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old fuse box in recently modernised house?

Postby Vince Meakins » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:41 pm

I’m in the process of buying a sixties house that has been nicely modernised with a new kitchen and bathroom and seemingly new electrics (halogen lights for a start). I noticed they have a fuse box with no RCD protection and it is positioned in the middle of a wall, which used to be the garage. This room will become my daughter’s bedroom! Would they not have to have changed this when they did the electrical wiring in the kitchen and bathroom? They also have electrics running to a shed at the bottom of the garden. Can I make them get a safety check somehow before proceeding with the sale? Is this practical and the best cause of action? Is it going to be expensive to get it replaced and moved 15 yards to the hallway? I have a 2 month old daughter that finds cables fascinating! Any help with this would be great.
Vince Meakins
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Postby sparx » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:16 pm

You should insist the vendor provides an up to date PIR,
That is a 'periodic inspection report' on approved test sheets
NOT an NICEIC 'home condition survey' which are pretty useless.

If the work you describe was done within the last 5 years there should be test certs. available and also it should have been registered with the Local Authority Building Control & there should be an A5 piece of paper to confirm this to be so,
(I doubt such exist as the work should have required an upgraded consumer unit as you suggest).

Ask your solicitor/conveyancer to request sight of a copy of such.

To move the consumer unit any distance will be quite expensive since it entails extending most if not all circuits, and the meter tails to the con unit are only allowed to be 3 metres long before an isolator switch.

Also since the existing con unit does not meet current standards it would need to be replaced with new anyway.

Sight unseen it's difficult to assess cost but IMHO from info given without taking into account shed etc. you are looking at a min. of £450

If no satisfactory answers then ask for a reduction in purchase price to cover such work, say £600-£800,

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Postby Vince Meakins » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:07 am

Sparx Thanks for the great answer!!! I understand most of it except the Isolator switch part. Am I to assume this goes where the old fuse box was so will still appear in the middle of the wall of a bedroom? - Which will not look good! Can there be a solution where the isolator switch, meter and consumer unit all end up in the hall (10 – 15 yards from where the fuse box is now and what sort of cost might this be? If it is too much can someone give me an idea on the cost of a new 17th edition (if that is the right term) RCD box and the cost of fitting it?
Vince Meakins
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