Survey content: sockets on skirting boards

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  • Survey content: sockets on skirting boards
  • bencooper
    Member

    AFAIK the issue is that if they’re on the skirting board they’re more prone to damage from vacuum cleaners etc, and modern skirting boards are often removable to allow flooring underneath.

    I grew up in an old house with sockets everywhere – including a fascinating porcelain circular one on the skirting board at ankle height in the bathroom 😉

    anonymouse
    Member

    If you, having received the survey, intend to fully rewire then the cost of the move has increased and you should consider whether this alters your view of the property’s value. If it does, amend your offer and see what happens.

    If you have no intention of doing the rewiring in the immediate future nothing’s changed and you would be cheeky to ask for a price cut as a consequence.

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
    Subscriber

    sockets in skirting in our house still in some rooms. Initial investigations found wiring as old as the sockets – i.e. perished and brittle, some fittings have no earth connections either!

    So we have risk of fire from bad wiring and lots of trips to the fuseboard. We’re in the lengthy and expensive process of putting that right.

    grum
    Member

    Thanks folks. If someone told us we really, really should get the house rewired because it’s actually dangerous, then I suppose we would. If they said ‘ideally you should but it’s not really essential’ then we won’t.

    The house I am in now has some very old and strange wiring and it doesn’t seem to have presented any real problems.

    AFAIK the issue is that if they’re on the skirting board they’re more prone to damage from vacuum cleaners etc, and modern skirting boards are often removable to allow flooring underneath.

    Yup that seems to be the main thing as far as I can see – also that if they are too close to the floor then some appliance cables might bend too much and put strain on them.

    Be nice if they provided some more detail about what the other safety deficiencies are! Maybe we should ask them.

    The installation appears dated in parts. There are safety deficiencies. For example, some power points are mounted on skirting boards.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Mostly, it’s a surveyor covering themselves and saying ‘get an expert in’.

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    I think building regs state that sockets should not be installed on skirting boards

    grum
    Member

    Mostly, it’s a surveyor covering themselves and saying ‘get an expert in’.

    Yeah sounds like it.

    I think building regs state that sockets should not be installed on skirting boards

    Yup it seems so, what does that mean in practice though? Is it only really an issue when it comes to selling the house again?

    ncfenwick
    Member

    It is not mandatory to bring an old installation up to modern standards although this is desirable and recommended as a matter of good practice.

    We had a similar issue and asked an electrician to confirm if it was dangerous or not. He carried out a periodic test and confirmed the installation was ‘satisfactory’ and just added a comment that it didn’t meet current regs (which are only applicable to new work).

    grum
    Member

    Another ‘STW as the fount of all knowledge’ thread. 🙂

    Just had the Home Buyer Report back for a house we are buying (hopefully).

    Mostly fine, but the electrics came back as a ‘3’, ie ‘Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.’

    The consumer unit can be found at high level within the kitchen cupboard. Where visible, the installation has been wired in plastic covered cable.

    The installation appears dated in parts. There are safety deficiencies. For example, some power points are mounted on skirting boards. It is not mandatory to bring an old installation up to modern standards although this is desirable and recommended as a matter of good practice.

    The electrical installation should be inspected by a suitably competent person (registered with the Electrical Contractors Association, ECA, or the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, NICEIC) prior to exchange of contracts. This is considered to be a health and safety risk and should be treated as requiring urgent attention. Repair works could be costly and estimates should be obtained before a commitment to purchase.

    We are planning to get someone in to have a look, but are they being a little melodramatic? We had an offer accepted considerable below the asking and I think at fair market value, but should we be looking to get the cost of a full rewire knocked off? I think it’s unlikely they would go for it TBH.

    I had a look into the sockets on skirting boards issue and opinion seems mixed but many people don’t think it’s that big a deal.

    Any advice welcome – cheers!

    grum
    Member

    Thanks, hopefully that will be all it comes to for us as well.

    spchantler
    Member

    We had a similar issue and asked an electrician to confirm if it was dangerous or not. He carried out a periodic test and confirmed the installation was ‘satisfactory’ and just added a comment that it didn’t meet current regs (which are only applicable to new work).

    this. it may or may not be dangerous, the surveyor is calling your attention to the fact that it doesn’t meet current regs, in what way, it is impossible to say without a full test.

