, or the cables being in direct sunlight or near excessive heat.
Cables that have deteriorated are unsafe to use as they loose their insulation. They also become less flexible resulting in them breaking or the sheathing crumbling away. This could pose an electric shock or fire risk.
The most common cause of overloading cables found in properties in the Derby area is caused by too many appliances being used at anyone time on one circuit. Such as overloaded plug sockets that are used for appliances such as hairdryers, hair straighteners and kettles, microwaves and irons.
To help maintain the condition of your homes cabling you should ensure, to not overload plug sockets. Have extra sockets installed by one of our qualified Electricians, we especially recommend ones that have the added bonus of USB Charging. Ensure your washing machine and tumble dryer are running off their own sockets and never off extension leads. Ensure cabling is not exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
Keep your home and family safe by checking your electrics on a regular basis and call our local electrician ASAP if you find any problems.