I am planning to rewire a house of 1927 vintage. I am in process of notifiying the local council of the proposed works. It is important that the decoration is left as intact as possible throughout this project, hence some of the questions below.
I am not a certified electrician (but have done a lot of domestic wiring over the years) and have a few questions which hopefully somebody can help with:
1) All wiring except in the ktchen is rubber and needs to be replaced. The kitchen wiring was installed more recently and is PVC but is wired as a radial rather then a ring circuit. Is it acceptable under modern practices to leave this as a radial (from reading the wiring regs I believe it is) - there are only 3 double sockets to be served - one of which will power a new central heating boiler?
2) The fuse boxes are in an under stairs cupboard and the stair well is used to carry existing cables to the upstairs under floor and loft spaces. Will it be acceptable to run cables on the surface of the stair well walls in conduit?
3) The understairs cupboard has cables run on the surface of the walls - I assume this practice is still ok if they are in conduit?
4) The wall between the stair well and the lounge is solid wood - about 1" thick. Currently there is one light switch and one single socket screwed to this wall on the lounge side with the cables being fed through the wall from the stair well. Is this acceptable practice?
4) I need to fit a consumer unit to replace the fuse boxes. If I get a certified electrican to connect this to the meter tails am I allowed to connect new circuits to it and then test and use them pending local council inspection, or does a certified electrician need to connect the new circuits to the consumer unit?
5) Some of the rooms have picture rails which will break conduit runs from light switches to ceilings. Is there a 'clever' way of making this cosmetically good?
lots of ??? but lets try:
1)kitchen radial ok if on 20A or less mcb, radials much more popular now than before!
2)3) 4) Surface wiring ok either 'clipped direct' or in mini trunking, must be in trunking/capping if liable to damage ie bashed by vacuum cleaner etc.
5) mini trunking available very thin to go up to picture rail and to ceiling from rail, carefully drill @ 45 deg. top & bottom of rail and should be able to thread switch wire around then cut back out of trunking to clear, self adhesive trunking saves damage to building fabric.
Finally consumer unit.....
If you inform bldg control & pay inspection fee for rewire, then strangely, there is no limit other than knowing your own ability to what you can do!!!!
I doubt you will find any qualified leckie willing to do as you suggest, if he does any of the work then by default he becomes responsible for the whole installation, apart from anything else IEE regs don't allow for issueing a completion cert. for work done by a 3rd party, he could only do a 'periodic insp' after finished.
This is reason given for bldg. controls inspection co. not giving electrical cert. they are only interested in cable routes etc.
You may find leckie willing to work with you, he sorts out routes etc. you run cables, he connects fittings and mains to save you some cash,
Many thanks for the detailed reply - really useful and much appreciated.
Regarding the consumer unit - do I need to contact the electricty company to connect this to the meter tails or can an independant electrician do this? - There is a newish connection box between the meter (which was replaced quite recently) and fuse boxes with a seal on it - so this also means I would not be able to remove the old fuse boxes myself as I cannot isolate them?
Hi agn Graham, if the connector blocks you mention are what are known as 'Henley Blocks' & are your side of the meter with tails from fuse bds marshalled in them then they are your property, not supply co's. so no need to be sealed up! talk to local sparky....
Yes, they are 'our' side of the meter with tails to the fuse boxes.
I will indeed get in touch with a local sparky.
In your first reply you said:
'If you inform bldg control & pay inspection fee for rewire, then strangely, there is no limit other than knowing your own ability to what you can do!!!! '
Just so I'm absolutley clear, am I permitted to do the following before the building control inspection:
1) Have the meter side of the CU connected by an electrican
2) Disconnect old circuits from the fuse boxes myself
3) Connect new circuits to the CU myself and test and use them as I go
4) Have an electrican disconnect the meter side of the fuse boxes
YEP!, building control only care about cable route and damage to fabric of building... they don't worry if you want to kill yourself it seems!!!
The company they use to inspect 'first & 2nd fix' won't do electrical tests thats down to you to get done at the moment, total Cock-up, but they don't have the expertese to do it themselves, regards SPARX