Rewiring a Spanish Property

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HOW BAD does the wiring have to be before a Spanish property needs rewiring?

For homes built since 2002, electrical wiring and safety is generally satisfactory. For homes built prior to 2002… unfortunately it’s “hit or miss.”

The Spanish electrical regulations received a major overhaul in 2002 with specific safety improvements made to domestic dwellings, particularly to earthing and sub-circuit distribution. Most notable was the introduction of the standard socket outlet and plug, the Schuko type F 16 Amp.

Test & Inspection (T&I) using specialist test equipment carried out by a professional electrician is the only sure way to identify the condition of the wiring. However, it’s not just the condition of the wiring, but how the property has been wired that’s the crucial safety concern.

Here are some typical warning signs to look for in Spanish properties. These are indications that the property needs rewiring;

Power cuts when powerful appliances are switched on.

• Poor condition of the consumer unit.

• Obsolete socket outlets

The age of the property is a also a good indication… an electrical installation is as old as the oldest component in it.

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one of several obsolete sockets still in existence in Spanish homes

Properties over 30 years old will undoubtedly have obsolete socket outlets that are unsafe. Many of these properties have been illegally upgraded over the years. This is probably a good time to start thinking long term and plan for a rewire. With Iberdrola currently replacing traditional electricity meters with Smart Meters it’s worth checking that your contracted supply provides sufficient enough power. The kill switch (ICP) housed in the Smart Meter will ensure your property is limited to the contracted supply. If the property has been illegally upgraded you will inevitability begin to experience power cuts.

For properties over 40 years old, the chances are that different owners have altered circuit breakers or extended wiring circuits by trying to adapt the house to modern living. The bad practice of up-rating circuit breakers to overcome tripping out problems caused by overloading creates a potential fire hazard. Regardless of whether any electrical work was done by professional electrician or by D.I.Y. owners, it will most certainly not have been done to modern standards.

Renovated houses can often appear to have deceivingly newer electrics because the light switches, socket outlets and light fittings have been changed. However, a closer examination generally reveals that the actual age of the wiring is 40 years or more old.

If you are considering purchasing a resale property, we recommend arranging our Homebuyers Electrical Survey before you buy.

Bottom Line: If your installation requires a considerable amount of work, it may be more cost effective in the long term to rewire the complete installation