Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Electric Shocks

DH and I are not happy campers at the moment.
We have just discovered that our house, which we thought had fairly new wiring, has in fact got extremely old and badly-done wiring..................
We moved in Feb 2004 and noticed occasional flickering of the ceiling lights.

We thought nothing of it, till DH decided to decorate one of the bedrooms and install nice metal wall lights. While he was channeling out the plaster for the wiring, he made the nasty discovery that we have the oldfashioned two-core wiring with no earth.
Now, you cannot have metal light fittings with this sort of wiring, as it can build up a charge enough to electrocute anyone who touches the metal light fitting, eg whilst changing a light bulb, even if the light is switched off at the wall.

Guess what we have downstairs ? Five sets of metal light fittings that were here when we moved in !
It is only by the grace and mercy of God that we have not been electrocuted........
No wonder the lights have been flickering !!!

The problem is, we have an extremely full four bedroom house. The house is going to need a complete re-wire, and to do this will involve emptying all the rooms and lifting up floor-boards. Not fun, especially with the number of books in our house.
Quite where we are going to put all the stuff, I have no idea. And with Christmas coming up.
And the cost, which will be approx £4,000 sterling. Very big gulp.
Actually, cancel the gulp..........just insert tears.

The house is going to be virtually unlivable in for an extended period of time, and now DH is thinking about doing it himself, which will take months and mean doingwithout electricity in whatever part of the house he is working on. He will do an extremely good and competent job, as he has re-wired two previous houses, but it means we will see very little of him for months.
I would rather pay someone to do it, and have a husband :-)
He would rather do it and not have to pay 4K, even though a professional would probably get it done within two weeks.
It has been a bit of a blow, I must admit. We could do without the stress, hassle and expense at the moment.
But at least we are all ok.

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2 comments:

Steve Robinson said...

OUCH!!! I'm a construction guy and there are some things I'd rather just hire someone to do for me. Some things just aren't worth the cost in other areas of life. Here in America it is a big business now to have home inspections done before you buy a house to discover such things before you sign a contract.
Sorry to hear that......
s-p

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Hi s-p
I agree with you :-)
We did have the house surveyed before we bought it; here the surveyors don`t check more than to look to see if the visible wiring is apparently new-ish. They don`t remove socket-plates to check the wiring there.....makes me wonder why I bothered paying £300 to have the survey done in the first place !
Grrrrr.