Electrical Question

I have just had my house rewired and the electrician has re-used existing electrical cables / wires is this normal practice?

The 're-used' cables are on an external wall light, which I can see has not been moved or replaced with the one we discussed. The other area is the cooker socket which has the cable surface mounted in a conduit box on the wall feeding from floor to box; I thought this cable had to be 'in the wall' with a feed from ceiling downwards.
Any thoughts / comments?

8 Answers

Best Answer

Hi Fing3rs, generally unless agreed with you in advance or during the works on site, the electrician should have made it clear if any old cables would be re-used.

Where ever possible all cables should be replaced and re-wired! however sometimes due to the way the previous wiring has been installed or ifts its a newer addition etc, the existing cable can be thoroughly tested and if found to be in good order re-used. But this always needs to be agreed with the client first.

I would suggest you go back to the works schedule listing all the works to be done in each room and see what he/she has charged/quoted to do. If the cables have not been replaced and you have paid for them to be replaced then ask for a refund or them to be rewired properly. Also ask for the test results proving that these cables are ok and have satisfactory insulation resistance, EFLI, earth continuity etc. There should also be a note about them on your Electrical Installation Certificate.

Just because a cable is in surface mounted conduit and not flushed into the wall, does not mean that its in unsafe or needs to be rewired. Both surface and flush installation methods are allowed for under BS7671:2008.

Hope this helps, please click on like if it does.

Answered 13th Feb 2012

Electrical Safety Services

Member since 17 Oct 2011

Reusing old wiring defeats the object of having a rewire done, as a new installation has a recomended time before an inspection is advised (typically 10 years), if old wiring is still in place that that wouldn't be the case. I would call him back and have the old wiring changed and lighting placed as you discussed, it sounds like he either ran out of time on the job, or he was trying to save himself time and effort.i.e lazy!

Did he supply you with an Electrical Installation Certificate and a Part P certificate. These are requirements as Building Control MUST be informed for the type of domestic work.

As far as the cooker circuit goes, surface mounting seems to be cutting corners, I would ask him if there is a reason he has done it, if his only answer is that you can't see it then get him to do the job properly.
The cable can come from the ceiling or the floor, so long as is directly vertical up or down with the outlet, it could also be on the horizontal as well as long as it is in line with the outlet.

Hopeful you have held back a small percentage of the cost until all snagging issues are complete.

Hope that helps,


Answered 13th Feb 2012

Allan Lathan's Electrical Services

Member since 10 Aug 2010

The answer is in the question. If you have bought a rewire then it should have been rewired.

Answered 13th Feb 2012

ICM Electrical Services Limited

Member since 10 Nov 2011

If he has priced for a full re-wire then all old cable should be removed and new cable installed. If he hasn't confirmed a reason for not replacing this cable and has priced for a full re-wire then you are quite right to ask for a refund as per those circuits untouched.

Also Is the cable new (blue and brown)? because If the cable is old post 2006 it will be (black and red), if this is the case then he should confirm on the fuse board and certificate that old colour cable can be found in the installation.

It doesn't however mean that the installation is dangerous because old cable has been re-used as the inspection & testing of those circuits will confirm if there is any damage to the cable.

Answered 13th Feb 2012

OC Electrical Solutions

Member since 13 Feb 2012

Do you have an instalation certificate filled in and given to you by your electrician? does this include a full list of test results and are you going to recieve a compliance certificate from the electricians certifying body i.e NAPIT or other.
If you have the above it is unlikely that the electricia has done anything incorrect by the regulations, but if both party's agreed to a full rewire including the specifics you have mentioned then this is what you should have recieved.
On my instalations if for instance a cooker circuit is in perfect order it may be agreed to incorporate this into the instalation to reduce costs(reuse cable run but in new consumer unit and new outlet).
Hope this helps-Kevin.

Answered 13th Feb 2012

kevin cassidy building contractors

Member since 16 Dec 2010

Check your electricians NIC domestic part p credentials! i t sounds a bit strange. you can contact the NIC Electrical body and they will send an inspector if you think your electricians work is sub standard! To my mind re-wiring requires new colours/ Red black old, Blue Brown new! if hes given you a certificate then you should check!


Answered 13th Feb 2012

kelly plumbing Heating & gas

Member since 4 Jan 2012

It may be that the old cabling still has plenty of life in it, it may be that it needs replacing. But a complete rewire means just that. Replacing all the old cables with new ones.
There are a few reasons why a rewire may be necessary.
the first is that the equipment may be old, and fall foul of present safety standards.
There may have been many modifications to the wiring that may have made the wiring unsafe. The most satisfactory way forward is to abandon all the wiring and start again, so you know exactly what you have put in. This is often quicker that repairing old stuff, that you have to work out what was done first.
Perhaps the best first step is to ask the electrician why the old wiring is being used.
Hope this helps.

Answered 14th Feb 2012

Abrahams and Keeling

Member since 1 Dec 2009


Answered 13th Feb 2012


Member since 7 Jun 2008

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