looking at having to re-wire my ex-wifes house to save on cash. It
definitely needs a new consumer unit - the existing one being a metal
box with some old bakerlite type switches and well you get the idea.
Also the wiring to the light fittings and sockets is starting to fall
apart. There are woefully inadequate numbers of sockets so I need to
add to these. I have multiple questions and would really appreciate
1) should I just save up and get an electrician in?
2) should I do the donkey work myself - I am reasonably competant at
stuff - and get an electrician in to do the consumer unit?
3) I presume that I will be having to cut out channels in wall to add
new sockets - is there a good book on the planning of a rewire with
good practical advice
4) Should I rent or buy and angle grinder to do the channelling?
Clearly I have not done this before but as the house really belongs to
me I am not averse to gtting stuck in and sorting th#e jovb myself -
if it isnt going to take to long.
Any advice is welcome.
mattdawes email@example.com (george139) wrote in message
You can do the job yourself and you don't have to be qualified but you
do have to ensure that all wiring and fittings comply with 16th
Edition Wiring Regs otherwise you can be held responsible in law for
any 'shocking events'? etc.
A good book I'd recommend you read first is :
THE WHICH? BOOK OF WIRING & LIGHTING by Mike Lawrence.
Don't take any notice of the purists who will post info telling you
this and that and the other.Get the book but read the introduction
first and then make a decision as to whether to do it yourself or get
an experienced electrician in.
On 30 Jan 2004 08:16:35 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Jack the Lad)
That is simply not true. The 16th edition wiring regulations are still
advisory, not mandatory.
Obviously in a court of law the prosecuting lawyer would be thumbing
thru the regs as he asked you questions, but you aren't actually
breaking the law to not comply with the regs.
Sending email to my published email address isn't
guaranteed to reach me.
Whilst what you say is true, it's not the whole story if you want your
wiring connected to the public electricity supply.
We're talking about a complete re-wire here and a supplier (distribution
network operator) is now quite within their rights to refuse to connect your
meter tails if the installation does not comply with the "British standard
requirements" - i.e. BS 7671:2001 (as amended). This has been the case
since the ESQC regulations came into force one year ago. So, in effect, the
wiring regs are already mandatory. The supplier will expect to see a
signed-off electrical installation certificate, as described in BS 7671.
There's an example of a completed certificate in the On-Site Guide.
Okay - I stand corrected. Thanks for that.
However I would make a point - there isn't actually a legal
requirement as in "you will go to jail if you don't do this". The
electricity supply company isn't a public service per sieu, but a
private organisation supplying services (more or less). So you don't
supply the certificate and they don't connect you up? That's not going
to put points on your license or anything.
However let's not disagree :)
Sending email to my published email address isn't
guaranteed to reach me.
I'd agree with that, it has a few weak areas but in general is very
I don't agree with that. the 'purists' are likely to people with
experience and knowledge, and could well stop you doing something
dangerous. There is a wealth of good advice to be found here. I have
completed jobs I wouldn't have liked to have done otherwise, with the
advice from the likes of Andy Wade etc.
read up, think about what has to be done, then ask again on the
questions that you still have lingering.
Registry corupted, reformated HD and lost alot of stuff :("
Any bookshop could get it, online BookBrain is a good place to start:
Sound advice. 99% of teh work is laying the new cables and sockets and
making good the mess afterwards. This is not rocekt science, and neither
actullay is fittin a bnnew CU, tho you may be disinclined to mess with
the meter -to- CU tails.
I would do it all yourself, up to installing the new CU, and get the
electrician in to simply test the new stuff properly, and deal with the
connection of the new CU to the meter.
I prefer an SDS chisel. Angle grinders produce an astonishing amount of
dust, whilst the chisel simply produces rubble which can be swept or
vacuumed up. You can't just put channels anywhere, though. There are rules
to prevent the cables being spiked by screws and nails.
I suspect this is a case of "if you have to ask, then you should".
You may find an electrician who lets you do the expensive, time consuming
donkey work of running the cables and then will connect up the accessories,
test and commission (and possibly design the circuits, if required). This
might be a happy medium for someone not quite confident enough for such a
If you need to ask these questions, then I would suggest you would not
be competant to do it. Don't forget that having done it, you then need
to persuade someone competant to take the responsibility for it and
A better way would be to find someone qualified to do the job and then
you offer to do the labouring tasks, to save some money..... Lift the
floor boards, chop out the walls, help feed the new cables in, repair
the plaster and etc..
Possibly, possibly not, Personally I prefer to let someone make their
own decisions on that point, given the requisite information. I wouldn't
suggest that someone who has really done any DIY take on the job, I
would suggest that anyone who is reasonably competent in they way they
approach their job, and has a modicum of technical nous about them is
able to, learn how to do the job well.
Domstic wiring isn't that hard IMO, yes there are a number of areas
where you need to be aware of technical requirement, but it isn't, via
the use of books, this group etc. to gain the relevant knowledge.
No you don't, there is nothing to stop you connecting it up yourself.
A good way to do so, a lot of the charge for rewiring is down to labour.
If it really is falling part then it is probably old rubber insulated
cable, and certainly beyond the end of it's life. how old is the house
/wiring? A full rewire, even if some bits are usable is probably the
best way to go
(in our current house - 30's semi - we had a mix of the original rubber
cable on the lights with newer (1960-70) sockets and a few lights.
Even though some of the sockets could have been re used , linked in,
just redoing the whole lot made much more sense.
I have no idea - how competent do you feel to do the job? Have you done
any wiring before, do you have much general DIY experience?
TBH, I'd consider the CU the easy bit...... If you can do the rest then
that shouldn't hold any worries.
Assuming you have brick/block walls then yes you will need to cut
channels, and recesses for the back boxes.
Certainly don't use an angle grinder for this, it creates an immense
amount of dust - I did it once never again.
You may find you don't actually have to go to much effort to cut
channels. I have managed to do most of mine just buy cutting channels in
the plaster, only in a few places did i need to touch the brickwork..
While modern plaster might require a bit of work, the 1930's stuff in
this house doesn't. The surface layer is fairly hard, but underneath it
is fairly crumbly. It is possible to score though the lot with a Stanley
knife, and then remove the plaster with an old chisel easily.
If there is a lot of channelling to do and you can arrange to do it in
one go, then you can hire specific channelling cutters. that do the
What I would by is an SDS drill. Cutting out recesses in brick with a
standard hammer drill and a hammer and bolster is a dreadful job. An SDS
drill makes it an almost cinch. You can get special box cutters, but I
just use a couple of SDS chisels, does the job fine.
I did mine it fits and starts as other jobs allowed etc. if you able to
do the job in one fell swoop, most disruptive, but easiest in the long
run, then I would guess that DIY-ing by yourself alone, we would be
talking say 2 weeks or so?
Take time to read up on the job, understand the various requirements,
spend plenty of time planning, ask here for clarifications etc. I would
also suggest getting a copy of the 'On Site guide' if you a re going
ahead. it's not a how to manual but it is a reference manual really on
various technical requirements and procedures that anyone doing a rewire
should understand about.
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