Every five years it is a good idea to have your home’s electrical wiring inspected and tested for faults. Indeed, it is a compulsory requirement for landlords to carry out these tests. This is a straightforward job that can usually be carried out in a few hours with little mess or intrusion. Every 20 or 25 years however, it is recommended that a home be rewired. I hope, if you are about to go through this project, that you have nerves of steel and a lot of patience.
You see, having your home rewired is unlike most other upgrades. A new bathroom means that work is generally confined to that area. The same goes for a new kitchen. A rewire will involve every room in your home. Furniture will have to be moved and carpets lifted.
I will run through, in this article, the general process of rewiring a home. Now, this isn’t specific to your home, so it may not be exactly what you will experience. It will, however, be close.
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The rewire will probably start with the upstairs lights. The electricians will strip out all of the old fittings and one of them will climb into the loft. Now, all that insulation you installed in your attempts to make your home more energy efficient will make this job rather unpleasant for them. You will see the other electrician pushing cables into the holes from where the fittings were removed. As if by magic, those cable will reappear through a hole in another room. The wiring will also be pulled down existing channels, where possible, to light switches. A cable will then be routed from one of the lights, through to the mains location. This is the first of many. New fittings will be installed and hopefully, they will be working by the end of the day.
That was the easy bit of the job. Now, furniture will need moving, carpets rolling back, and floorboards lifting. Your home begins to look like a bomb site. Hold your nerve, however, as this will be over soon. Cables need to be installed under the floorboards for the downstairs lights, upstairs sockets, immersion heater, cooker, heating system and downstairs sockets (assuming there is no basement). It is unlikely that all of this will be carried out in one day, so the boards will be replaced and carpet rolled back temporarily for the night. The next day, the process continues.
New wiring can hopefully be pulled up inside existing channels to the upstairs sockets. The same process will apply to the downstairs sockets and light switches. Getting new cables in the channels may not always be possible, so expect that your walls will need to have channels cut in the plaster, and new channel, and wiring, installed. A cheaper, and faster, job can be done by using surface trunking. It is a method employed by many people to save money but the quality of the job suffers, in my opinion.
The last job may be to fit the new consumer unit. All of your new wiring may have been temporarily connected into the old one up to this point. It should only take a few hours for this job to be completed. All that it left now is to replaster in every room where the walls were damaged. This will obviously necessitate new decor also.
When the job is complete, you will feel mentally exhausted. Your home has been turned upside down and strangers have invaded every corner of it. Well done. It is a job that you won’t even have to think about for the next couple of decades and you can rest assured that your home is safe for you and your family. You can’t put a price on that.