Rewiring a home can be a daunting task, but with proper precautions it can be done safely without the risk of electrocution. Electrocution was more common 100 years ago before safety standards and building codes were established. By following modern electrical codes and best practices, you can avoid tragic electrical accidents while upgrading the wiring in your home.

Reasons for Rewiring

There are several reasons you may need to rewire your home:

Dangers of Old Electrical Systems

Outdated electrical systems in older homes present multiple dangers:

Safety Gear for Rewiring

Use personal protective equipment when rewiring to avoid electrical shocks, burns, and other injuries:

Safe Rewiring Steps

Follow these safe practices when rewiring your home:

1. Turn Off Power

The first step is to shut off power at the main breaker panel. Use a contact voltage tester to confirm power is off before working on any wires or connections. Lock out and tag out the main breaker panel.

2. Remove Old Wiring

Carefully remove existing knob and tube or obsolete wiring. Use caution when pulling wires out of boxes and removing them from the structure.

3. Install New Wiring

Run new wires according to code requirements. Use only copper wiring with sufficient gauge (thickness) for each circuit's amperage load. Use non-combustible insulation like THHN wire within wall cavities.

4. Connect Devices and Outlets

Follow wiring diagrams carefully when connecting switches, outlets, appliances and fixtures. Use wire nuts or other approved connectors. Pre-twisting wires helps make very tight connections.

5. Grounding and Bonding

Properly ground all circuits with ground wires attached to metal electrical boxes. Connect all boxes using grounding pigtails and bonding jumpers.

6. Install Safety Devices

Install AFCI breakers and GFCI outlets according to code requirements to protect against arcs and ground faults.

7. Inspect and Test

Inspect all wiring and connections carefully before turning power back on. Then test all outlets and devices while hot to verify proper function.

8. Close-Up and Finish

Secure wires inside boxes and panel. Install box cover plates and securely fasten the cover on the breaker panel box. Restore insulation, drywall and finishes.

Rewiring Old Homes is Best Left to Professionals

While rewiring is a DIY project you can tackle, it may be best left to trained electrical contractors who are familiar with local codes and safe practices. They have the right tools and PPE for the job as well. The risks of electrocution, fire, and costly mistakes are high. Unless you are a very experienced electrician, hire a pro to rewire your old home safely.

By following modern electrical codes and safety procedures, you can upgrade your home's wiring without the electrocution risks of the early 20th century. Rewiring improves safety, allows for expansion, and enables smart home capabilities. But due to the inherent hazards working with electricity, make safety your top priority.