Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and safety precautions, it's possible for a handy homeowner to rewire their house without hiring an electrician. I've done it in my own home, and while challenging, it allowed me to upgrade the electrical system and add new circuits at a fraction of the cost of hiring an electrician.

In this guide, I'll walk through the complete process of rewiring a home, from assessing the existing electrical system, to choosing the right wire gauges and circuit breakers, to running new wires and installing outlets and switches. I'll also cover key safety tips to avoid getting shocked or causing a fire hazard. Follow along to gain the confidence to rewire your home!

Assessing Your Existing Electrical System

The first step is to understand the current state of your electrical system. Here's what to look for:

Take Note of All Fixtures and Outlets

Identify the Main Service Panel

Check the Wire Gauge and Age

Look For Knob and Tube Wiring

Planning Your New Circuits

Once you've assessed the existing system, it's time to map out the new circuits for the rewired home.

Consult Electrical Code

Calculate Total Amp Needs

Draw a Circuit Map

Include Essential Circuits

Consider Arc-Fault Protection

Selecting the Right Wire Gauge

Choosing the appropriate wire gauge for your home's circuits is critical for safety and performance. Follow these tips:

Follow Code Minimums

Consider Voltage Drop

Match Breaker to Wire Size

Choosing the Right Circuit Breakers

Selecting properly rated circuit breakers is equally important for a safe rewiring project.

15 vs 20 Amp Breakers

Use GFCI Breakers Where Needed

Use AFCI Breakers to Prevent Fires

Get High Quality Breakers

Running New Wiring Through Walls

Now comes the tough part - running the new wires through the walls. Here are some tips:

Map Out Runs Beforehand

Fish Wire Through Walls

Drill Holes to Route Wires

Staple Wires Properly

Label Wires Clearly

Installing New Outlets and Switches

The fun part is finally installing the new outlets, switches and other fixtures:

Use Old Boxes If Possible

Install GFCIs Where Needed

Choose Durable Products

Connect Wires Securely

Linking Breakers and Circuits

With the wires run and outlets installed, it's time to make connections.

Shut Off Main Breaker First

Match Wire Size to Breaker

Connect Neutrals and Grounds

Label Circuits Clearly

Consider Arc-Fault Breakers

Testing and Safety Checks

With the new wiring complete, it's critical to test all circuits thoroughly and ensure safety before turning the system live.

Check for Loose Wires

Verify Ground Connections

Test GFCI Circuits

Inspect for Damage

Turn On Power Gradually


Rewiring a home is a major project, but also very rewarding. By taking proper precautions, using quality materials, adhering to electrical codes, and thoroughly testing my work, I was able to completely upgrade the electrical system in my home and gain peace of mind knowing it is safer and more robust. This allows me to take on larger electrical projects with confidence. I hope this overview gives you a great starting point to tackle your own home rewiring project! Let me know if you have any other questions.