House rewiring

A woman just told me she had her house rewired because it hadn't been done for 30 years. Have you ever bothered? I mean if it works, why not just leave it? Wire doesn't rot.
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On 21/10/2014 20:13, Uncle Peter wrote:

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.
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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.
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On Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:26:00 UTC+1, Martin Brown wrote:

t
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.
http://www.basec.org.uk/News/Basec-News/Life-Expectancy-of-Cables
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 h rewirables.
That's the wire. I replaced plenty of socket fascias.
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On 22/10/2014 15:05, snipped-for-privacy@airsource.co.uk wrote:

only a problem on spurs, or 2.5mm^2 branches from 4.00mm^2 radials.
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What ozone source are you referring to?

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.
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On 21/10/2014 20:34, Uncle Peter wrote:

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.
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30 years seems short time for a rewire unless there is also a major refurb going on.
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I've always heard 25-30 years stated as the recommended rewiring schedule. She was refurbishing the house BECAUSE it had just been rewired, leaving a mess.
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Even Electrical Safety First doesn't push such nonsense. They state explicitly[1] "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[2].
[1] http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/frequently-asked-questions/ [2] which is not to say that's anything other than a very laudable purpose in life :)
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Adapters and 4 way strips suit me just fine. Or a couple of extra sockets can be added without changing the whole house.

It performs precisely the same function.

Why would I want that? The original electric showers work just fine. There is no need for more power. If I did want one, that's one wire to the CU, not the whole house needing redone.
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It appears she did. And when I said I had fuses she was horrified.
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On 21/10/2014 23:30, Uncle Peter wrote:

I've just had some fuses replaced with trip switches on a house I'm letting out. It makes life an awful lot simpler.
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On 21/10/2014 23:49, GB wrote:

I should have said that the trip switches are just a plug in replacement, so it's very easy to do.
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On 21/10/2014 23:50, GB wrote:

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 replaced.
Upgraded earth bonding and RCD's are what saves lives, not silly plug-in MCBs
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On 22/10/2014 11:06, Andrew wrote:

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.
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On 22/10/2014 11:44, GB wrote:

If something blows a fuse then you need to find out why! They tend not to trip as easy as mcbs.
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Is that as a CU swap or just adding RCD protection to the socket circuits? I am sure that you are aware that a fusebox to CU swap can in some cases open a can of worms.
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On 22/10/2014 19:49, ARW wrote:

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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