    Premier Icon lerk
    Subscriber

    From the description, it would certainly appear that the circuits have been rewired reasonably recently…

    The main consideration for me (btw, I am not a housebasher – but an industrial spark with plenty of house bashing practice – pre part p guv’nor) would be that there was no rubber sheathed cables left in the harder to reach lighting circuits etc. and whether or not the dist board was fuse/mcb and in good condition.
    Secondary to that would be socket quantity and location, lighting types and circuit segregation.

    Basically the statement from the surveyor is like the mot testers caveat of ‘at the time of test’, there is nothing fundamentally wrong about fifteenth or sixteenth editions of the wiring regs, they have just been improved (or have they?) upon over time…

    oldgit
    Member

    Whilst okay, it’s had a good innings. And wired in the day when lights and a telly were about it. Think what it was designed to do back in the day and what you ask of it today. And it’s all consumable after all.
    Certainly think about getting it ALL done when you can.
    It’s very easy to get complacent with electrical installations, after all it just sits there quietly not dripping on the carpet or emiting lethal gases.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    I think the main issue is sockets are now supposed to be 18″ off the floor to accessable by the disabled in the same way light switches seem to be at 4ft. Both ideal heights for toddlers to spot and play with.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Yep the height thing is all for disabled folk. So for the fact that a minority may one day buy our house we have to have them higher than we might want How stupid is that!

    alanl
    Member

    The sort of comments in your report make me smile.
    Unless there is a danger, why would anyone comment on socket outlets mounted on the skirting board. Being damaged is a red herring, they are unlikely to be damaged any more than other sockets.
    The consumer unit being high up is not new, they were being installed like that until around 6 years ago on large building sites.
    Then the 17th edition wiring regs came in in 2008 and put more emphasis on accessibility, and the provision of RCDs for every circuit.
    The heights and positioning of socket outlets and switches is part of Part M of the Building Regs, which gives guidance on the positioning of them, but it is not a rule, it is guidance. If you want all your socket outlets on the floor, you can.

    What I would check for immediately is the earthing of the installation,along with the bonding to water/gas/oil pipes, then do a quick test to make sure you have a sound earth back to the local transformer. This is the main thing that prevents you getting electrocuted. If you havent got a good earth path, you could hold live wires for 10 minutes without a fuse/circuit breaker tripping.
    For an electrician, this is a ten minute job, and worthwhile doing. A quick look at the installation will soon see the state it is in. If I look at an old fuse board, I can tell pretty much immediately if any work needs to be done.

    Premier Icon sadmadalan
    Subscriber

    Our consumer unit dates from the 1970’s and is made of wood. It does not meet current regs, but at least 3 inspections have said that it is safe and
    Does not need replacing. When we bought the house 18 years ago our surveyor was all doom and gloom about it.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Sounds fine to me, we have a few sockets in skirting boards. They’re not likely to be damaged by hoovers, sitting near the top of 15″ boarding. Our survey didn’t spot the garage lighting and ring main being run from a spur on the kitchen lights circuit though. The shower unit running in armoured cable nicked from a nearby mine didn’t seem worthy of comment either.

    eatsdirt
    Member

    It used to be perfectly legit to surface mount socket and to surface mount cables. Seen quite a few installs like that in various council properties my mates lived in around Rhyl, as it’s the quick and easy way to rewire. New regs are just that, new. You don’t have to redo everything to that standard unless you renew (or substantially alter iirc)

    Pieface
    Member

    Melodramatic.

    They’ve accepted a low offer. If you know much about electrics you’ll know exactly how OTT some of these rules are.

    You could try it but if they tell you to jog on don’t be surprised. Doesn’t warrant a full re-wire thats for sure and probably only a few hundred quid to sort out, although it could well be like peeling an onion.

    freeagent
    Member

    Melodramatic. The new regulations are a bit OTT and in some areas exceed what we do at work for Nuclear Submarines.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)

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