Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and safety precautions, it can be done safely and provide many benefits. In this article, I will walk through the complete process of rewiring a home for added convenience and safety step-by-step.

Reasons to Rewire

There are several good reasons you may want to rewire your home:

Outdated Wiring

If your home still has knob and tube wiring, it is well past time to upgrade. This old wiring is unsafe and cannot handle the electricity demands of modern appliances and devices. Upgrading the wiring will allow you to use the latest electronics safely.

Insufficient Circuits

Many older homes have few circuits covering large areas, which can easily become overloaded. Adding more circuits lets you run more devices without blown fuses or tripped breakers.


Proper grounding greatly improves safety by giving electricity an alternate path to flow if there is a fault. Older homes often lack sufficient grounding according to modern codes.


Rewiring allows installing additional outlets, switches, and fixtures wherever needed. This can make rooms more convenient to use and reduce the need for extension cords and power strips.

Planning the Rewiring Project

Careful planning is crucial for a smooth rewiring project. Here are key steps:


Check with your local building department to determine if you need permits for rewiring. Generally permits are required for significant electrical work.


Decide where you want new outlets, switches, lighting fixtures, and appliance hookups. An electrician can advise on optimal layout.

Electrical Panel

Determine if your main panel needs upgraded to handle added circuits. Older 100 amp panels may need upgraded to 200 amps.

Professional Help

Consider hiring an electrician, especially if you lack experience with electrical systems. They can ensure proper building codes and safety procedures are followed.


Rewiring will require power shut offs, so plan work and family schedules accordingly. It may make sense to wire one room at a time.

Safety Measures

Electrical work can be hazardous if proper precautions are not taken:

Removing Old Wiring

Once preparations are complete, the old wiring needs removed:

Attic and Basement

The existing wiring is likely run through attic and basement areas. Locate where it connects to each room and remove it. Ensure wiring is disconnected at the panel.

Walls and Ceilings

Carefully cut into wall and ceiling materials to access and remove old wiring. Patch over openings later with drywall and plaster. Use proper supports along wire runs.


Remove existing lighting fixtures, switches, and outlets to clear space for new ones. Take note of how they were wired to replicate later.


Properly dispose of old wiring. Most is covered in lead or cloth insulation which require hazardous material handling.

Installing New Wiring

With the old wiring cleared out, it is time to install new:

Circuit Planning

Plan which rooms and devices will be on each new circuit. Follow codes for maximum device and wire amp limits per circuit.

Runs and Junctions

Run wiring through walls and ceilings between the panel, devices, and fixtures. Create properly enclosed junction boxes where runs branch off or meet.

Outlets and Switches

Install new outlets and switches in desired locations. Alternate hot and neutral connections for balanced load. Follow proper grounding procedures.

Lights and Fans

Connect new ceiling electrical boxes and run wiring for lighting fixtures and ceiling fans where needed. Ensure boxes are properly braced.


Install dedicated appliance circuits with appropriate receptacles and capacities for large appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.


Clearly label all circuits and junction points to aid future maintenance. Note locations of hidden junctions on the wiring diagrams.

Wrapping Up the Project

Once the new wiring is functionally complete, finish by:


Thoroughly test each circuit for proper function of outlets, switches, lights, and appliances. Verify grounding and polarity are correct.

Wall Repair

Patch drywall and refinish areas where walls and ceilings were cut into. Blend patched areas for a seamless appearance.

Panel and Meter

Verify the main panel and meter are properly reconnected. Replace covers on both. Have utility inspect meter before restoring power.


Create diagrams showing all new circuits and junction points. Include diagrams in the household records for future residents.


Vacuum dust and debris from the rewiring work. Remove any surplus materials and tools. Check attic and basement areas too.


While rewiring a house is a major project, it is manageable with proper planning and safety steps. The ability to upgrade wiring, add circuits, and improve safety are worthwhile benefits. Take things slowly, ask for help, and don't compromise on safety. The improved convenience and safety are well worth the effort!