Rewiring your home can be a daunting task, but also a necessary one if your electrical system is outdated or unsafe. As a homeowner, I want to tackle this project to upgrade my home's wiring, but I also want to avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes. In my research and planning, I've learned that there are 7 key mistakes that many electricians make during rewiring that I need to watch out for. By being aware of these issues, I can ensure my rewiring project goes smoothly and safely.

Mistake #1: Not Getting the Proper Permits and Inspections

One of the biggest mistakes is not getting the right permits and inspections done. Anytime I'm doing major electrical work, it's crucial that I get the project permitted and inspected according to local building codes. Skipping permits and inspections can lead to:

To avoid this, I'll be sure to research my local permitting process and schedule all necessary inspections for each stage of the rewiring. This ensures my project meets all safety and legal requirements.

Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Wire Gauge

Selecting the proper wire gauge (thickness) is extremely important for safety and performance. If the wires are too small, they can overheat and cause a fire hazard. But wires that are unnecessarily large are expensive and waste space.

To determine the right wire gauge, I need to consider:

I'll consult the necessary guides and code books to select the ideal wire gauge for each circuit I'm installing. This prevents wasted money on oversized wires or unsafe undersized wires.

Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Wiring Methods

Today there are many types of wiring methods and materials to choose from:

It's important to use the right wiring method for each application:

If the wrong wiring method is used, the wires may not be sufficiently protected. I'll consult local codes to ensure I use approved wiring materials in the appropriate locations.

Mistake #4: Inadequate Boxes and Junctions

The boxes and junction points that connect my home's wires need to be suitable for the number of wires and connections they contain. If a box is too small, the wires will be cramped and it makes connections difficult. However, oversized boxes are unnecessarily costly.

When installing boxes and junctions, I'll watch out for:

Taking the time to install adequate boxes and junctions will prevent electrical faults and fires. I'll size all my boxes according to local code requirements.

Mistake #5: Not Labeling the Circuit Breakers

With a rewired home, all the circuit breakers in my electrical panel will be new. If I don't take the time to properly label each circuit breaker, it will cause issues down the road.

To avoid confusion, I will:

Taking these steps to accurately label every circuit breaker will make my home's electrical system easier to navigate in the future. I'll be able to quickly shut off the proper breaker if needed.

Mistake #6: Improper Lighting Circuit Layout

For the lighting circuits in my home, I need to be mindful of how switches control various lights. Planning this carefully will avoid issues like:

To avoid problems, I will:

Putting this upfront thought into the lighting circuit layout will provide smarter lighting control through my home.

Mistake #7: Forgetting Arc-Fault and GFCI Protection

Modern electrical codes require arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in many circumstances to prevent fires and shocks. It's crucial I don't forget to install these important safety devices.

I'll be careful to install:

Installing the proper AFCI and GFCI devices is a simple way to make my rewired home significantly safer. I'll double check that all required locations have them.

By being aware of these 7 key mistakes, I can avoid the common pitfalls of home rewiring projects. Paying attention to permits, wire gauges, wiring methods, junction boxes, labels, lighting layout, and safety devices will ensure my home's new electrical system is safe, functional and built to last. Knowing what to watch out for will give me the confidence to successfully take on this important project.