Friday, 4 June 2010

One job always leads to another...rewiring a Queenslander

Remember the retro Murano spider chandelier that was to hang in the dining room? It was going to be installed today.

Carlo the Electrician arrived first thing this morning. He took off the existing fitting and noticed there were no earth wires.

As the chandelier is metal, installing it would have meant that in the event of an electrical fault the chandelier would be live and electrocute someone.

(Probably Jason because he likes to swing from the chandeliers  changes the light bulbs...)

Zap! Carlo checked out the rest of the house. The kitchen is fine because that was rewired, during its renovation, by the highly expensive electrician recommended by the kitchen installer (good lesson learnt to source your own electrician and plumber in future jobs). But everywhere else has the original wiring with no earth wires.


It's not a huge problem at the moment - most of our old lights are plastic. As I hear the imaginary penny drop, I finally understand why this house had only plastic light fittings.

We could just leave the wiring (like all the other previous owners of the house) but it will be very limiting when we do any electrical work down the track. And since we plan to renovate the bathroom, change light fittings etc we are going to encounter this issue again and again.

So, we are just going to bite the bullet and make the house safer.

Carlo the Electrician will return with his apprentice in a few weeks time. It won't be the most straight forward job because the sunroom has a flat roof and there is no access to the ceiling without taking the roof off....Oh and our ceilings in the sunroom are asbestos fibro requiring that area to be sealed off when the work is done...Fun and games VJs!

In the meantime, we will need to think seriously about our electrical wish list. This was not in the six month plan but I guess one must be flexible with such things.

You gotta love these old houses. Zap!


  1. Oh my goodness! What fun! Lyndon is a sparky so I know all about electrical fun and games. I am planning a post on it as well as we had a fault at our place the the night. He and I were outside in the dark and cold checking our earth conections...The joy of old homes!!!

  2. Sounds like an expensive inconvenience!!!! However, you need to know that you and your family are safe. I hope it doesn't cause to much stress. Good luck with it all...

  3. I'm feeling this. Our Queenslander has had the same problems!

  4. Gosh, how something so simple becomes so complicated! I'm sure you'll appreciate it all once it's done, though,and much better to get all the electricals sorted out at once to be safe and up-to-date.

  5. Ugggh, renovating is such a thankless job sometimes. You fix one problem and uncover three more. And asbestos is just an ongoing nightmare... SIGH.

    Sometimes I think how nice it would be to all jsut live in hammocks in trees, a la Avatar.

  6. We had the exact same issue - no earth wires, exposed copper wires from 1920s in the roof, no space in plaster walls to chase wires down. And so on. We then had to UPGRADE our wiring to 3 phase when we renovated, that was after the sparky sent a 10 year old under the house (the only sized person who would fit) to find all the dangerous bits and then last year another electrician had to further upgrade the front room electrics because it was going to take out the grid there were so many bulbs. Having said all that it is money well spent. Unless you want plastic lights that is. xoxo

  7. Bugger!!! to use and Australianism, but keep focused on how fab that light is going to look! cheers Katherine

  8. Oh you poor bugger. Can't wait to see the light when it's up though.

  9. Oh no! What a pain or rather disappointment. That chandelier is divine, so distinctive.

  10. So much of the work and money goes on behind the scenes doesn't it.
    What a bummer! Lucky your electrician was on the ball.

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  12. wow, what a bummer! but glad no one got hurt, especially Jason - seeing as likes to sweing from chandeliers! too funny!!

    had a similar thing when i moved into this joint. a simple change over of mission brown wall lights to something funkier idetified that said brown lights were wired up by hte old owner using speaker cable! huge amounts of money later, the place wasn't all that much prettier, but a heap safer.

    good job to get over and done with i guess! have a great weekend. jx

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  14. Hi, what a pain! Having done a few renos I know how much is spent on the 'not so glamorous', however, the house has to be safe ..... and that chandelier must go up! Sometimes you feel as if all you do is continuously throw money at a house - but don't worry it will all be worth it in the end. Michelle

  15. Yikes, what a pain in the behind that is.....I hate spending money on the things you dont see!

  16. Oh poo! And it all started with just wanting to put up a pretty light!

  17. Right - I have exactly 10 mts access to a pc then I`m off for the two weeks. Do get your wiring done... inadequate wiring in old houses can even lead to house fires - trust me ;-( And that way we can all encourage the kids to swing off the chandeliers with Jason hehehehehe.

  18. i imagine carlo will be excited tho.... it sounds like a challenge for him. and, the fixture is amazing so im sure it will be worth it.


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