Your Expert Electrical Inspection in Sydney
The cost of rewiring a house is between $5000 and $20 000!
That expense is on top of your purchase price. Many inner west houses have sub standard wiring and switchboards.
We include an electrical inspection and report at no cost with your building and pest inspection.
We are licenced electrical contractors and are in a unique position in the building inspection industry to provide this service.
You need to know up front the condition of the electrical system especially in older inner west houses, many of which have been added on ad lib over the years.
Undersized consumer mains, decrepit old meter panels, ancient cotton, rubber and poorly installed wiring, porcelain fuses, no safety switch, no smoke alarms…on and on…for your peace of mind we will inspect all this and report.
Below are just a few examples of old electrical situations in Sydney that are expensive to rectify and possible dangerous.
You need this info before you purchase the property. Book your inspection Sydney electrical inspection here.
Some more info here
Common problems with residential electrical installations.
Too small consumer Mains.
On older houses often the consumer mains (the wires from the street to your house) are inadequate or modern loads. With air conditioning, multiple computers and devices, heating, how water and cooking it would be opushing the performance boundaries of these old cables which are often 6mm sq!
Modern consumer mains are 16mm sq and rated at 80 or 100 amps capacity.
No safety switch(es) installed.
The mandatory installation of safety switches (RCD, residual current device) is a relatively recent regulation. Some houses are yet to catch up and are not installed with one. This is a safety issue, especially with children present. They will turn the power off in milliseconds if there is any current to earth flow in the circuit.
The majority of electrical injuries and fatalities occur when a person makes a path to earth somewhere on the circuit. A safety switch can detect this and switch the power off instantly. A reminder these devices are not for over current protection, that's what circuit breakers are for, they are for earth faults.
Porcelain fuses installed.
On houses and units older than say 30 years its common to find the old porcelain fuse holders and fuses installed. these should be upgraded to modern circuit breakers. With modern loads on protective devices often proving to much for the contacts on fuses they often burn out and present a high resistance connection. Causing high heat consitions and poor connections leading to loss of power. Replacing these with circuit breakers (with RCD installed) will prevent this happening and ensure reliable electrical usage in future.
Inadequate earthing systems.
Older properties required small earthing conductors and a non insulated cable for an earth conductor on circuits in keeping with regulations of the time. These days this set up is inadequate, many properties have not been upgraded. they should be checked by a licenced electrician and upgraded to 6mm sq green and yellow insulated PVC cable as per current regulations.
Cotton, lead or rubber insulatied cables.
Before the invention of modern PVC insulation, which is both tough and a great insulator, cotton, lead or natural rubber insulation was used. A lot of this cabling has existed in old properties for so long it has become brittle and unsafe, Its difficult to move this cable even slightly without it breaking and exposing the live conductors inside.
Also, considering a lot of this cable is installed in steel conduit (which was popular back in the day) it can liven this conduit which is a serious safety issue. If your property has this old rubber or cotton coated cable installed and working it should be replaced with modern PVC cabling, known as TPS (thermo plastic sheath).
Dodgy DIY work
Often we find electrical work that has been carried out by the property owner or his mate. Obviously unlicensed and not knowledgeable of current electrical installation practices. These can be extremely dangerous as a large part of electrical installation is and rules is ensuring the safety of residents. From unsafe wiring, overloaded circuits, transposed active and neutral on power points, exposed live conductors etc.... these should be remedied ASAP by a licenced electrician. Before someone is seriously injured. Or worse!
Asbestos sheeting behind the meter panel.
Often in old homes you'll find asbestos sheet installed between the timber meter panel and the external wall of the house. It was used to prevent a fire breaking out in the switch gear travelling to the house itself. If it is left alone, it is not a danger. Asbestos is a safety hazard when it is moved, cut, drilled or broken as this releases the fibres within and it's the fibres we breathe in and do damage, causing a particularly deadly type of cancer called mesothelioma.
If the meter panel/switchboard is replaced and there is asbestos present there is a need to call in a specialist asbestos removal company. If you are the electrician working on the meter panel then it is is the home owners responsibility to have the asbestos sheeting safely removed.