The Re-Wire

April 17, 2013 · 10 comments

So this started innocently enough…I was getting electric shocks from my kitchen sink!

Mr VP though I was going nuts but it only happened when you stood on a certain part of the floor with bare feet. But when I convinced him that I was going mad and to replicate it then of course it was a ‘real’ problem.

So I popped on Facebook to ask friends if they too had ever had shocks off their sink. Responses ranged from laughter to TURN THE ELECTRICITY OFF NOW!!!

Heeding my wise friends, I called out an electrician ASAP. Now we’ve lived here 10 years and in that time I’ve had new kitchen lights and more recently we’ve actually had National Power here fixing the main incoming power to the house and they were here a whole afternoon checking the place out. So I wasn’t expecting anything major…oh how wrong was I!

Electrician had a look and there was a sharp intake of breath – this is never good. I need a new consumer board (fair enough it looks old) and then ‘and did you know your house isn’t earthed?’ WHAT??

That’s why I was getting the shocks off the sink the power was looking for an out and not finding one. A not earthed house is basically a death trap waiting to happen.  After my initial freak out he called an older colleague in and they put a temporary earth in while I got some quotes for the work. At this point it was standing at £1200 plus VAT.

I called in 5 more electricians for quotes only to be greeted with more horror. Because standards change all the time our lighting circuit also has to be replaced or none of them will change the board and do the earthing. One electrician even walked into my new bathroom and told me he’d have to rip it all out! He was told his fortune ;)

This means that I have to pull up all the carpet in all the bedrooms and upstairs hallway, move large furniture etc. And because its a 1930s house it’s likely most of the cables coming down to the light switches are in the plaster and have to be channelled out and then replastered.

Because all of our rooms have backing paper on the walls due to the previous tenants, it will mean stripping and repainting ever room that’s channelled.

Yes I cried – A LOT!

Quotes in ranged from £2000- £4000 and it’s a bit like garages who do you know who to trust? In the end my plumber recommended me one if his friends and he came in at £1700 and he likes to make minimal mess so here’s hoping.

So next week, work starts. I’m trying to be positive and see this as a reason for a re-paint and freshen up of the place, but I’m finding it quite difficult with the worry of just how bad it could get. Miss L’s bedroom ceiling has a massive crack and I’m hoping that wont get worse.

Wish us luck!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

LJayne April 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

Eeeek. Can you claim on your insurance? Hope it isn’t as bad as you fear. xx


Liz April 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Thanks for the idea! I did think about it but I’ve not tried tbh I think they’d just see it as house maintenance. But I’m pissed that the surveyor never saw it, or all the electricians I had round to quote me about the kitchen lights. You’d think that National Grid might have noticed it too when they were making the house safe from the incoming feed :( I’m just pleased now no one’s been hurt.


Jen aka The Mad House April 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I hope that it is not too painful
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Liz April 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Thanks Jen x


Rachel April 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Aaaaargh – what a total, complete nightmare. Still, I guess it will be lovely and reassuring once it’s all done… and are you rethinking any of your lights whilst you’re doing it? (grasping at straws here, trying to find a silver lining. And mixing my metaphors, evidently…)
Really hope it all goes smoothly for you.


Marylin April 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Oh honey! *hugs*
Thank goodness nothing worse happened eh? Hope it’s done quickly and without too much intrusion! x
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Mrs Teepot April 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Oh no, I hope all the work goes smoothly
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Sew Create It - Jane April 20, 2013 at 7:28 am

We had a new consumer unit put in a few years ago after years of putting it off because we were so worried we’d need a rewire. In the end after all the mess it was so worth it. I sleep well at night knowing that even the slightest blip will trip the switch and keep everyone safe. The good news is that you are heading into warmer days and longer nights which is a great time for home renovation…I had mine done in October in the rain…trust me that makes it worse. Sending you hugs and wishing you all the best!!
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Circus Mum April 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Oh gosh! Thank goodness you were getting slight shocks and nothing more serious happened to you or your family. I’m so scared of anything remotely electrical.
Hope the electrician doesn’t cause too much havoc throughout the rooms xxx
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3 Children and It April 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Wow! What a good job you noticed though, could have been really nasty. Always a gutter when this kind of thing happens, I do hope he keeps mess to a minimum.


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