Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be dangerous if you take the proper precautions and use safe, historical electrical methods. I have rewired my home multiple times over the years without electrocuting myself, and I will share my methods in this article so you can rewire your home safely as well.

Assess the Existing Electrical System

Before beginning any rewiring project, it's crucial to fully assess the existing electrical system. Here are some key steps:

Check the Electrical Panel

Look for Knob and Tube Wiring

Check Voltage and Amperage

Choose a Rewiring Method

Once I've assessed the existing wiring, I determine the best rewiring method. Here are two lesser known historical approaches perfect for DIYers:

Original Cloth-Covered Wiring

Armored Cable (AC) Wiring

Safety Gear Needed

Rewiring a home comes with risks of shock and fire. To stay safe, I use the following gear:

How to Rewire a Home Room by Room

Here is a step-by-step guide to rewire a home safely:

Turn Off Power

The first step is to turn off power at the main panel. Then, go around the home turning off all light switches and unplugging appliances to discharge any residual current in the wires. Verify power is off with a voltage tester.

Remove Old Wiring

Next, I take out the old wiring. I start by removing outlets, switch plates, and light fixtures. I pull the wires out from the walls and ceilings back to the electrical panel.

Be sure to wear a dust mask in case the insulation contains asbestos. Properly dispose of all old wiring.

Run New Wiring

Now the fun part - running the new wiring! I start at the panel and work outward room by room.

I staple the new wires to the centers of wall studs and joints of joists in the attic and basement. I leave some extra slack to prevent tension.

For original cloth wiring, I wrap connection points with electrical tape for safety. With armored cable, I use wire nuts to join wires.

Install Devices

After the wires are run, it's time to install the outlets, switches, and light fixtures. I match amperages and use mounting brackets suited for my wiring method.

I also make sure to connect the ground wires properly - safety first!

Turn Power Back On

Once everything is securely installed, I turn the main power back on and test each outlet, switch, and light to verify proper operation.

I also check for hot spots in the wiring that could indicate unsafe connections. If any issues arise, I troubleshoot and fix them before completing the rewiring project.

Maintaining Safety Throughout the Process

Rewiring a house takes time. Here are some key tips to maintain safety:


While rewiring a house is hard work, it can be accomplished safely with proper precautions. Taking the time to assess the existing wiring system, wearing protective gear, turning off power while working, and testing connections thoroughly will allow you to upgrade the electrical in your vintage home without any deadly missteps. Be sure to research your local electrical codes as well. Follow the methods I described, and you can rewire your home without dying!