Is This Electrical Wiring All That Bad?

While under my partner's house today tidying up a heap of stuff, I couldn't help but notice the mess of electrical wiring directly under her main fuse box.

I'm no professional when it comes to electrical wiring or what to expect from really old homes… I spend my work life doing data networking in businesses which must have up to standard electrical wiring.

So, putting this to the Ozb crowd! Is this something I should be worried about? A lot of it is just two wire, with no ground.. and a lot of it appears to be very exposed.

The main fuse box apprently isn't all that old.. I think it had to be updated before the last sparky would install the A/C or the Stove.. that was before my time here though. I'm a bit worried about plugging my $15K sound system into this, and my $5 computer. 🙄


  • +6 votes

    Looks pretty normal for a '60s/'70s build. Not to say it's good, but normal 'for the day'


      Cheers M8y! Yeah I got to wondering "is every house from last century like this?.. this is why homes burn to the ground!"


    Not a sparky but I'm fairly certain the bare wiring is a bit of a concern just from a safety POV.

    • +6 votes

      This is normal for an old house, it’s only the earth wires that are exposed & joined,
      In old wiring, earth was never encased


        Thanks for clarifying this RED27APPLE. Like apsilon I was a little bit unsure!
        I figured it MIGHT be ok considering it's the earth (well I bloody hope it is, haha), but having someone back that up is great.

  • +7 votes

    Not up to current standards, but as said above, not rare for its time. RCDs in the switchboard are more important for safety than anything you see there.

    Your equipment is not at risk to be plugged in, any more than another house.


      Thanks kongkurr! That gives me some confidence.

  • +2 votes

    Lol @ exposed wiring…

    Nah, all good, just don’t go licking it.

  • +6 votes

    Is that braided cable a monster HDMI cable?


      Haha, well noticed! Yes it is, and I have no idea why it's there.
      It goes from the Loungeroom to the Bathroom. I'll be removing it soon as that is whack!

  • +2 votes

    Use your judgement and survey the area around the wires. Can rats get to it, moisture or water, can people accidentally touch it etc.

    If so, get a licensed electrician to check it out for peace of mind.

    • +1 vote

      Yeah, my own judgement is super OCD with this sort of thing from working with Data-networks on and off through my work.
      I want to get a complete rewire of this house, but it's not actually my house. It's my partners house and her/child/our safety is my concern.
      My house, which I'm about to move out of, was built 7 years ago and the electrical is top notch. The data networking however wasn't up to my standard, lazy cabler only punched down 1 of 4 pairs in each RJ45, lazy!

  • +4 votes

    Is that a shadow of Bart Simpson on the left-hand side?

  • +1 vote

    I think one of those cables is not even electric its a HDMI. :P I am no electrician but a pre WW2 home I used to live in was a lot worse then this and all my electrics and me still worked


      Yep, that is a long HDMI cable. I'll be getting rid of that ASAP, but it's not hurting being there for now. That's the one thing I am most definitely not scared of.

  • +2 votes

    Some of it is okay and some is not up to spec.

    The white 1.5mm and probably 2.5mm flat white cable going everywhere like spaghetti is okay w.r.t. it looks bad, but will not fail any audits.

    The BAD bits are:
    1) The red and brown wires shown that indicate the white cables have been cut and or hacked.

    The potential non compliance bits:
    A) The ground wire from two white power cables being joined via a termination block.
    B) Assuming the vertical silver wire on the left that then goes to the right if it is a ground wire is dodgy as hell.

    Further investigation:
    1) There is an armored pipe/cable that is in front of most of the power cables that you need to find what it is as if it is gas pipe then take the pic ASAP to a plumbing place and ask if this would pass an audit.
    2) The joins of the red and brown cables need to be looked at to see that they are insulated and cannot short or case and sparks.
    3) You should trace the ground cable on the left and see that it is joined to either a water pipe that goes into the ground very close to where it joins the pipe (20 to 40 cm) or it goes into a steel bar that is in the ground.

    Be aware on the right are black cables that look like FTA or Foxtel co-ax cables.


      Thanks AndyC1, appreciate your time to point each of these things out.

      I'll take a closer look later this week, taking all your points into consideration.

      I really don't like the exposed stripped back red and brown live wires. I'd like to reterminate those.

      I wouldn't mind also reterminating that brown chocbox too, or whatever the industry calls them.

      That ground wire, although takes a crap path, does lead into the ground; into concrete, however it's not joined to the typical rod/pipe that we're all used to seeing.

      Not sure of the pipe, I will take a closer look to identify this. I was pretty sure this was all cabling of different sorts. Electrical/AV/Coax Aerial/PSTN-Telephony.

      The FTTP fibre cable wasn't installed very well either, but it's intact and working to say the least. That isn't in this pic!

    • +1 vote

      Why is that vertical silver wire dodgy as hell?


        Timthetoolman, I assume this is was simply how some houses were grounded back in the ol' days.

  • +1 vote

    I spent alot of time doing cabling in my life, and power cabling always made me super paranoid. It looks awful, but like others have said that was the style back then. If you ever get any electrical work done in the future you could think about tidying it up, but if it's not causing any problems now (apart from the OCD twitching) I'd not worry about it.

    I wouldn't poke my fingers or anything metal in there, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it :)