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Electrical Renovation: The Complete Guide

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An electrical installation that is too old can affect your comfort as well as your safety. Obligations and standards, steps to be observed and points of vigilance ... let's take stock of electrical renovation.

Why redo your electrical installation?

Whether you have just bought an older house or have lived in the same accommodation for many years, it may be time to think about renovating your electrical installation, for your comfort, for your safety, as well as for your savings.
An aging installation can be dangerous: a faulty system can cause electric shocks or fires. It is considered that the installations carried out before 1991 are obsolete, and do not meet the current standards which have since evolved considerably. If they were carried out before 1974 and never renovated, they are considered dangerous: before 1974, there was no obligation to check the installation before it was put into operation.
In the event of a problem, if your installation no longer meets the standards in force, your insurer may refuse reimbursement of the damage.
On the other hand, an electrical renovation can also be an opportunity to save on your consumption, day after day. Remote control of the lighting or the boiler, installation of presence detection luminaires ... advances in new technologies and home automation now make it possible to manage all of your consumption as closely as possible to your needs: take advantage of 'a renovation to install a hi-tech system.
Soft and diffused light in the living room, a well directed light on the worktop in the kitchen, bathroom lighting well arranged around a mirror ... it changes your life: an electrical installation adapted to your habits can also improve your daily comfort.
Is your installation safe? How do you know if your facility needs a renovation? Before you start, do a full diagnostic of the system.

Diagnosis: Standards and constraints to be respected

The diagnosis of your electrical installation is mandatory when it is over 15 years old, and you want to sell your home. And if you have just bought a house or an apartment and your landlord has not given you the mandatory document, drawn up by a certified professional, attesting to the diagnosis, you will have to take care of it.
The professional will therefore make an inventory, checking compliance with the NF C15 100 standard which lists all the points to be observed, including in particular:
  • The existence of an equipotential bond at each circuit start
  • The presence of circuit breakers, a general cut-off device on the electrical panel, and a panel equipped with fused circuit breakers
  • The presence of an earth
  • The conformity of the electrical installations of the bathroom and the kitchen, rooms considered to be the most at risk, with specific constraints.
If the diagnosis is mandatory, renovation to current standards by the owner is not mandatory and when you buy a home, you may have to take charge of the work.

A complete renovation, step by step

Before taking your toolbox, start by working on the plan of your future installation, listing its weak points and its strong points.
Visualize on the plan the changes of cables, the modifications of equipment - electrical panels, circuit breakers… - and the points of installation of elements such as switches, lighting… Think of the elements of the house that you will then connect: single phase or three-phase, connection with home automation equipment… some equipment has its own constraints.
After having cut the general current and checked that there is no more current, we begin by connecting a worksite box to the circuit breaker: it allows you to work with your electric tools while the circuit is cut.
Then, it is a question of removing the old installation: removal of the electrical panel, removing the sheaths and the cables using grooves, dismantling of the elements ...
With the new plan, it is necessary to trace the future bleedings as the position of the new elements. You can then perform the bleeding, to pass the new sheaths and then recap.
The next step is to wire the junction boxes, then install the switches and electrical outlets.
Finally, the electrical panel must be installed and connected.
For safety reasons, complete electrical renovation or not remains a delicate operation: do not hesitate to ask for professional help.

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