Rewiring of 1 bed flat

Hi folks,
I recently bought a bargain priced one bedroom flat. The building appears to have been converted from a 4-storey house into 4 separate flats in the mid-80s. Unfortunately during the conversion it would appear that several shortcuts were taken.
I have been doing little bits n pieces of DIY around the place, in the majority I have been decorating, but I have also replaced a couple of the pendant lights. It was when I noticed the rubber insulation around the cables and the lack of an Earth wire I got worried.
Does anyone know how old my wiring is likely to be? What is the legal position on earth wires in lighting circuits?
BTW, I checked the power circuits and they seem to have been rewired recently (in the last 20 years at any rate).
--
Fishter
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Hi Doctor D. In you wrote:

I was afraid of that. Any ideas on the cost to rewire 5 light fittings, 7 double sockets, a cooker and a 3kW shower?
Another problem is access. I expect that to do the ceiling lights I would need to gain access underneath my upstairs neighbours floor. That isn't likely to come easily.... :-(
--
Fishter
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Fishter wrote:

Sounds like the freeholder's responsibility to me. The funding would probably come from whatever maintenance fund you and the other flats pay into.
-- jc
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Hi Jeremy Collins In you wrote:

Given my recent experience of writing 4 times in as many months, before getting a response, I don't think this will be a very productive route. Worth a go I suppose!
--
Fishter
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Jeremy Collins wrote:

Surely the re-wiring for a particular flat should be paid for by that resident? Suppose the boiler needed replacing? the sinking fund wouldn't pay for that. Many of these conversions have no sinking fund anyway. Regarding access, there probably is a clause in the lease allowing you access for such services.
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Hi BillR In you wrote:

I think it is my responsibility. The only things that the freeholder is responsible for is the communal areas and the fabric of the building.

Apparently there is some kind of a fund, but I have little doubt that it is drained dry with the exorbitant management fees and insurance.

I'm not too worried about my legal rights to access, just the upheaval it may cause my neighbour.
--
Fishter
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BillR wrote:

You may very well be right - but what if the wiring in the whole freehold is unsound / unsafe?
-- jc
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Paul Hewish wrote:

Please not in a conversion flat unless you want to compromise fire safety and sound insulation.
Depending on what the existing ceilings are like one could consider fixing battens below the existing ceiling and replasterboarding after installing the necessary wiring. This would improve both the above.
--
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
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Hi Tony An interesting observation, and generally correct standard to follow. However, I got the impression from Fishter's original posting, that his may be an 'old' conversion where the installation of acoustic treatment would have been unusual. If there are any sound insulation measures in place they are likely to be of the 'acoustic' quilt variety - laid on the floor above and then a 'floating' floor (generally ply or chipboard) laid on top of the quilt and not being allowed to touch any part of the building structure (to reduce impact sound). The building regs of the time required this type of insulation above bedrooms and living rooms only, kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, etc. escaped the requirements. It was very unusual for acoustic granuals to be used in the ceiling voids at that time (to reduce air transmitted sound).
The Fire Safety regs of that time were affected be the thickness of any existing ceiling mass, so a lath & plaster ceiling with, say 1" (it was imperial measure in those days!) of thickness passed the standard (the Local Authority Surveyer would visit and poke holes in opposite corners of a room's ceiling and measure the thickness). If it didn't meet the standard you had a choice: fit a suspended ceiling of the appropriate standard, or fix plasterboard directly to the original ceiling to make-up the acceptable thickness; this was always the preferred method when decorative mouldings, etc. wanted to be retained. We did dozens of conversions like this in the 'old' GLC area (London).
There are currently downlights on the market specifically designed for maintaining fire safety requirements in situations like those above. Suppliers details are available.
Regards
Paul ----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: uk.d-i-y Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 7:50 PM Subject: Re: Rewiring of 1 bed flat

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Hi.
My first question would be what condition is the rubber in? If its shot, falling apart, it needs doing asap. OTOH?
Regards, NT
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The lack of earth isn't much of an issue, especially if you avoid metal fixtures. The rubber issue is much more serious. It has an expected 25 year life and hasn't been installed for 40 years. Obviously, it lasts better in some cases and worse in others, but it should need replacing by now. How urgent it is might be determined by an insulation resistance test, although even if it passes, it should really be replaced. You could always install wall lighting in every room. ;-)
Christian.
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