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Dealing with old electrical wiring

Electrical, Information

Across the UK, the variation in styles of home and the age of construction of these buildings is vast to say the least.  From period sandstone buildings over 100 years old to modern brick and steel structures.

And with so many home owners looking for the charm of older buildings and high street shops wanting the high foot traffic locations in the centre of town that commonly means older buildings in the city, they may have to contend with old electrical wiring.

With electrical wiring, unless you open up the walls to have a look at the actual condition of the cabling, you will have no idea whether the building is at risk of fires and electrical problems because of its wiring. It may even be that your properties electrical wiring is simply not up to code.

But what are some of the most common issues that can arise with old wiring in historic buildings in the UK?


There is a general assumption that old electrical wiring is bad because they didn’t know what they were doing; but that is not 100% true. Yes things have advanced a lot since the early days of electrical sockets and wiring in a home, but properly installed electrical systems can stand proud against some modern electrical fittings absolutely fine. It is the age and ‘weathering’ of the cabling that is the bigger problem.

Older electrical wiring can rust, be exposed by rodents, crack and become brittle because of weather and temperature variations etc. Older wiring is around 80 years old or more and was installed sometimes before the first computer had been invented. It is simply not capable of running modern electrical appliances like computers, modern lighting etc. This can lead to cable overheating and become a fire hazard.

Property usage changes

There are some older buildings that were once shops and are now homes and some homes that were once shops. This switching back and forth can mean that electrical installations are simply not up to the demands anymore. A coffee shop for example that was once a residential property may have a commercial kitchen set up that is using the same electrical wiring that the previous residents had. When you have a commercial electric oven, cooking hobs, extractor fan, air conditioning and electric radiators added into the mix, this can put a serious strain on the old electrical wiring already fitted.

How to deal with old electrical wiring

The simple answer is rewiring. HF Electrical provides a catalogue of Installations we can offer ranging from refurbishments to full install on both a commercial and industrial aspect. All works can include just electrical work or we can provide a wider range for ease of the client by providing both Mechanical install and Fire & security.

Our range of electrical installation (and maintenance) services covers:

  • 24 hour emergency call-outs
  • Commercial and domestic electrical installations
  • Full house rewires and testing
  • Landlord fit-outs
  • Commercial fit-outs
  • Kitchen rewires
  • Exterior lighting
  • Alterations to existing circuits, new lights, sockets etc
  • Electrical testing and fault finding
  • Certification- Periodic, EICR, domestic installation certificates
  • Mains smoke detector installation
  • Mains Fire Alarm installation
  • Security Alarm Installation
  • CCTV Installation
  • New consumer unit/distribution board installation (fuse box)
  • Energy saving equipment.
  • Emergency lighting and emergency lighting testing certificates
  • SWA Cable Jointing
  • PAT Testing

With an approach which combines traditional values with innovative thinking, we recognise that a faulty light switch requires the same level of service and professionalism as a multi-million pound design and build project.

If you would like to know more about our Electrical Services, examples of the work we have done in this sector or if you have any questions about bespoke services that you are looking for, please call our head office in Glasgow on 0800 783 9480 or email info@hf-group.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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