Re: get out quick
"This taught me enough to take one look at the botch job done by the previous owner of the house we now live in"
our house was built in 1877 so when I do any work on our home, I find all sorts of crappy jobs.
The house, was run as a guest house from when it was built, but over the years some extensions were built, many of these extensions were done in the 60's and 70's and if anyone knows buildings in Blackpool, nothing was done with planning permission. and the only use for a book of regulations was to level up a joist
electric was not something that was originally in the building and was installed later. and then as extensions to the structure were added, the electrics were just added in add hoc. I believe that one of the previous owners of the building was a builder, but was certainly not an electrician. looking at the quality of some of the building work, I imagine he was a fan of the western genre of movies.
some of the problems I have found and since fixed include no earth bonding on central heating pipes. wire plastered into walls with no trunking. but my favourite was a shower that was installed in the private bedroom which had an electric socket right next to it and the cable supplying it was routed right under the shower tray.
the bulk of the problems were that when somthing goes wrong, it was just patched together quickly and then a proper repair would be planned for out of season. but, the reality of it was that it was never fixed properly. so when I have come along many years later when something has failed I find all sorts of mess.
the most common problem I find is that there was a rewire done some time in the late 70's or early 80's and now some of the sockets are starting to fail or have cracked. So far, not a singe socket that has been opened up has any insulation over the earth wires from the T&E, and it appears that as each socket was installed, the cable was pulled tight so there is no slack in the cable at all. So if the new socket does not have the connections in the exact same place, then the wires are not going to reach. This makes a five minute job into an afternoons work lifting floorboards and replacing cables.
We have since rewired the entire property, But here a thing about the regulations, there are plenty of jobs that a concomitant DIY person can do for yourself, like install fused spares or a additional light. You can even replace an entire ring main, so long as you follow the original cable route exactly and none of it passes through a bathroom or kitchen. so, when I lifted a section of floor to replace a the first floor ring, and find that the knob head cut a notch out of the TOP of the joists to run cables across it, i am supposed to follow that route and not drill a hole through the joist for the cable to pass through...
I get that the regs are there to stop idiots from burning houses down with crap wiring, but it also prevents me fixing the existing crap.