The copper wire might not but the insulation around it certainly does -
especially if there is some ozone about. Take a look at what happens to
Post Office rubber bands after a year or so and then worry about it!
If you are still on prehistoric round pin plugs and wire fuses then it
is probably time for a rewiring by now.
There is also the risk of rodents sharpening their teeth on your wiring
with accumulating damage until they bridge live and neutral. But that
can happen to modern wiring sometimes if you are very unlucky.
Rubber bands are nothing like the insulation used on electrical wiring.
I have some old rubber extension cords that my dad had, must
be well over 60 years old now, they're still fine insulation wise.
The plastic extension cords I used when building the house
40 years ago now are still fine and the insulated wiring in the
house that I did myself is even better, essentially because it
was always better than the extension cords and doesn't even
get walked on because it's a flat roof with only a max of 15"
of space in the roof space. And that stuff does get pretty hot
in summer because its above the ceiling insulation and below
the metal deck roof and we routinely have 10 days in a row
over 100F, the roof space does get pretty hot in summer.
Makes more sense to just change the sockets and CU.
Mine was done with wire fuses, just because there was
a shortage of breakers at the time and the electrical
supply authority had noticed that I was powering the
entire house from the builder's temporary supply using
an extension cord and so there was some urgency to
to the meter box and make it legal. I just use those
breakers that plug in in place of the fuse wire block.
Can't be arsed to redo the whole thing because that
would involve moving the meters and would involve
getting an electrician to say he did that and the two
I know who would be happy to do that, one has died
of cancer and the other has moved away and couldn't
be bothered with the stupid training requirement to
keep his license.
Yeah, that one isnt relevant to how often you need to rewire.
I don't have any of that damage to mine anyway, even
tho we have had a few mouse plagues over that time.
On Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:26:00 UTC+1, Martin Brown wrote:
Yes, and the rated lifetime of PVC cable is only 20 years - when run 24/7 a
t max load, and at rated ambient temperature. Unsurprisingly, it lasts quit
e a lot longer in normal conditions.
I replaced my old fuse board with a new CU/RCD/MCBS a few years ago. The wi
ring was nearly 30 years old, the IR was fine, and there were only two thin
gs wrong: a broken ring main CPC, due to a loose terminal in a socket (had
probably never been done properly), and the undersized CPC - it was 1mm, wh
ich happens to be fine with MCBs, but doesn't satisfy the adiabatic eqn wit
That's the wire. I replaced plenty of socket fascias.
That might apply to flex, but my house wiring (twin and earth etc) doesn't seem to go the same way.
Nope, 1979 wiring. Wire fuses and square 13A sockets. I prefer wire fuses as they aren't over-sensitive. The only circuit beakers I got (plug in type in place of the consumer unit fuses) was for the lighting circuits, as a blown halogen bulb could damage a PIR sensor before the fuse blew.
I've had rodents in the house a few times, but they've never gone for wires, only things like cushions and poly bags. If they did it should blow a fuse, or the rat.
You might find sockets are a bit thin on the ground by modern standards,
and "consumer units" have changed and improved; fuse wire is a bit dated
to my mind. Any "trip units" can deteriorate with age. More powerful
electric showers are now available, needing circuits > 30 amp.
Even Electrical Safety First doesn't push such nonsense. They state
explicitly "There are no set guidelines as to when a property should
be rewired. Just because your wiring's old, it doesn't mean it's unsafe.
Many factors can affect the wear and tear of your electrical
installation, including the materials used and how your property has
been used." And that's from a charity who generally lose no opportunity
to get people to spend more money on electricians.
 which is not to say that's anything other than a very laudable
purpose in life :)
And any professional sparky reading this will say that this is a
pointless exercise, and in the case of the Wylex variety are actually
more dangerous (under certain conditions) than the rewireable fuse they
Upgraded earth bonding and RCD's are what saves lives, not silly plug-in
It's not intended to save lives. It's intended to stop the tenants
calling me up in the middle of the night when they blow a fuse.
I agree that an RCD would be good. That's the next change on the list.
I had not realised just what a can of worms it can open up, but I have
now read the wiki. The electricians who are dealing with this
recommended just changing over the fuses, whilst I had expected them to
suggest a new consumer unit. I can see why, now.
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