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Old 5th May 2021, 10:19 am   #46
Paul Stenning
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Cardiff
Posts: 8,164
Default Re: When were ring mains introduced in domestic housing?

When my parents' house was rewired in the early 60s (just after they bought it and before I was born) it was a sort of hybrid ring/spur system. The ring was under the upstairs floor to the locations of sockets on the ground and first floors, then round junction boxes were used under the floor for a single cable to each socket.

Sockets (MK single switched 13A) were surface mounted on the skirting boards upstairs (so no visible cable) and for downstairs the cables just ran down in corners and along skirting boards to wherever the sockets were needed. This used the aluminium cable clips that were tacked to the wall and wrapped around the cable so less visible than modern plastic ones, especially when it was all painted over.

Cables were just notched into the joists under the floorboards, but there were never any nail issues as the positions were marked on the floorboards with red paint.

The lighting was individual rubber cables in metal conduit with ceramic terminal blocks, probably from when the house was built in the early 30s as it would have been almost impossible to install that later. This was rewired in the late 70s, mainly because of regular fuses blowing due to the deterioration of the wiring.

Apart from some additional sockets (mostly spurs off existing ones), a consumer unit in place of individual fuseboxes in the 90s, and a separate installation for storage heaters in the early 80s, the wiring remained unchanged and worked fine until the house was sold to a developer four years ago after mum died. It will now all have been ripped out and replaced.

Paul Stenning
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