When Do You Need To Rewire A Property?

The sheer variety of different types of electrical work highlights the importance of comprehensive electrical training courses that ensure that regardless of the type of work that needs doing, safety before, during and after the work is not compromised.

Most of the time, installation and repair work will be about building upon the system already in place, updating whatever is necessary to bring the building up to acceptable standards or add functionality safely and securely.

This means that the most common jobs an electrician is likely to undertake on a daily basis involve, for example, routine inspections, repair work or installing charging stations for electric vehicles rather than comprehensive wiring or rewiring jobs.

Whilst many repair projects will involve partial rewiring to fix a specific issue, a full rewire is intensive, can take several days to complete and can sometimes involve the current residents vacating the premises whilst the work is being undertaken.

This typically means that such intensive work is typically done when there are either substantial issues, potential dangers or the risk that increased electrical demand could tax the existing wiring beyond breaking point.

Here are some examples of cases where a total rewire is the only option.


If An Older Property Has Not Been Rewired

Over the years, electrical standards have changed significantly, wiring can degrade, technology has improved and a wiring system that was previously seen as acceptable can become unfit for purpose.

Exactly when the tipping point is that a property’s wiring becomes too old is unclear and can vary depending on when the property was built, last renovated or last rewired, but typically if a building has not been substantially renovated in the last 30 years, it will require at least some substantial upgrades.


If An Inspection Highlights Its Need

Wiring is typically inspected every five to ten years, depending on whether a property is owned or rented, with an Electrical Installation Condition Report produced to provide a clear indicator of the quality of the wiring.

If an EICR notes that substantial works are required to the point that a full rewire is the only option, a property owner will need to arrange with a qualified electrician to ensure that the wiring is upgraded to be safe and fit for purpose.


Dated Insulation

A telltale sign that a rewire is necessary is if the wiring is still being insulated using fabric, lead or rubber coatings, rather than the UPVC material that is the de facto standard for modern wiring.

If an electrician comes to a very quick verdict about the need for a full rewire, it can often be because they have seen the insulation or the age of the fuse box, both of which need updating to meet modern building regulations.


Constant Circuit Breaker Trips

Whenever a fault develops, either a fuse blows or the circuit breaker trips, causing one or more of the switches to flip and power to be cut off from a particular part of the building.

Isolated breaker trips may not necessarily be a cause for concern, but if a circuit is constantly tripping and causing periodic losses of power, it might have been caused by old wiring that has caused a fault.

Slight shocks from switches, dimming or flickering lights and exposed cables are also significant causes for concern and might highlight the need for a full rewire.