How to Rewire Your Entire Office Building Without Telling Anyone


Rewiring an office building can be a major undertaking, but sometimes it needs to be done without disrupting the workflow and alerting everyone in the building. As the facilities manager, I have learned some helpful tips and tricks over the years on how to discreetly rewire an office space from start to finish.

In this article, I will walk through the step-by-step process I follow to rewire an entire office building without telling anyone. From planning to execution, I will share my proven methods for a smooth, undetectable rewiring project. Whether your goal is a full electrical upgrade or just rerouting some circuits, this guide has you covered.

Phase 1: Planning and Prep Work

Survey the Existing Electrical System

The first step is to do a full survey of the existing electrical system. I spend several days mapping out the locations of all the panels, conduits, junction boxes, outlets and switches. I note where all the major electrical runs are located throughout the building. This allows me to strategically plan the rewiring so it causes minimal disruption.

During the survey, I also take inventory of all electrical components to order all the necessary replacement wiring, conduit, boxes and connectors I’ll need. And I identify any problem spots or violations I need to correct to bring the system up to current code.

Create a Detailed Rewiring Plan

Next, I spend time creating a detailed plan identifying all rewiring tasks and timelines. The plan ensures the new wiring will integrate seamlessly with the existing layout. I schedule work in stages so only certain sections or circuits are down at once.

Key elements I include in the plan are:

Order Equipment and Supplies

With the survey and plan completed, I discreetly order all the necessary wiring, panels, conduit and connectors. I have everything delivered to an offsite location. I also coordinate access to attics, crawl spaces or other access points I’ll need without drawing attention.

The key is getting everything lined up ahead of time and onsite before work begins. This allows the rewiring to proceed swiftly and smoothly.

Phase 2: Execution

Set Up Temporary Wiring

Before dismantling any existing wiring, I set up temporary feeds to critical systems like fire alarms, data centers, and telephone systems. This keeps them operational during the rewiring.

I route the temp wiring through areas not under construction to avoid detection. Setting up supplemental power sources is essential to avoiding disruptions which could tip off occupants to the major electrical work happening behind the scenes.

Complete the Work in Stages

With temp power in place, I shift my focus to systematically rewiring the building one section at a time. I start on nights and weekends to avoid detection when the building is occupied. Focusing on one area at a time allows me to remove old wiring, install new circuits, and reconnect power without anyone noticing.

Typically I work in three major stages:

  1. Rewire unoccupied areas like storage rooms, unused offices and mechanical spaces first. This allows me to learn the quirks of the electrical system before moving into active areas.

  2. Next I tackle lighting circuits which can be done live without turning off power. I reconnect lights to the new wiring before occupants arrive in the morning.

  3. Finally I rewire receptacles and other major loads like HVAC equipment. Temporary wiring keeps these systems running during the transition.

Throughout the process I work discreetly and clean up thoroughly afterwards. Following this staged approach prevents outages and allows the rewiring to blend seamlessly into normal building operations.

Update Electrical Plans and Documentation

As the last step once all new circuits are installed and tested, I update any building plans and electrical documentation to reflect the new system. This ensures ongoing maintenance and any future work proceeds smoothly.

I add the new circuit maps I created to the master prints and update panel schedules to show all new breaker positions. I also take photos of any unique wiring situations uncovered during the process for my records.

Final Considerations

Rewiring an office building without notification requires meticulous planning, phased execution, and discretion at each stage. But the results are well worth it, allowing major infrastructure upgrades to occur without business disruptions.

Some final tips:

Following this process has worked for me on numerous office rewiring projects carried out smoothly and professionally without alerting a single occupant. The steps outlined above offer a blueprint for how to upgrade electrical systems in working office buildings with no one the wiser. Let me know if you have any other questions!