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Please read the disclaimer before attempting any electrical work. If you are uncertain then contact a qualified electrician.


A huge amount of homes in the United Kingdom still have old electrical wiring. This is unsafe and in effect a fire hazard but old wiring is not a good conductor and will cost you more on your electricity bills in comparison to modern systems. This meaning it will most likely effect the value of a home/building when it comes to selling it and will be shown as a problem when it comes to having a survey.

How to check if you may need a re-wire

The main thing you should check is the colour of the electrical cables, If you find a black coloured cable entering your consumer unit (also known as fuse box/fuse board/distribution unit) This is a sign that the wiring needs to be checked. Up to date electrical cables are either grey or white and have PVC insulation. The old black cables are insulated with rubber, which over time will decay.

Black rubber wires can be very old. In fact up to 40 years old and over time the conductors in the cables can meet. This will make your fuses blow and if you replace them they will just blow again and again. The only way to solve this problem is to have the cable replaced with the modern more safe PVC.

10 Signs that show you need a rewire

1. Does you consumer unit have replaceable fuse wires?
2. Does any of your sockets or plugs heat up fast or have burn marks?
3. Do your fuses trip regularly?
4. Do you need to use plug adapters or extensions?
5. Do your lights use old, twisted flex?
6. Is your flexing rubber coated?
7. Are you plugs and sockets rounded?
8. Do you have earth cables in your lighting and are they connected?
9. Over the last 10 years, have you had your wiring checked?
10. Do you have an earth cable on your gas meter and water stop tap (if so is it 10mm sq).

More signs of needing a rewire

Old Fuse Board
Old TRS Wiring
Old SwitchGear

An old fuse board (fuse box/fuse board/distribution unit/consumer unit)

If you have an old fuse board like the first image shown above then this could mean your wiring is dangerous and does not meet the current regulations.

Old TRS Wiring

(TRS) was the old type of wiring used in the 1960's and in comparison to modern PVC cabling, it is unsafe and dangerous. The difference between PVC cabling and TRS cabling is very distinctive and is easy to spot. TRS cables are very dangerous as there is no earth cable inside unlike modern PVC with 3 cables which includes the earth cable.

The best place to check for TRS cabling is usually within the loft as it is easy to access. But if you do not find any TRS cabling in the loft they could still be hidden away somewhere.

Old Switchgear

An old switchgear is a dead giveaway that the electrical installation may be in need of a rewire.

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