First Time Buyers, What to Consider when it comes to Electrics

Wednesday 1st February 2023

It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is coming up. With love all around, (sorry if this puts a certain tune in your head), some couples may be considering moving into their first home together.

At ACJ Electrical Installations Ltd we thought we would take the opportunity to talk about the sorts of things you should consider regarding electrics in a new, or potentially new home.

Organise an Electrical Safety Check

Be aware that a Home Buyers Survey is not undertaken by a qualified electrician and is undertaken on a visual basis only. It is often a case of ticking a few boxes and leaving a short comment.

An electrical safety check, on the other hand, is a thorough survey of the state of a property’s electrics by a registered, qualified electrician that includes checking its fuses, wiring, sockets, and switches. Once completed, the electrician will give you an electrical installation condition report (EICR).

During the electrical inspection, the electrician will check some of the following:

  • The fuse box to make sure it has a circuit breaker or residual current device (RCD), for example, that trips the circuit (cuts the power) if something goes wrong.
  • The wiring as if it’s old, worn out, or exposed, it might need to be replaced.
  • Plugs and sockets for any damage.
  • Light fittings to check the condition.
  • Any installed electrical devices, like electric showers or extractor fans.

The electrician will also be looking for any overloaded circuits or equipment, potential electric shock risks, defective electrical works and identify if there are any earthing or bonding issues.

Simply put, an electrical safety check ensures the electric system is safe and in good condition. Whilst these are not compulsory for buying a property, (they are for renting out a property), ACJ Electrical Installations Ltd highly recommend arranging an EICR – especially if you are looking at an older property.

If a property is more than 30 years-old and has the original wiring, it is likely to need updating to meet modern standards, including replacing the fuse box with a modern consumer unit. A sign a rewire is necessary, is dated rubber, fabric, or lead-insulated cabling. Modern wiring is PVCu coated, coloured grey or white, and twin-earthed.

Old and faulty wiring can cause the entire electrical system to trip frequently or blow fuses or, at worst, spark a potentially lethal house fire or electrical shock.

Even modern homes can have problems, for example shoddy DIY electrical work. So, an EICR will pick up all the issues you need to consider

Buying a house with electrical problems

If, before you buy a property, you do get a professional electrician to assess the electrical system and they identify issues, their report will give you an idea of the scale of the problem and how much it would cost to fix. If you then decide to go ahead with the purchase, try to negotiate a lower price with the seller based on these electrical problems. This will give you some extra money to put towards fixing the issues.


Get a warranty 

If you or the seller arrange to fix any electrical problems, make sure you get a warranty on the work carried out.

If rewiring is required, see it as an opportunity to not only improve safety, but to also to improve the electrical layout of the property to meet modern convenience – for example, adding more switches and plugs for kitchen appliances, home computers and televisions.

Why not consider having ‘smart’ technology installed, such as security cameras and a video doorbell, energy saving thermostats, adjustable atmospheric lighting (for those romantic nights in) and even an Electric Vehicle Charger!

At ACJ Electrical Installations Ltd, we cover a 30-mile radius of Farnham, Aldershot, and Guildford and provide a range of services including repair and installation, EV Charge Point installation, and EICRs. If you are looking for help with a property you are looking to buy or have recently bought, get in touch.

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