Rewiring a Spanish Home
HOW BAD does the wiring have to be in a Spanish property before it needs rewiring?
For homes on Spanish urbs built since 2002, the electrical wiring and safety is generally satisfactory. However, for homes built prior to 2002… unfortunately, in our experience, 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 widely used across Europe, the Schuko type F 16 Amp.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) 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 is 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.
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. Check that your power supply provides sufficient power to run all your appliances. A kill switch (ICP) housed in your Smart Meter will limit you to the amount of power you are contracted for with Iberdrola. If the property has been illegally upgraded (not uncommon for resales), 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 than you might think. Light switches, socket outlets and light fittings are replaced as part of a “builders makeover”. However, closer examination generally reveals that the property has not been rewired and the wiring maybe up to 40 years or more old.
If you are considering purchasing a resale property, especially a Finca, we recommend arranging our Homebuyers Electrical Survey before you buy.