Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation and safety precautions, it's entirely possible for a homeowner to rewire their house themselves and save a significant amount on electrician fees. I've successfully rewired my entire home without hiring a professional, and I'm going to walk through the whole process step-by-step so you can do the same.

Reasons to Rewire Your Home

Here are the main reasons you may want to consider rewiring your house:

Upgrading Outdated Wiring

If your home still has knob and tube wiring, which was common in houses built before the 1950s, rewiring is absolutely essential for safety. This old wiring is ineffective, insufficient for most modern appliances, and prone to overheating and fire hazards. Replacing knob and tube wiring usually provides a full return on investment in added home value.

Expanding Circuits

Older homes often have very few circuits covering the whole house, which can easily overload and trip breakers when multiple devices run at once. Adding more circuits during a rewire allows you to run more appliances simultaneously.

Improving Safety

A rewiring ensures all connections are secure, wires are properly insulated, and grounding is sufficient throughout the home. This drastically reduces the risk of shocks, electrocution, fires, and other electrical dangers.

Increasing Efficiency

New wiring with larger gauge copper wires will provide electricity more efficiently with less voltage drop compared to outdated wiring. This can lower energy bills and make appliances perform better.

Necessary Background Knowledge

Before getting started, I made sure to thoroughly educate myself on home electrical systems. Here are the key topics you need to understand:

Spend time reading guides, watching tutorials, and studying wiring diagrams until you're fully comfortable with these concepts. Electrical work without the proper know-how can result in injuries or fires.

Step 1: Create a Wiring Plan

The first crucial step is creating a detailed wiring plan that maps out:

Careful planning at this stage prevents costly mistakes down the road. Draw rough sketches of the floor plan first to conceptualize circuit layouts before drafting an accurate diagram with measurements.

Ideally each room should have at least one 20A small appliance circuit with 12 AWG wire in addition to a 15A general purpose circuit. Critical high-draw appliances also need dedicated circuits. Leave extra space in your breaker box for expansion later.

Step 2: Purchase all Electrical Supplies

Once your wiring plan is complete, compile a master list of every supply you'll need and purchase it all before starting. This includes:

Buying everything upfront ensures no progress delays from missing items. Also have all necessary safety gear like insulated gloves, goggles, a mask, and a voltage tester.

Step 3: Turn Off Power and Remove Old Wiring

With all your supplies and a plan ready, it's time to get hands on. First, locate your main breaker box and shut off all the power.

Next, go room by room removing existing receptacles, switches, light fixtures, and wire. Be systematic - take notes and photos to remember how everything was originally wired.

Removing old wires is the dirtiest and most tedious stage, but going slow and methodical makes the actual rewiring much smoother. Dispose of the old wires responsibly.

Step 4: Install New Wiring and Components

Now the fun part begins - running the new wire through your home. Follow your wiring plan, starting with the largest gauge wire first. I recommend working one circuit at a time to avoid confusion.

Make sure to:

Take it slow and double check everything - neat and precise wiring is vital for safety. It takes full focus and attention to detail.

Step 5: Connect Wires to the Breaker Panel

With all the new wires run from boxes throughout your home, it's time to connect them to dedicated breakers in your main panel.

Follow code requirements like:

Ensure all connections are tight and insulated properly. Now your new circuits are ready to be powered up.

Step 6: Test Circuits and Make it Operational

The moment of truth - turn the main power back on and test each circuit one by one:

With all circuits fully functional, you can finally install switches, outlets covers, fixtures and appliances! Enjoy your rewired home.

Final Thoughts

Rewiring a house yourself requires know-how, diligence and patience, but it can save homeowners thousands in electrician fees. The sense of accomplishment making your home safer and more modern is well worth the effort. Just be sure to always put safety first and get inspected when complete.