Ask a tradesman

Electrical

No earth wire at fittings or switches

We're in the process of buying a house and the electrical installation condition report has come back showing that there are no earth wires at fittings or switches on either the upstairs or downstairs lighting. The vendor is apparently not willing to upgrade the wiring. Is this a big issue and is it very expensive to fix?

8 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

Melanie.

Having no earth at the light fittings or switches is not a major problem if you do not intend to replace plastic or non conductive light fittings and fixtures (switches etc.) with metal or class 1 type. If you intend replacing lights or switches with chrome (metal) or anything that is class 1 equipment, then an earth or Circuit Protective Conductor (CPC) is required.
This should really be the case if you also have metal back boxes (what is buried in the wall )which form part of the installation.
You can get metal type light fittings which are class 2 or what is known as double insulated , often depicted with a smaller square inside a larger one. You'll tend to find this sign on your hair-drier somewhere. Means it doesn't require an earth.
However cables with no CPC usually point to an older installation, and the cables may need replacing sooner rather than later, depending on test results. PVC cables can last a decent 35-45 years, so if the cables were installed in 1970 they will probably be starting to degrade somewhat.

hope this helps

Mike

2015-06-02T09:35:03+01:00

Answered 2nd Jun 2015

This dates the lighting circuits to pre-1967 so they are life expired. depending on the type of the property, some walls may need to be chased out to run new cables to light switches etc. In addition carpets and floorboards will need to be lifted, so yes its quite a big job and could be around £1500 to get the lighting rewired.

2015-06-03T17:05:03+01:00

Answered 3rd Jun 2015

A provision for earthing is a must as mains voltage (230) circuits are not safe with out earthing (circuit protective conductor). Sometimes on older installations the metal conduit housing the circuit cabling will have been used as the means of earthing, though technically acceptable I wouldn't consider it best practice as often it breaks down over the years so it is best to test it for continuity. If indeed there is no provision for earthing at all then a rewire is probably in order.

2015-06-02T09:35:03+01:00

Answered 2nd Jun 2015

Hi Melanie_865
lighting circuits pre 1966 did not have earth or circuit protective conductor,No metal light switches or light fittings can be fitted unless marked as class 2 which is double insulated.upgrade of the wiring would be twin and earth from the consumer unit to each ceiling rose and each switch.this would be like a rewire for the lighting circuits,lifting floorboards and chasing down walls to switches(unless lucky enough that conduit is in the wall allowing new wiring to be pulled up).
Regards
Paul

2015-06-02T09:35:03+01:00

Answered 2nd Jun 2015

Hi Melanie,before to give you an answer ,I would ask you,if your vendor is an eletrician because he`ve gave ou an advice ,to not ghange the cables,this means, he can read he electrical report ? A very old electrical installation before 1990 is made up with two wire cable, without wire for earth; You have to check in your electrical report if the cables is two wire,or the cable is two wire+earth, doesn`l matter the colour or the size for sockets or for lights; If the cables is only two wires you need to change all the electrical installation with a new one; If the cables is twin cable, two wire +earth and the colours is black and red ,you need to change only the circuits that do not fit within the parameters of safety ;If the cable`s colours are blue and brown the installation is after 2008 and I think that is good; Regarding the earth on the switch ; drylining plastic box don`t need earth, surface plastic box need earth, and burried metal box need cpc; Check if you get earth to the socket ,if the cable got earth wire; For the light circuit is not a big problem if you don`t have earth, but is required by the regulation; If the cable is twin cable, two wire +earth is not expensive to fix the earth to the light switch; REGARD .MARIUS

2015-06-03T17:05:03+01:00

Answered 3rd Jun 2015

looks like a rewire is needed around 3grand mark

2015-06-02T09:35:03+01:00

Answered 2nd Jun 2015

Hi Melanie

Go with what Midas says it's spot on

2015-06-04T10:55:02+01:00

Answered 4th Jun 2015

Hi
Your lighting wires are very old need replacment i think u need to do full wiring that cost 3500 but if u email me your eicr then i let u know 100% bacuse at this stage i wouldnot know your wire condition of power socket and so for i hope u under stand thanks from hussain

2017-12-14T21:10:01+00:00

Answered 14th Dec 2017

Post your job to find high quality tradesmen and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories