How to Rewire Your 1850s Farmhouse Without Burning it Down


Rewiring an old farmhouse can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and care it can be accomplished safely. As the owner of a 150 year old farmhouse myself, I have recently gone through this process. In this article, I will share the steps I took to rewire my 1850s farmhouse without any fires or electrocutions.

Evaluate the Existing Electrical System

The first step is to understand what you are working with. Here are some key things I looked at:

I enlisted the help of a licensed electrician to assess my existing system. Getting a professional opinion early on can save a lot of headaches down the road.

Create a Rewiring Plan

Once I understood the state of my farmhouse's electrical system, I was able to map out a plan for the rewiring project:

Take the time to make a detailed rewiring plan. Having an end goal will make the project go much smoother.

Safely Remove Old Wiring

With rewiring, you'll want to remove the old wiring before installing the new. Taking out old knob and tube wiring must be done with care:

Follow these safety steps and you can methodically remove old wiring without any nasty surprises.

Install New Wiring and Devices

The fun part is installing fresh, new wiring throughout your farmhouse. Focus on one circuit at a time:

Taking it slowly and methodically is the key. It may take more time, but the results will be well worth it.

Hire an Electrician If Unsure

A final tip - if at any point you feel unsure or uncomfortable, stop and call an electrician. Your safety is not worth taking risks over.


Their experienced eyes can catch any mistakes and identify potential hazards. Spending some extra on a pro can prevent expensive - and dangerous - problems down the road.


Rewiring an old farmhouse takes planning and care, but it can be accomplished safely. The key is taking it step-by-step:

Follow these guidelines and you can have peace of mind knowing your farmhouse's electrical system is totally modernized and running safely for decades to come.

Let me know if you have any questions! I'm happy to provide more details on my experiences rewiring my 1850s farmhouse.