Moving to a new house is a stressful business and the last thing you usually check is the condition of the wiring. To the untrained eye this can be problematic. You can switch on a light and see that the electrical current is working, there are no unusual burning smells and the sockets and switches look modern. Box ticked, electrics all fine. But are they?

An electrical condition report should highlight any issues, but if the house does not have one here is a quick overview of wiring in the house.

There have been many updates to electrical wiring over the decades. Current cable colours set by BS7671 standards are blue (neutral), brown (live) and yellow/green (earth). Outdated wiring is:

  • Red
  • Black
  • Green

The sheathing of the cables is also a tell-tale sign that a re-wire is required:

  • Lead Sheathed cables are pre-1950s
  • Tough Rubber Sheathed are pre-1960s and black in colour
  • Vulcanised Rubber Insulated cables, also pre-1960s

If you find any of these style cables in your house they should be changed immediately

Wiring can deteriorate over time with an average lifespan of 30-40 years so if your house was built in the 1960s-1980’s and has not had a re-wire the time is now to have the electrics checked.

There are other signs that a re-wire maybe required:

  1. Frequent blown fuses or tripped breakers
  2. Dimming or flickering lights.
  3. Hot or discoloured switches, cords, or plugs.
  4. Light bulbs that frequently burn out in a socket.
  5. Buzzing or sizzling sounds.
  6. A burning smell.
  7. Arcs or sparks from an outlet when you plug or unplug a cord.
  8. Electrical shock when you plug in or touch a cord.

If in doubt call us out to have a look at your wiring.