Electrical Wiring Advice

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    Electrical Wiring Advice

    Hi there I wondered how often a property should be rewired?
    The reason I ask is because the council House I grew up in was required every 10 years, so it was done twice in the 20 years I lived at home and will probably be due to be redone again soon.

    The property I'm currently renting with my little family has electrical wiring 30 years old and and had one of the old wooden back fuse boxes when we moved in , though this was replaced due to the land lords electrical DIY practically blowing the thing up.

    Now, we are experiencing electrical surges throughout the house, which has lost us quite a few of our electrical appliances, such a two sky boxes, one of which blew up while the sky engineer was out and caused him a nasty shock, upon informing the land lord, he replaced the faceplate of the offending socket and called the issue resolved. Since then we have also lost a playstation, a laptop, and a sandwich maker, the extent the plug from the sandwich maker exploded in my hand upon trying to unplug it.

    There was also an incident where my 2 year old son flicked the switch of a socket (there is a socket cover over it as that particular socket is unused, so the only part he touched was the switch) and received a minor shock as the socket sparked.

    The faceplate for the cooker is also ill fitting, with wires exposed, which his pathetic attempt of repairing was to apply silicone around it which didn't even cover the space where the wires were exposed.

    The land lord himself point blank refuses to acknowledge any of this as, in his words; "none of my other properties are having any issues with working and they were all done at the same time".

    The copy of the EICR he provided has also been forged due to the contradictions and serial number which is registered to a property down in england, while the property we are renting is in central Scotland.

    We are looking into taking legal action against this, is this the correct route? As I have been under the impression that electrical wiring should be replaced at least every 25 years, or sooner if faults occur.

    We have also had three different electricians whoever come out to look at the property advise that the wiring needs changing, but the landlord has never acted on this as

    Thank you for any help

    Modern wiring should last a very long time and you replace it when the EICR says it is necessary.

    The surges that destroyed your equipment sound like something that probably affects the whole neighbourhood, not just your installation.

    (We recently had a complete overhaul of the communal area lighting, but the original wiring, which is about 48 years old, was retained, some DIY additions were removed, but they were underrated.)


      "modern" PVC- insulated cables (standard since at least the 1960s) should last significantly longer than 25 years as they are protected from sunlight (so do not become brittle) and rarely disturbed.

      In older wiring, such as rubber-insulated or cotton-insulated cables or lead-sheathed cables, the insulation (and to some extent the lead-sheathing) does become brittle and deteriorate over long periods. This may not b a problem if the cables are not disturbed, but "simple" actions can cause the insulation to break or crumble raising the risk of arcing and fire (actions such as replacing a light switch, replacing a light fitting, loosening a switch/socket to paint behind when decorating, or just disturbing/bending the cables when encountered in the loft or under floorboards when non-electrical work is done).

      I'm sure that most homes have had the older insulation-style cables replaced, but I would be surprised if there are not some homes still out there that have such cables. They are death-traps and should be addressed.

      Regarding what you can do, I do not know the process for Scotland (and you should have posted this in the Scottish forum), but in England you should contact your local council who should assess the situation and, if necessary, issue an improvement notice.


        I cannot think of anything in the wiring of a home that could cause power surges, but I am willing to learn.

        Surges are likely to be caused by the supply system, or possibly by a faulty piece of equipment connected to the electrical system.

        Is there a backup generator?


          Contact your council - they have an private sector housing unit

          Have a look at the cert, look up the name of the company and check they are regstered- you can look up companies at:

          If they are a member of SELECT (or are alleging they are) you can email a pdf of the certificate to technical@select.org.uk and ask them to review it.

          If you blank out the name and any company information you can post the certificate for me to look at as well.


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