It is a dilemma faced by those who have just purchased a house. How do you know if the property needs rewiring? If a house is more than 25 years old and with Bristol comprising mainly of Victorian, 1930’s and 1970’s constructions means the answer would be yes. You can check this has been done with the Estate Agent. If rewiring has not been carried out the simplest way is to have a survey carried out by a qualified electrician.

There are a few little indicators that a house has been rewired recently by inspecting exposed parts of the wiring and by the electricity meter and the consumer unit. If there is an old-fashioned-style fuse box, with big white ceramic-style fuses, then the chances are that the property needs completely rewiring.

Another tell-tale sign that a rewire may be necessary is a mix of different socket and switch styles. This could indicate that a partial rewire has taken place, especially if there is evidence of surface-mounted wiring running along skirting boards and up walls.

In some rare cases of properties that have not been renovated in decades, you may still find example of old round pin sockets or original dolly switches, both of which are a sure sign that a rewire is necessary.

Another clue is the colour and style of the cabling, which you should be able to see at light fittings, around the fuse box. Modern electrical installations are wired in PVC insulated cable coloured grey or white.

Why should the home be rewired anyway? The simple answer to this is the risk of faulty electrics causing a fire. Older constructions didn’t have an earth cable and some used aluminium wire instead of copper. Aluminium wire is 55 times more likely to cause a fire than homes wired with copper due to aluminium wire running hotter than copper wire.

Every new house has to comply with current building regulations however, dwellings with existing wiring installations are not covered. If you make significant alterations or new additions to the wiring in your home, the regulations come into force*

This regulation would then come into force when you are carrying out a major renovation to a house then it is likely that you will need to rewire part, if not all, of the property including upgrading the consumer unit to carry the additional load safely.

Costs to rewire vary depending on the size of the property and the amount of work required, with conditioning reports starting from £160

*https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-approved-document-p