Electrical work

Guide To Electrical Wiring Repairs & Replacements in the UK

If you’re worried about the state of your household electrics you might need your wiring repaired or replaced – a job best left to a professional.

Always hire an electrician for wiring work

Always hire an electrician for wiring work

What with our ever increasing consumption of and reliance upon electricity and electrical goods, the last thing we need in life is a power failure; not only does it leave us in the dark, but it also forces us to go without all our mod-cons. Plus faulty wiring can increase the risk of sparks and electric shocks, which can then lead to fires – putting you and your family in danger. Although it is tempting to have a go at minor repairs yourself, electricians are fully trained and qualified to safely and skilfully get the job done in a matter of days – so if you’re suffering from frequent overloads or breakdowns, you should get your wiring inspected immediately

It is also important to note that it is a criminal offence to sell a home or property with faulty wiring; so if you’re thinking of leaving any time soon make sure your home is competently surveyed and any repairs are carried out to the highest quality. If you’re unsure of what constitutes faulty wiring, you should contact the Building Regulations Department of your Local Authority or ask your electrician.

So what is the cause of faulty wiring and electrical malfunctions?

There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing regular power outages, including the following:

  • System overload – a regular circuit overload is caused by excessive usage of power in a limited amount of time. If you have a relatively new home (built in the last thirty years or so) you should be lucky enough to have a Circuit Breaker Panel, which simply forces the main switch open to halt the flow of electricity; this can be easily repaired. If you have an older home, however, then it is more likely that your electricity is supplied by a traditional Fuse Board, which is basically a thin wire tube encased in glass; instead of switching off, fuses simply melt or disintegrate as a result of excess current supply, which can be significantly more costly and difficult to repair or replace.
  • Earth fault / lack of grounding – plugs provide electricity through a three prong system, the upper-most of which relays any excess voltage into the earth beneath and outside of your home, which allows it to dissipate safely into the ground. If this particular prong and/or the connected wiring hasn’t been fitted properly it can lead to electric shocks, system overloads and further internal burning of the said wire.
  • Loose contacts – one of the most important safety issues in regards to home electricity is the safe insertion of plugs, and proper maintenance of plug sockets. Loose fittings are a result of repeated insertion and removal – particularly common in busy households. Such looseness leads to poor conductivity and, as a result, overheating of wires and appliances; which can ultimately lead to burnt or damaged fittings.
  • Frayed wires/insulation – most home owners are unaware that uPVC cables for copper wiring only have an average lifespan of twenty years. Over time they will gradually deteriorate and internal wires may even suffer damage from hidden insects and bacteria lurking on the interiors of walls. Exposure to air causes the wires to suffer from poor insulation, which can ultimately lead to overheating and spark or fire risks.
    Short circuit – frayed insulation can also lead to the failure of the earth wire, which can cause
  • short circuits in the home – excess electricity fails to be diverted outside into the ground, causing the wires to burn and leaving connected appliances completely ruined.electrical-jobs
    What repairs will I need?
    The type of repairs you will require to your electricity system will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of damage to the circuit board or fuse box, and the nature of the underlying cause of the power outages. It may be a simple case of replacing and refitting wall sockets; but for more serious problems you’re likely to need a full, or at least partial, refit of your home’s electrical wiring system. This involves replacing or re-covering old copper wires with an effective insulation material to prevent the exposure to air and make sure excess electricity is properly diverted. Aluminium or steel-based coverings are extremely strong and durable; uPVC or thermoplastics, however, are a safer option, as they don’t conduct electricity and are unlikely to affect the flow of current.

    Rewiring is regulated by the Institution of Engineering and Technology in alignment with the British Standards 7671: Requirements for Electrical Installations, 2008 to ensure the safety and competence of such a comprehensive job – so make sure your employer can supply proof of meeting these guidelines.

    How much will re-wiring cost?

    The cost of re-wiring will vary significantly between different properties, but to make sure you get the best deal be sure to compare a number of quotes from different contractors before you sign on the dotted line. Always check references too, just to be certain your chosen employer is up to the task; you should also make sure they are fully qualified with the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Instillation Contracting) and understand the nature of your problem and what repairs will be necessary. A complete overhaul of electrical wiring for a three bedroom semi-detached property will, on average, cost somewhere between £3,000 and £5,000. It may sound like a lot of money, but it is important that you put you and your family’s safety first.

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