I didn't look close enough at the electrics before I bought this house. I have found that none of the sockets are on a ring: they are all wired as radials, some with spurs. I know you can have a radial with a 20A MCB but they are not wired like that (32a MCB in CU making it look like rings)! I found at least one socket that did not have an earth connection!
The lights are wired curiously. Some of it is red and black T&E. Some of it is T&E that has stranded conductors. And some of it is (if such a thing exists) "single and earth": grey outer insulation, with a red insulated wire inside and an un insulated earth wire. Though earth wires may be present in the cable, they are not always connected; sometimes they are cut level with the grey insulation.
What is frustrating is that a professional firm of electricians fitted a new consumer unit a few months before I bought the house. How did they let the vendor get away with this? Shouldn't they have tested for earths at the sockets, etc? It seems to me fishy that someone should buy a new CU just before moving house. I wonder whether someone else made an offer on the house, had a survey, and withdrew their offer because of the electrics, so the vendor fitted a new CU to give the appearance that everything was ok?
I thought I would begin by rewiring the lights. My house is like this:
ground floor: lounge and kitchen first floor: front bedroom, rear bedroom, bathroom second floor (loft conversion): bedroom and en suite
I thought I would start on the first floor as I am already doing some decorating on that level.
The loft conversion above is making it very difficult to follow wires. What do the professionals do when rewiring houses: remove carpet and cut holes in the floor above or cut holes in the ceiling below?
Rather than move the bed and roll back the carpet in the loft conversion, I went with cut a hole in the ceiling on the first floor. It seems that the builders have run chicken wire between the old ceiling joists and placed rock wool insulation slabs on top of this. This has interfered with me using rods to push cables along. Why would they put insulation between the first and second floors? Surely it would be better to put it above the loft conversion, not under it?
It is very filthy up there, lots of black dirt has fallen onto me.
To make matters worse, the loft conversion is on new joists that run between the old ones (which are still used to hold up the ceilings of the rooms below).
The light at the top of the stairs is on the ground floor light circuit, yet the light in the rear bedroom is connected to that lamp for its live and neutral. It seems the loop connections on the light at the top of the stairs are used for the upstairs light circuit but the switched live for that light comes from the ground floor circuit! I think this is dangerous as you would not expect one fitting to have conductors from two circuits. Do you agree?
What is the best way for me to rectify this? Should I put the light at the top of the stairs onto the upstairs circuit? Or should I leave that light on the ground floor circuit and just remove the first floor live connection to that fitting? What is the common practice with stair lights; what circuit do you put them on, or do you give the stairs a circuit all of their own (perhaps shared with fire alarms?)