Older homes are cherished for their character and majesty, however with the extra years can come extra levels of maintenance. Just as you need to replace appliances and other electronics, the wires in older homes eventually need replacing. The safety hazards of leaving old and damaged wires unchecked are reasons enough to contact an electrician, luckily it’s a job that only needs to be done once in a generation.

Rewiring a home is something that all homes need eventually, but what’s really involved in rewiring a home? Read on to find out.


Why Rewire An Older Home?

Generally, if your home is older than 30 years it’s recommended that you get an inspection every 10 years. Houses older than 50 years need to be checked even more thoroughly as they may have dated knob-and-tube or cotton insulated wiring. Modern lifestyles use much more energy than 30 years ago, so a main factor in rewiring homes is bringing them up to date so that they can handle the power needs of today’s families, and so that they are futureproofed for years to come.

Does your Antique Home Need Rewiring?

How old is your home? If your answer is over 30 years, you might need to consider rewiring. Like most things in life, a home’s wires deteriorate with time, so if you have a home of antiquity, you might need to consider a bit of restoration. Despite this, just because they’re old, doesn’t mean that they’re going to break, still, the safety hazards of leaving damaged wiring unchecked mean that getting your home inspected should be a regular priority.

Antique homes have a grace and charm like no other, but like any other classic item, they require a bit more maintenance to keep them working their best. Just like you’d refurbish an old car, old homes require the same treatment. Here are some reasons why it might be time to rewire your home.

Electrical Wiring Doesn’t Last Forever

Electrical wiring unfortunately doesn’t last forever, and as it reaches its last legs, wiring can become faulty, resulting in occurrences like lights flickering, fuzes tripping and even short circuits. Wires can lose their grounding over time, making electric shock a real risk, so it’s recommended that your wiring is checked every 10 years.

Your Outlets Could be Faulty

When electrical outlets aren’t in their best working order, they may not be properly grounded, which means there may be a chance of electric shock when plugging into the outlet.

Physical defects such as cracks, chips, missing parts, and loose screws could also mean that there isn’t enough tension to hold the cord into the outlet.

Your Power Box Might Be Dated

Your homes power box/service panel is the heart of your entire electrical system. Any fault to the power box can mean that your whole system goes down, and it’s a costly repair. Regularly checks can make sure that your power box is in working order. It’s also important to consider your power box when thinking about any new appliances or renovations. Old electric panels may not be up to the challenge of modern power needs, so you may be due for an upgrade.

Your Home is Old

A property over 30 years old with the original wiring is likely due for an upgrade. Old properties need to meet modern safety standards and be equip to deal with the energy needs of our technology-heavy times. Old wiring made the use of dated rubber, fabric or lead-insulated cabling, where modern wiring is PVCu coated and coloured grey-white. Old wiring can become ungrounded and faulty causing your system to trip or blow fuses or, at worst, spark a potentially lethal house fire or electrical shock. Modern wiring is twin earthed, which goes a long way to for safety purposes.

You Have Any of The Following Signs

If you have any of the following signs, it could be a good indication that your home’s wiring isn’t up to scratch. The best bet is to contact an electrician if you have or experience any of the following:

  • An old fuse box with a wooden back and cast iron switches and ceramic fuse.
  • Cables mounted on the surface that run along skirting boards or up walls.
  • Lead, fabric or black rubber insulated cables.
  • A mix of different sockets, indicating a partial rewire.
  • You frequently experience tripped breakers or blown fuses.
  • Dimming or flickering of lights.
  • Hot or discoloured switch plates.
  • Light bulbs burn out in their socket.
  • Buzzing or burning smells.
  • Loose outlets, cracks, cuts or broken insulation.
  • Arcs, sparks or electrical shocks when you touch chords.

What Are The Signs You Need To Rewire?

If you have an older home, it’s a good idea to get an electrical inspection to make sure that your wiring is up to scratch. An older home will often show signs of electrical problems if it’s wiring needs replacing. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Your electrical box has a fuse rather than a circuit breaker, or it has a wooden box with iron switches and a ceramic fuse.
  • Your home contains cables that are surface mounted that run along skirting boards, and/or up walls.
  • Your home’s cables are lead, fabric or insulated with old black rubber.
  • Your home’s sockets are different designs, which could indicate a partial rewire
  • You experience regular tripped breakers or blown fuses
  • Lights regularly flicker or dim
  • Switch plates are hot or discoloured
  • Light bulbs burn out
  • Buzzing sounds or burning smells
  • Loose outlets, cracks and broken insulation
  • Sparks, arcs or shocks when switched and cords are touched

How Long Will Rewiring Take?

Rewiring can generally take a few days, depending on the size of your home, and if it’s a full rewire or just a couple of rooms. Sometimes a full rewire can be avoided if some of your circuitry is up to scratch. Despite this, rewiring will involve entering the sub-floor and ceiling space.

It’s best to plan ahead of time so you can make alternative arrangments as these spaces generally become unlivable when work is underway. To help you get a bit of an idea, kitchens can take up to a day, a small home can take four days and a larger home can take over a week.

What is Involved When Rewiring?

The first stage in rewiring a home is the fix stage, which involves gaining access to the sub-floor and ceiling space needed to access your home’s wiring. Next, new sockets will be installed (if required) in addition to new wiring for all power and lighting circuits. While in the fix stage, it’s a good idea to check and or rewire circuits for heating controls, alarms, smoke detectors and doorbells and to add any additional wires and or sockets you may need in the future.

It’s Time To Get An Inspection

If you have a home older than 30 years, it’s recommended that you get a periodic inspection every 10 years. All the areas mentioned should be checked thoroughly to make sure that old circuits can handle the power needs of modern lifestyles.

Often a full rewire can be avoided if some of your circuitry is up to scratch. It’s sometimes possible to upgrade by adding a modern electrical panel and proper earthing arrangements.

With over 9 years experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality. If you have any questions regarding electronics in your old home or are looking for a quote for electrical installations, repairs, or general maintenance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with HunterCON about Power Boards today.