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New house with dodgy electrics - can i get fined?

We've recently moved and it is apparent that some of the electrics in our new house may be sub-standard. There's a new(ish) consumer unit and a new(ish) electric shower, a collection of half original (1969) and half new(ish) circuits, lots of spurs, lots of new lighting circuits. Some seem to be well fitted and some a a bit rough and ready. The consumer unit has two light circuits, two ring mains and one shower breaker. However, the main worry is the two ring circuits are wired together somewhere (both breakers have to be turned off to kill the power to sockets). There is also no documentation for any electrics in the paperwork I got when I bought the house and a search of the local building regs and notifications don't mention any electrical work (i.e. the new consumer unit)

My question is this. I've been recommended to get it safety checked just in case. If it is found to be unsafe, or circuits fitted without relevant notifications or regs, or work not carried out by a competent person, could I get fined for this as I now own the house? If not could / would they go after the previous owner? I'm just concerned I'll end up paying £150 for a safety check followed by a 5k fine and the cost of a whole house rewire...

2 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

No the council will almost certainly not come after you especially if you act responsibly and act to correct the faults. The fault that sounds the most urgent would be having to disconnect both ring mains to de-energise the circuits as this actually means the circuits are acting as one circuit protected by 2x 32A mcb's meaning its possible to draw 64A on circuits only meant to draw 32A max. This could be a serious fire hazard.
Again you are being recommended to have the issues checked by a registered electrician and remedial works carried out. The sooner the better.


Answered 17th Nov 2015

The perils of not getting an EICR done before you bought the house. If you had, you could have got the previous owner to pay for it and then any issues could have used against them to drive the price down a bit.


Answered 17th Nov 2015

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