Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation and safety measures, it is possible for a diligent DIYer to rewire their home and save thousands of dollars in electrician fees. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk through all the key steps involved in rewiring a home safely and effectively without professional help.

Understanding Home Electrical Systems

Before beginning any electrical project, it's crucial to understand the basics of home electrical systems. Here's a quick overview:

Understanding these components will help immensely when planning and executing a rewiring project.

When Rewiring is Necessary

There are several signs that indicate your home's wiring is outdated or potentially dangerous and in need of replacement:

If any of these apply to your home, a rewiring project will likely be necessary to bring it up to modern safety and energy efficiency standards.

Dangers of Rewiring Without Experience

While rewiring a home as a DIY project can certainly save money, it's absolutely vital to have a firm understanding of electrical principles and wiring methods before attempting this.

Attempting to rewire a home without sufficient knowledge and experience puts yourself and your family at serious risk of:

The dangers involved mean electrical DIY is not a realm for novices. But with proper precautions, tools, skills and respect for electricity, the risks can be minimized.

Studying Electrical Theory

Before purchasing supplies and breaking out the wire strippers, its crucial for any DIYer to thoroughly study up on basic residential electrical principles, including:

Focus your studies on the aspects of electrical theory that pertain directly to residential wiring. Understanding these core concepts before beginning a rewiring project will help ensure you work safely and effectively.

Essential Tools and Materials

If you're taking the DIY route, here are some of the key tools and materials needed:



This list provides a starting point of the basic tools and supplies needed for rewiring. Consult the electrical code for any additional materials required based on your specific project scope.

Disconnecting the Main Power

Before touching any wiring in your home, fully shutting off power at the main breaker is an absolute must. To do this safely:

  1. Locate your main breaker panel and open the front cover.

  2. Flip the main breaker to the "OFF" position. This primary breaker controls power from the utility line to your entire home.

  3. Test that power is off. Use a non-contact voltmeter to confirm wires are de-energized. Check both hot and neutral.

  4. With the main breaker off, you can now safely work on wiring throughout the home without risk of electrocution. Just be certain power stays off!

Performing these steps first protects you from the most catastrophic risk of electrical work - being shocked by live wires.

Running New Circuit Wiring

With the old wiring disconnected, running new wires for replacement circuits is next. Key steps include:

Follow basic safety principles - confirm power is dead, handle wires with care, make robust connections. Guidance from reference materials like code books and wiring guides is advisable.

Installing New Breaker Panel

Once new wiring is run through the house, the old dangerously outdated breaker panel must be replaced with a new modern panel to restore power safely. Key steps in this process include:

A new modern code-compliant breaker panel paired with your new wiring provides robust surge and overload protection. Take it slow and be meticulous - the panel is the heart of your home's electrical system.

Helpful Tips to Remember


Rewiring an outdated home provides huge benefits in safety, efficiency and property value. While certainly not an easy DIY, with proper planning, tools and respect for electricity, a diligent homeowner can execute this project themselves and pocket major savings. Just be sure to study up first! Follow good practices and don't ever take risks when dealing with lethal voltage.