Electrical Inspections

A friend has just inherited a house built in the late 60s which has had pretty much nothing done to it since, except for uPVC Doors and Windows.
It needs the full bathroom/kitchen renovations but it may also need a complete electrical overhaul. We are not 100% sure if buried cables are rubber or PVC. The house has had 2 owners from new and was built by a builder for his own occupation and the rumour is that he didn't want any of the "new fangled PVC crap" when he built it.
At the very least it might be nice to replace the hard wired fuses with circuit breakers and add RCD type protection to the house.
I assume in the first instance some sort of electrical safety check is required where the the integrity of the insulation on the existing wiring can be assessed.
Would a landlord/house sale EICR suffice or would something more detailed be needed?
Can someone carrying out an inspection condemn and isolate the electrics in the same way as they can with gas?
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Chris B (News)

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On 14/08/2017 12:58, Chris B wrote:

I would not rely on an EICR for electrical safety.
It would be advisable to get a competent electrician to inspect and give a report on the condition of wiring.
This inspection is unlikely to result in a 'forced' disconnection as per a gas safety check but if the wiring condition is 'dangerous' you may be advised not to use it until any necessary remedial work is completed.
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You should be able to see what its made of by unscrewing a light switch, surely? Brian
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On 14/08/2017 13:44, Ash Burton wrote:

Whilst unlikely to result in a full disconnection there are times you have to disconnect a circuit and make the person ordering the report aware of why you have done so.
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On 14/08/2017 12:58, Chris B wrote:

The main difficulty with 60's installs is they are unlikely to be that well suited to modern usage patterns. So chances are there will be far too few sockets among other issues. If the accessories are original, then they are also likely to be in need of replacement - socket contacts are likely to be worn and dirty, and so generate lots of heat with high load appliances.

An EICR (i.e. what was previously called a PIR) should tell you what you need to know. However you an probably work out for yourself the key points.
If you pop a couple of sockets and light switches off the wall and look at the wires you will see if they are PVC or rubber, and if the lighting circuits are earthed (post '66 they should have been - but that took a while to percolate through).
If the cables are rubber, they will be very likely be at their end of life or past it - at least in some points of the installation.
I would expect that budgeting for a full rewire would be sensible.

Not really, but then again if they tell you the wiring a significant fire or electrocution risk, you would be sensible to take note and do something about it.
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You might find, in disturbing them. that the insulation starts coming off. Make surw you have plenty of insulation tape so that you can make it safe for the moment.
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On 14/08/2017 15:55, charles wrote:

Indeed - it certainly can in bad cases...

Tape or a bit of sleeving...
Worth motioning what I neglected to say in my previous post - do all these inspections with the power off at the main switch!
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On 8/14/2017 4:33 PM, John Rumm wrote:

I think someone smart enough to be asking here will know that!
OTOH there might be the odd exception
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On 14/08/2017 16:33, John Rumm wrote:

Or, as the case may be, switches (plural) as it seems the OP has a PV installation - though I was unclear about the label on the CU referring to the backdoor and the loft. The loft seems a bit out of the way if eg there's smoking coming out of CUs and cables.
With the PV, is this in the running for an ancient-and-modern prize?
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On 16/08/2017 14:06, Robin wrote:

There is a PV isolator switch is by the backdoor (as shown in the photo), the inverter for the PV is in the loft and the labels would indicate an off switch/isolator in the loft (don't know for sure as I haven't been in the loft yet - hence haven't switched everything off and haven't removed any switch or socket faceplates.)
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On 14/08/2017 14:25, John Rumm wrote:

You are right that there are too few sockets, and that they are very old. Replacing old for new or old singles for new doubles I am very happy to do myself. Changing the CU however is certainly a job for the Pros.

The house has been lived in up until very recently, so I don't think it will be that dangerous until it starts getting disturbed.

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Hmm strangely, I've checked my 1960s sockets here and they are all in very good condition. MK they are and I get no overheating or anything. I remember about 6 months after getting it done we had to get the bloke around to tighten a few screw terminals where they had relaxed. I was surprised then that live and earth went to ceiling roses and other places where they n did not need to be, but I gues that was the rules. I'd have much preferred the old methode of turning off the light left no live lines in the rose, but those days is gorn. I have to pop the breaker for that circuit now if I need to put a different light up. Brrian
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On 8/14/2017 12:58 PM, Chris B wrote:

When I bought my first house in the 1970's (Victorian) it still had much of the first Edwardian wiring, cotton on rubber single conductors in wooden channelling.
I'd say basic 60's wiring is probably reasonably safe as long as it hasn't been hacked about a bit (and it is usually very obvious if a house has been occupied by a bodger).
As John says it is certainly overdue a rewire to modern standards.
If it was mine, I would start with a Megger test on all the circuits. If it passes that, I'd be reasonably relaxed. How you prioritise the work obviously depends on finances, and what else needs doing.
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On 14/08/2017 15:09, newshound wrote:

No I think its fair to say it is pretty much exactly as left by the builders (once you remove the plug in adaptors and extension leads)

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On Monday, 14 August 2017 12:59:03 UTC+1, Chris B wrote:

Sparks like to exaggerate issues to pressure you into paying for more work than you need, making EICRs not as useful as you might like. Show us a photo of the fusebox & the wiring behind a couple of sockets/lights, and all should become clear.
NT
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On 14/08/2017 15:29, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Will try to get a couple of these but it will probably be a few days until I am round there again.

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On 14/08/2017 18:24, Chris B wrote:

Not had chance to remove any sockets/light switches yet (don't have access to the loft to isolate the solar panels) but some photos of the fusebox area are on this link (if it works)
https://my.pcloud.com/publink/show?code=kZSAYoZGux3SFym0cutggE19UCx1zYX4U5k
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On 16/08/2017 09:18, Chris B wrote:

Looking at those photos where cable is visible, it seems as if you may have a mixture of pvc and vr into the fuse box. Only a proper check at the switch/socket ends will confirm.
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On Wednesday, 16 August 2017 09:36:32 UTC+1, Ash Burton wrote:

Agreed.
And a marked lack of anything that looks like circuit earths -- is the whole installation in steel conduit used as the earth and fitted flush behind the fuseboxes? But I can't see any sign of earthing apart from one new additional wire up the pipe.
Owain
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On 8/16/2017 9:36 AM, Ash Burton wrote:

Nice pics. Could almost serve as a "Museum" example.
I agree, it looks as though you may have some rubber, but it does also look pretty undisturbed as you said elsewhere.
I don't think I would bother to try to replace the fuses with RCDs without replacing the rubber insulated cable. Much easier to do the rewiring in one pass, but doesn't need to be first priority if there are other significant jobs.
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