• Electrical

    Collaborative Electrical Rewire – Part 6a : Follow up – Adding Sockets to Radial Circuit

    28th August 2017 One of the reasons for having individual radial circuits for the sockets in each room was to enable easy alteration in future – for example – to add new sockets as needed. When we did the initial whole house rewire in December 2016, we just put a single socket in each room apart from the kitchen, where we installed two sockets on it’s own ring circuit to allow for higher draw appliances. I had an extension for my computer running from one side of my room (middle bedroom) to the other for a while & decided to finally do something about it! I switched off the circuit…

  • Electrical

    Collaborative Electrical Rewire – Part 6 : Day 4 – Testing, Adjustments & Finalising

    Thursday 22nd December 2016 As Sam predicted – living with things for a week was beneficial and allowed time for reflection and spotting anything that had been missed. It enabled me to figure out that a slightly different arrangement regarding the hallway & landing light switches would be much more useful and intuitive. I ran through the layout in my minds eye, thinking through the way one naturally navigates the house and where would be best to control which lights; then jotted down a quick diagram to help visualise the layout & think about potential alterations to the wiring. Current: ‘Bedroom’ switch :  hall and landing. ‘Bathroom’ switch : landing and…

  • Electrical

    Collaborative Electrical Rewire – Part 5 : Installation Day 3 – Connecting Consumer Unit

    Saturday 17th December 2016 Removing the original consumer unit Ian quite likes them, but I’ve never enjoyed having to change fuse wire in old consumer units. Thankfully I’ve not had to since I moved in here, but I’ll be glad to see the back of this one. This switch controlled the lighting upstairs and downstairs on a single circuit : Ian & Sam worked hard to get everything done with the consumer unit, drilling a hole through the flat part of the cornice to reduce damage to it (It will be easier to repair & hide the damage in future on a flat or concave section) I kept myself busy…

  • Electrical

    Collaborative Electrical Rewire – Part 4 : Looking at the old installation

    Friday 16th December 2016 The running of wires & beginning to install sockets/fittings etc had taken slightly longer than expected, and rather than leave us with a only a partially completed installation for a week – Sam had very kindly offered to give up his Saturday to install the consumer unit. Until then we decided to take a look at some of the old electrical equipment to satisfy our curiosity. There are several bakelite switches in the house, some are the round design made by Crabtree and others are a more Art Deco style made by Tenby Pilot, several of which have been painted. These do sell for a reasonable…

  • Electrical

    Collaborative Electrical Rewire – Part 3 : Installation Day 2 – Running more cables…

    Thursday 15th December 2016 Lots more figuring best routing, running of cables. The house has become quite an exciting obstacle course with missing floorboards & loose (not yet live!) cables everywhere. Some care needed to be taken when lifting boards – it is very easy to cause irreversible damage. The area just inside the door in the front bedroom had a lot of cables running through, which required drilling a larger hole through the joists. The Armeg Wood Beaver drill set was recommended by Sam & these were an essential purchase that made the job so much easier. They are an incredible design – they actively ‘pull’ through the wood &…

  • Electrical

    Collaborative Electrical Rewire – Part 2 : Installation Day 1 – Design & running cables…

    Wednesday 14th December 2016 Underfloor discoveries… Upstairs We already knew that the original plaster and lath ceilings remain throughout much of the property due to the cracked, ‘characterful’ and undulating nature of them when viewed from below. Seeing them from above revealed that they are the same dark, black-ash lime plaster mixture used on the walls – very brittle, and very dusty. Formed in a semi-regimented pattern of individually random extrusions over 100 years ago; there is something quite striking and aesthetically pleasing about these functional, hidden ‘hooks’ of ridged plaster. Some of the old wiring installed by the previous owner was truly quite alarming, with exposed inner wires taped…

  • Electrical

    Collaborative Electrical Rewire – Part 1 : Introduction, Planning & Procurement

    Introduction – safety is paramount After Simon James Lewis had been round to discuss internal weather, occupant behaviour etc in relation to my own house – he suggested it would be prudent to upgrade the electrical system with some urgency.  Despite attempting to allay my fears regarding various other aspects (a leaking roof for example!) …suggesting taking my time to formulate the most effective and suitable solutions; he pointed out that it was extremely important to have a safe, functional site for myself and others to work in – something that we couldn’t guarantee when running high-draw tools & equipment off of such an old, repeatedly modified electrical system. I…