just tried replacing a (single) socket i cracked. I opened it up and there doesn't seem to be an earth cable for the ring main, there are two red and two black, but now green/ stripey/ or bare copper wire.
It's an old property, should I be worrying about this and getting onto my landlord to replace the whole lot? or is it just an old system, which will probably be fine?
HI ITRY, some old wiring was done years ago without earth, but now earth must be installed. I'd look at your fuse box/cu to see if any earth cables installed and for any earth supply at main earth termininal and in take/cut out.
You could need an earth supply or and CPC (earth cables installed around the house). So taking that into account it would be likely that it would all need re-wiring.
As to worrying simple answer Yes worry.
You say Landlord with any property it needs and inspection and test when ever the occupant changes. This is often missed with owner occupiers but Landlords need to do this for insurance etc. and is unusual to find rented property that has not been tested. The consumer unit should have a label to say when next test is due often these have company name who will have record of test. From Book 3 which lays out how to test
"1.3.1 Certificates and Reports
Following initial verification of a new installation or changes to an existing installation, an Electrical Installation Certificate, together with a schedule of inspections and a schedule of test results, is 743-01-01 required to be given to the person ordering the work. In this context "work" means the installation work not the work of carrying out the Inspection and Test. Likewise, following the periodic inspection and testing of an existing installation, a Periodic Inspection Report, together with a schedule of inspections and a schedule of test results, is required to be given to the person ordering the inspection.
Sometimes the person ordering the work is not the user. It is necessary for the user (e.g. employer or householder) to have a copy of the inspection and test documentation. It is recommended that those providing documentation to the person ordering the work recommend that the forms be passed to the user including any purchaser of a domestic property.
1.3.2 Landlords and tenants
A landlord is required to provide a tenant with an electrical installation in good condition and repair. The landlord should maintain the installation in a condition suitable for the use intended, and ensure that repairs are undertaken by a competent person. A tenant has a duty to ensure that those parts of the installation that are his or her responsibility are maintained in a safe condition, and to ensure that repairs are carried out only by a competent person."
You should have these documents showing these tests have been done. The fitting of sockets without earths was done in the past but not within last 10 years so it should have failed test. And when we were fitting no earth wires we also used VRC cable which by now is getting very old and in most cases requires replacing.
Warning though a re-wire is very messy with floor boards up and dust everywhere and days without or with little power maybe not the thing for winter months. Best if you were on holiday while it is going on so tread careful. Get onto Landlord but be nice you want to be able to select when.
DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!