House Rewiring might seem like a daunting and expensive process for many homeowners and it’s important to be aware that there’s a right way and a wrong way of getting it done.
In this blog, Steve explains the difference between doing the job properly and doing the job on the cheap.
I Need to Get my House Rewired, What Do I Need to Know?
House Rewiring can be a complex process, so if you’re a bit unsure about what’s involved, first check out our blog post called What’s Involved in Rewiring a House?
When you are ready to get your house rewired, you’ll want to get it done once and get it done right.
Unfortunately, not all electricians are reputable and many times we’ve been called in to fix up dodgy rewiring work. This is of course can be very frustrating, costly and upsetting for a homeowner.
For some peace of mind, here’s my top 3 things to check before hiring an electrician to rewire your house.
#1 – Check You’re Not Being Undercharged for House Rewiring
The question we get asked upfront the most when it comes to House Rewiring is “How much is this all going to cost me!?”
It’s hard to give even a ballpark figure until we’ve been out to inspect the house. There are so many factors that go in to determining what needs to be done and how the wires need to be accessed.
Construction materials play a big part in determining the cost of the job. For example, solid brick can be more difficult to chase cables through.
In some cases, excavation may even be needed to get under a brick wall.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve been quoted around $5,000 for rewiring a house, you’re being undercharged.
For such a price, the electrician is most likely going to be doing a dodgy job.
In the past, we’ve seen cases in which brand new cables are literally thrown in the roof space or under the house not even clipped – see image below.
The cables in this image are so loose that any one can get tangled in it which can cause the cable to be dislodged or even exposed. This is BAD workmanship and definitely does not adhere to the installation of the wring rules. Which means the entire job will have to be re done.
At another house, the old cable has been joined to new cable. This is extremely bad practice and does not comply with the safety codes. But more importantly, there was effectively no rewire conducted. The old cable insulation can easily crack, and be exposed leading to a fire hazard or electrocution.
In the image below from another bad rewiring job, you can see an earth cable which has become dangerously loose in a metal conduit. This left the metal conduit unprotected. This means that any one touching the pipes can be electrocuted as well as a fire hazard as the cables a renowned to breaking. This type of work is non compliant and again does not adhere to the safety codes.
As these examples show, there are ways to cut corners when it comes to House Rewiring. It’s important to know if you’re being underquoted and undercharged.
Doing the job properly and thoroughly takes time, but it’s well worth it in the long run so you don’t have to get someone in to fix up shoddy work after you’ve already paid someone to do it in the first place.
#2 – Check the Electrician Will Take Photos
Something I encourage all home owners to think about when getting electrical work done is to ask an electrician to take photos of the work they are carrying out. This includes before they start the job and after everything has been finished.
Having these photos can prove invaluable if you need to make an insurance claim in the case of a fire. The photos can be used as evidence that the rewiring was done properly and professionally prior to the insurance claim being made.
If an electrician is reluctant or altogether unwilling to take photos of the work carried out during the rewiring, well, there’s reason for that. They will be cutting corners and don’t want to be held responsible for bad work in the case of an insurance claim.
My advice is to ask any electrician for copies of the photos they take and keep them on file, just in case you need them in the future.
#3 – Check the Job Isn’t Done Too Quickly
As I mentioned earlier, it’s hard for us to scope out a House Rewiring job until we’ve actually been out to inspect everything.
In terms of how long the process will take, you will most likely be looking at a week’s work for an average sized home. It will be a bit less for unit.
It could take two – three weeks if it’s a large or very old property (Melbourne is notorious when it comes to homes with outdated or deteriorated wiring!)
If you’ve been quoted for less than a week for an average sized house, once again you’re probably dealing with an electrician who is going to cut corners.
What Should I Do Next?
If you need to rewire your house or if you’re worried you might need to, Hit The Switch can help.
One of our expert and experienced electricians can assess the situation for you and provide a comprehensive quote. A complete rewire may not even be necessary, but for peace of mind, simply give us a call to arrange an inspection.
For more information and advice about rewiring a house, please feel free to call us on 1300 205 205, or simply click here to contact us.