Rewiring a house: Things you need to consider
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
A complete house rewire may not sound like the kind of expense you want to fork out on the cost to rewire but it pales in comparison to the safety of your home and those that reside within it.
Electricity is something that most of us take for granted, the silent helper making our day-to-day life flow easily. But if your home is in need of rewiring, that awesome power may become worryingly or even dangerously obvious, potentially leading to electric shocks or fire hazards.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of the top six signs you should look out for to know whether or not your house may need rewiring:
Outdated property and cabling
If your property is over 25 years old, you are the most at risk from outdated cabling, faulty wires, and a fuse box you can’t trust. These things are incredibly dangerous and you must have your home rewired as soon as possible to comply with the modern electrical safety standards and building regulations.
Fluctuations in power
This kind of fluctuation could be caused by loose existing wiring, overloaded sockets, and switches, or a conductor that is too small to carry enough power to your home. It’s worth speaking to a qualified electrician to try to resolve what may be the cause of this issue before opting for a full rewire.
Discoloured outlets and switches
A clear sign that your house is in need of rewiring is disclosure or charred electrical outlets and switches. Faulty wiring or a loose connection near the outlet or switch can cause sparking. This will cause a small fire, leaving discolouration on the surface of the outlet.
This is a serious cause for concern and should be looked at immediately.
Sparking outlets aren’t always an immediate cause for concern when it comes to your electrical system. However, it is always worth speaking to an electrician as this can be a signal of a potentially dangerous problem. If your outlets are short-circuiting, excessive heat is building up within the outlet which causes melted insulation.
A faint smell of burning
When an electrical short occurs near your switches, the small fire will cause a faint smell of burning. If you notice a burning smell and it’s not your dinner burning in the oven, your wiring may also be shorting behind your walls or underneath your floors. Any smell of unidentified burning in your home should be tested by a qualified electrician as soon as possible.
Flickering and Dimming lights
No, it’s not time to call the priest to perform an exorcism. It’s time to call the electrician for some advice. When a light brightens there is too much voltage and when they are dim, they are receiving too little. Whilst common to think there is a problem with the lightbulb itself, this type of spike or decline in power is typically synonymous with loose wiring or faulty circuits and should be looked at as a priority.
If your home does need rewiring, there's an alternative way to improve the safety of your electrics. Replacing the consumer unit or fuse box with a modern one that will include RCDs (residual current device, a life-saving unit designed to prevent fatal electric shocks if something live is touched) will protect homeowners from the dangers of mains electricity. The average cost of these tends to be around £500, opposed to the few thousand you will need to have your entire home rewired.
It's recommended that your electrical installation is tested every 10 years if you own your home, and every five years if you rent. Older houses also tend to have fewer electrical sockets, meaning extension leads are more likely to be used, and sockets can sometimes be dangerously overloaded.
For more information about having your home rewired, don’t be afraid to contact our team of experts!