Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Benefits of A Pre-purchase Electrical Survey Part 2

Our last blog was about the benefits of having a Pre-purchase Electrical Survey before making an offer on a new home to avoid any nasty financial surprises along the way.

We were recently contacted to carry out an Electrical Survey on a 4 bedroom house in Lewisham that a customer was interested in buying. Our electrician Fred was the chosen one for this assignment and so off he went with his test equipment in tow!

Fred's findings on this property were as follows……

Fault Identified No. 1
There were light fittings not adequately fixed, they were hanging by the wires that were connected to them.

Why is this a fault?
These light fittings are not very safe as they could fall at any time and there is also a risk of a fire starting should there be a fault with one of the fittings.

Fault Identified No. 2
The sockets in this property had been screwed to the skirting board with no backs on them so live conductors were exposed.

Why is this a fault?
Should any of the sockets start arcing due to a loose connection then it could ignite the timber skirting boards which in turn could start a severe fire.

Fault Identified No. 3
This property didn't have equipotential bonding to the gas or water services.

Why is this a fault?
In the event that the live conductor should touch the gas or water pipes within the house, they could become live which in turn could electrocute any person touching any pipe work within the property.

Fault Identified No. 4
The upstairs power circuits had been extended in 3 core flexible cable which was too small for the fuse size that was protecting it.

Why is this a fault?
In the event of an electrical fault, the fuse may not blow which therefore could cause a fire.

Fault Identified No. 5
There was no RCD protection to any socket outlets where portable appliances for the garden may get plugged into.

Why is this a fault?
Any person using portable appliances in the garden would be at risk of an electric shock. This could happen by a person accidentally cutting through the supply flex of the appliance as there trimming a hedge for example or even if a lawnmower has a fault when a person is using it.

Fault Identified No. 6
The consumer unit in the property is not up to the latest electrical standards

Why is this a fault?
New consumer units are fitted with RCD devices so to provide extra protection against electric shock should any faults or accidents occur.

What Do These Faults Mean?
Two of the above items are classed as serious problems and lead to a failed inspection on the property which if not rectified could affect any insurance cover on the property.

The Outcome of This Survey
From our customer having this survey we were able to make them aware of all of the above which they would not have discovered with two viewings prior to making an offer. From that we then were able to give them an estimate to rectify the problems above, advise on which ones were serious problems and would need attention immediately. Our customer could then see what needed to be paid for straight away and what costs were involved for the future. They were then in the position to go back to the vendor with an offer which took into account the works that would need to be done to the property.

At the time that this blog was published we were unaware if our customers offer has been accepted by the vendor but whether it does or not, the vendor is now aware of the faults also.

The cost of this electrical survey was money well spent for this particular customer as it gave them a better insight into the electrics of the property before making any commitments.

We are not saying that every property out there has an underlying problem with its electrics but surely it would be best to know exactly what your buying and if financially you need to plan for works ahead? You wouldn't purchase a car without a MOT so why purchase the most expensive item your own without knowing exactly what your paying for?