Domestic house wiring & appliance check

Following on from the university PAT check thread, something that has crossed my mind recently is whether it's worth getting (domestic) house electrical wiring and appliances check.
Moved into house 20 years ago, and never really checked for anything unless/until there's a problem. Wonder if it's worth checking as pre-emptive move, like a mouse beginning to chew into a hidden cable or water ingress that hasn't manifested itself (yet). Or how that sort of thing would show up. Or what such a test would show anyway. Or what I can do myself e.g. with one of the "socket testers" that is available on the market (and would I understand the implications anyway as a lay person).
What would be worth checking: wiring? sockets? appliances? consumer unit?
House is 40 years old, I moved in 20 years ago and had some wiring done, and got a new consumer unit in the garage.
We do electrical checking at our place of work etc (on a comulsory basis), but should we do it at home (on a voluntary basis).
I had a new electric shower put in last year and the electrician checked the consumer unit and picked up that one of the breakers needed replacing, but nothing much else was checked. And I've had another individual breaker on the consumer unit need replacing a couple of years ago.
Any thoughts welcome.
TIA
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Definitely the sockets, I've known them start to heat up just running a fan heater. Not all are made equal, and some loose wires can cause heating as well of course.
I'm assuming you are not the first person to occupy it, in which case you do not know what has been done before do you? I don't know if bodgit and run are still out there, but some of the things my father found here in the 1939 house as supposedly safe wiring would make your hair curl. We had it all rewired in the 70s, and from the state of what was pulled out its a wonder anything worked at all, cracked rubber chaffed fabric, and twisted and taped joins.
Brian
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On 15/08/2019 10:03, Allan wrote:

The official check is known as an "Electrical Installation Condition Report" (EICR) and for rented property should be carried out every 10 years unless you have a pool then every year. Have a google ..

Well I would be testing general condition, ring main loop resistance, earth resistance, RCD trip time,

So 40 years ago the wiring would be PVC so should still be OK. Did you get a consumer unit with an RCD? If its only a single RCD I would be looking to replace it with a split box, or even RCBOs.

I would say so...

Well after having some checks for a new kitchen, I would say regular checks are a good thing, and I would say five years would be better....

Dave
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On 15/08/2019 11:28, David Wade wrote:

AFAIK there is no /requirement/ on landlords generally in England to have EICRs. The main exception is HMOs where it's every 5 years. The government consulted on extending that to all privately rented properties and announced last year they would do so by regulations. But I've yet to see any sign of them. Nice little earner i.d.c. for firms with apprentices to spare?
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On 15/08/2019 11:45, Robin wrote:

An apprentice do an EICR? We have a 3rd year that could but he is the only one.
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On Friday, 16 August 2019 18:12:56 UTC+1, ARW wrote:

It's not that hard to check the postcode is correct on the Royal Mail website.
Owain
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On 16/08/2019 20:08, snipped-for-privacy@gowanhill.com wrote:

A* in cynicism?
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Robin
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On 16/08/2019 18:12, ARW wrote:

O tempora! O mores!
I'd thought smart phones would have made it a doddle: if the apprentices see anything they are not sure about they phone their masters for advice - and send a photo if necessary. Or just wait until the master comes by to sign the form and collect the money.
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On 15/08/2019 10:03, Allan wrote:

Some, probably.

The stuff you could expect to show up would be things like degraded circuit continuity due to poor or loose connections. Wear on sockets and accessories. Possibly insulation damage to cables etc.

Possibly, yes, some and yes :-)
Wiring tests like round trip resistance on ring circuits, and earth loop impedance tests, plus insulation resistance checks will tell you lots about the state of those. A visual inspection will let you spot sockets where the contacts are worn etc, and possible also any signs of local overheating.
Appliances, are probably only worth doing the "visual inspection" part of a full blown PAT.
CU itself is probably fine, but checking the tightness of all the screwed connections would be good, as would be testing any RCDs (ideally with a proper RCD tester, but as a minimum with the test button).
You might also want to look at if all the sockets have RCD protection with a 30mA trip.

All the stuff that you want to do is eminently DIYable with the right kit and a bit of planning / learning to make sure you keep safe while doing the work and can make sense of the results.
Articles like:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Electrical_Circuit_Faults
Cover how to find visible and non visible circuit faults using basic equipment.
More extensive equipment can be hired or bought cheaply second hand on ebay (and re-sold when done if you want).
Some more info here:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Electrical_Installation#Test_gear
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Cheers,

John.
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On 15/08/2019 10:03, Allan wrote:

I don't think PAT testing is worth it. However you aren't going to find a fault on a ring without testing it other than waiting for it to catch fire.
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On Thursday, 15 August 2019 10:04:00 UTC+1, Allan wrote:

Hard question to answer. A clear photo of the fusebox/CU should give us some idea.
NT
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On 15/08/2019 10:03, Allan wrote:

[snip]
Many thanks for all the useful thoughts: think I might investigate further, and am now better informed!
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