How to Rewire Your Home Like a Pro and Stop Getting Shocked


Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it's very doable for a dedicated DIYer. As a homeowner, being able to rewire rooms or your entire house allows you to upgrade and modernize your electrical system safely.

I recently completed a full home rewire on my 1950s house. Through my experience, I learned how to plan the project, handle wiring like a professional, and avoid getting shocked along the way. Follow my guide to successfully rewire your home without electrocuting yourself or burning the place down!

Safety First: Turn Off Power and Wear Protection

Before touching any wires, the first and most critical safety step is to turn off power to the entire home at the main circuit breaker panel. I cannot emphasize this enough - always turn off the main power before working on any electrical project. Be sure to test that the power is off by turning on a light or outlet.

In addition to power being off, wear rubber-soled shoes and gloves to avoid getting shocked while handling wires. Safety glasses are also a good idea when working inside boxes full of wires.

Finally, keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case any accidents occur with wiring that could spark flames. Rewiring a room or house takes time, so it's not worth risking your safety or burning down your home for convenience.

Gather the Right Rewiring Supplies

To rewire like a pro, you need the proper electrical wiring supplies:

You'll also need new copper wiring with plastic sheathing. The wire gauge (thickness) will depend on your home's amperage requirements. For a full rewire, you may need wires of multiple gauges.

Take Pictures Before and During Removal

Before removing any old wiring, take pictures of the insides of the electrical boxes, wire runs along walls, and how the wires connect to switches/outlets. Detailed before photos are crucial so you can replicate the wiring exactly during the new install.

Also take photos of the steps as you remove old wires. Taking pictures helps jog your memory later about how the original wires were positioned in the walls and through studs.

Rewire Room by Room

For a full home rewire, work through the house one room at a time. The steps for rewiring each room involve:

  1. Turn off power at the breaker
  2. Remove devices like switches and outlet covers
  3. Detach all wires from devices
  4. Label wires as you disconnect them
  5. Rip out old wires from walls and ceilings
  6. Vacuum dust and debris from open walls and electrical boxes
  7. Thread new wires through walls using fish tape
  8. Reconnect wires to devices like new outlets and switches
  9. Secure wires properly along studs to prevent strain
  10. Attach wall plates and replace devices

Follow this process for each room before moving onto the next area of your home.

Connect the Circuit Breaker Panel Last

As you rewire each room, the new wires will all run back to the main circuit breaker panel. Leave connecting the new wires to the breaker box as the final step after all rooms are complete.

With the power still off at the main breaker, remove the old wires from the panel and connect the new wires one circuit at a time. Be sure to label each wire according to which newly installed outlet or switch it powers so you don't get them crossed.

Once all the new wires are securely connected within the service panel, you can finally turn the main power back on!

Be Patient and Check Your Work

Budget more time than you think for an entire home rewire. It's not a one-weekend project! Rushing leads to mistakes, so take your time.

After turning the power back on, carefully test every single outlet and switch to ensure proper operation. Check for lights dimming or flickering as an indication of loose wiring connections. Thoroughly inspecting your work guarantees safe and functional results.

Rewiring a house yourself requires patience and attention to detail. But with the right safety steps, materials, room-by-room process, and final double-check, you can successfully upgrade your electrical system to modern standards. You'll gain invaluable experience and confidence taking on future electrical projects after rewiring your home without getting zapped!