In order for the electrics at your home to be safe, all electrical work should be carried out by a qualified electrician so that all changes and additions meet the current electrical wiring regulations, part of building regulations. This electrical wiring a house guide is a guide only.
Does Your Home Need Re-Wiring?
You may notice that any exposed electrical wiring looks old or the last time you have a new light fitted etc., the electrician commented on the age of the wires.
We also use far more electrical gadgets in our homes. From PCs to charging mobile phones and tablets, to living in a smart home, the load on electrical sockets is far more than what it used to be.
The safest option is to re-wire your home.
Can You Complete the Re-Wire Yourself?
With planning and preparation, it may be possible to re-wire your home yourself. But, it needs careful planning and you need to ensure that ALL household electrical wiring meets current building regulations. You will need to have the re-wire inspected and signed off by a qualified electrician.
Unless you have some training and qualifications in this area, the wisest move with something as important as domestic electrical wiring is to call on the services of a qualified electrician.
Wiring a house with three bedrooms can cost around £3,500 but the final cost will depend on a number of factors, including location.
Planning a Re-Wire
Even if you are relying on a professional to complete a rewire, you will need to future-proof your home in terms of demands on walls sockets and the like:
- Consider the number of electrical sockets in all rooms – the kitchen, for example, is the room notoriously short on electrical sockets.
- Consider the safe use of electricity in wet areas such as the bathroom and kitchen – from heated towel rails to specialist, sealed bathroom lighting, there may be a need for new wiring circuits for both the bathroom and the kitchen.
- New wiring circuits across the home – the way in which a house is wired has also changed. At one time, electricity came in one box with one fuse. But now, there are many separate circuits which mean it is easier to isolate key features such as ‘lights upstairs’ etc.
Wet Area Electrical Wiring
To avoid electrocution, there are specific electrical wiring regulations concerning the bathroom – home wiring in the bathroom will need to meet specified criteria. Electric showers, light fittings and ventilation fans must have levels of moisture and mechanical protection known as Ingress Protection (IP) numbers.
The IP rating will look like start with the letters IP and followed by two characters. The first character specifies the degree of protection afforded against solid objects and the second against moisture.
Check the I.E.E. Wiring Regulations (BS 7671: 2001 Section 601) for all mandatory requirements for areas containing a bath or shower.
These safety standards are measured in zones. The requirements for each zone is based on the degree of risk of an electric shock.
There are four zone categories:
- Zone 0 – this zone is inside the bath or shower, such as lights in the shower cubicle. Any fittings used here must be SELV (max 12V) and be rated IPX7 (protected against immersion in water).
- Zone 1 – this zone is above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m. In this case, a minimum rating of IPX4 is required.
- Zone 2 – this is the area stretching to 0.6m outside the shower or bath, including above the bath or shower if over 2.25m. An IP rating of at least IPX4 is required.
- Zone 3 – applies to anywhere outside of the above zones.
Wiring a house: what is Involved in Electrical Re-Wiring?
Re-wiring happens at what is known as ‘first fix stage’. This means that the current wires will need to be chased and removed, and all the plaster from that part of the wall removed too.
Back boxes will need to be fitted – available from retailers of electrical wiring supplies – and floor boards and skirting boards lifted etc.
There is no doubt that when it comes to wiring a house, calling on the professional services and skills of a qualified electrician is the way forward.