Rewiring a home can be a daunting task, but with proper precautions it can be done safely. Rewiring using the old knob-and-tube method our grandparents relied on may seem straightforward, but it comes with serious risks if not done correctly. While I don't recommend rewiring your home without professional help, here are some tips to keep in mind if you decide to take on this risky DIY project.

Safety First - Dangers of Rewiring Yourself

Before touching any wires, be aware of the huge safety risks involved. Electrocution, fires, and damage to your home's electrical system can occur if wiring is handled improperly. Consider hiring a licensed electrician, as they have the proper training and tools to rewire safely. If you DIY, exercise extreme caution:

In summary, rewiring yourself comes with substantial risks. Unless you are a trained electrician, it is better left to the professionals.

The Knob-and-Tube Method - How It Works

The old knob-and-tube wiring our grandparents used consists of:

This method keeps wiring separated and provides some protection. However, it is obsolete and can be dangerous compared to modern electrical systems.

While knob-and-tube can sometimes be reused when rewiring, it is often better to replace it entirely with new wiring that meets modern safety codes. The old cloth-insulated wires are prone to deterioration over time.

Dos and Don'ts of Rewiring the Old-Fashioned Way

If attempting to reuse knob-and-tube wiring, here are some tips:



Ultimately, reusing old knob-and-tube wiring is risky and will never be up to modern codes. Replacing it entirely is the safest option.

Hiring a Professional Instead

While rewiring yourself using old methods may seem like a money-saving DIY project, safety should come first. Instead, consider hiring a licensed and insured electrician.

The benefits of professional help include:

Although hiring an electrician costs more upfront, it can prevent expensive disasters down the road. Rewiring a whole home can easily run into the thousands, but safety and peace of mind are priceless.


In the era of knob-and-tube wiring, safety standards and building codes were lax compared to today. While our grandparents may have comfortably rewired homes themselves using old methods, it comes with substantial risks now. For your safety, it's best to hire a trained professional electrician if rewiring becomes necessary. They have the expertise to install modern, code-compliant wiring that will stand the test of time.