Rewiring your home can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation and safety measures, it is possible for a diligent DIYer to complete it successfully. The key is taking the time to educate yourself and following crucial safety steps.

I have rewired parts of my own home without hiring an electrician, and it has saved me thousands of dollars in labor costs. However, this is not a project to take lightly, as mistakes can lead to electrocution, fires, or damage to your electrical system. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk through all the key steps I followed to safely rewire my home.

Reasons You May Need to Rewire

Here are some of the most common reasons you may need or want to rewire your home:

Upgrading Outdated Wiring

If your home still has knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring, it is crucial to replace it, as these old types of wiring are unsafe. Upgrading to modern copper wiring will make your electrical system safer and more efficient.

Remodeling and Adding Circuits

When remodeling or adding onto your home, you will likely need to run new wiring to add lighting, outlets, and appliances in the new spaces.

Faulty Wiring Issues

If you have frequent tripped breakers, flickering lights, or outlets that spark when used, your wiring likely has faults and needs to be replaced. These are warning signs of unsafe wiring.

Insufficient Amp Service

If your home's amp service is insufficient for your needs, you may experience frequent tripped breakers. Rewiring can allow you to upgrade your electrical panel and increase amperage.

Dangers of RewiringIncorrectly

While rewiring can save money, there are crucial risks to avoid:

The risks involved mean rewiring is best left to professionals in many cases. Only attempt DIY rewiring if you educate yourself thoroughly and take precautions.

Preparing for a Rewiring Project

Proper preparation is crucial before you begin rewiring. Rushing into this project without planning can be disastrous. Follow these key steps:

Research and Education

Read rewiring guides, watch tutorial videos, and understand electrical safety procedures and codes. Know the fundamentals before you begin.

Create a Wiring Plan

Map out a detailed plan for the wiring changes and additions you need to make. Identify circuits, wire sizing, outlets, switches, and connections required.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Get electrical permits from your city inspector's office so your rewiring will meet code requirements.

Purchase Materials and Tools

Acquire all needed wires, outlet boxes, conduit, connectors, tools, and safety gear before starting.

Turn Off Power

Turn off all power at your home's breaker box and use a contact voltage tester to be sure it is dead.

Key Safety Tips During Rewiring

Follow these crucial safety precautions whenever you are working on your home's electrical:

Work on De-Energized Circuits Only

Never work on live wires! Double check wires with a voltage tester before touching.

Circuit Breakers Off and Fuse Box Unplugged

Keep breakers off and unplug fuse box while working. Post warning signs.

Wear Insulated Gloves and Eye Protection

Wear proper safety gear at all times to prevent electrocution and burns.

Use Extra Insulation on Wires

Carefully tape wire connections to prevent dangerous shorts and sparks.

Avoid Overloading Neutral Wires

Too many appliances on shared neutral wires can overload and melt the wires.

Use Cable Staples and Anchors

Securely mount and anchor cables so vibration does not loosen connections.

Step-by-Step Rewiring Process

Once you have completed all preparatory steps, you are ready to begin the rewiring process. Here is an overview of the end-to-end workflow:

1. Remove Existing Wiring

Carefully remove existing wiring connections, outlets, switches, and junction boxes from the areas you are rewiring.

2. Determine New Wire Runs

Map out pathways for running new wires to all updated outlets and switches.

3. Drill Holes for Wiring

Drill holes through joists, studs, and masonry for running wiring between floors and rooms.

4. Fish and Pull New Wires

Use fish tape to pull cables through walls and ceilings between outlets and junction boxes.

5. Update Electrical Panel as Needed

If upgrading amp service, install new breakers or a new panel, ensuring adequate amperage capacity.

6. Connect Switches, Outlets, and Lights

Follow diagrams to connect new wiring to all outlets, switches, light fixtures, and appliances.

7. Attach Wall Plates

Install outlet and switch wall plates to cover junction boxes once wiring is complete.

8. Inspect and Test Thoroughly

Inspect all connections carefully and test each circuit before re-energizing the system.

Getting Your Work Inspected

Once rewiring is complete, your local building department must inspect it to ensure compliance with electrical code:

Passing inspection is mandatory for home insurance coverage. Do not skip this step!


While rewiring your home is ambitious, it can save thousands of dollars if done properly. Follow safety precautions, educate yourself thoroughly, get permits, use extreme care, and get a final inspection. Patience and diligence during the project will ensure you avoid disasters like electrocution, fires, or expensive damage to your electrical system. The sense of accomplishment from completing a full rewiring safely yourself is well worth the effort.