How to Rewire Your Home Without Getting Electrocuted

Why Rewiring Your Home Can Be Dangerous

Rewiring a home can be extremely dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Electricity poses significant risks, including electrocution, burns, fires, and equipment damage. Home electrical systems carry high voltage and amperage that can easily kill or seriously injure. However, with proper planning, protective equipment, and adherence to electrical safety procedures, the risks can be minimized.

Main Electrical Hazards

When rewiring a home, the main hazards to avoid are:

How Electrical Shock Occurs

Electric shock occurs when a person becomes part of an electrical circuit, causing current to flow through their body. This disrupts the body's normal electrical signals, which can affect critical organs like the heart.

There are several ways a person can become part of an electrical circuit and get shocked:

Factors Affecting Shock Severity

The severity of an electrical shock depends on several key factors:

Safety Gear to Wear

Rewiring a home safely requires wearing proper protective gear and being prepared for unexpected situations. At minimum, you should wear:

Insulated Gloves

Eye Protection

Insulated Boots/Shoes

Flame Resistant Clothing

Head Protection

Safe Electrical Work Procedures

Follow these procedures to perform electrical work safely:

De-energize and Lock Out/Tag Out

Establish Proper Work Zone

Insulate Exposed Parts

Use Insulated Tools

Minimize Energized Work

Work in Pairs

Stay Focused

How to Rewire a Home Room by Room

Rewiring a house is a major project that requires careful planning and execution. It's safest and most efficient to rewire one room at a time. Here is the basic process:

1. Turn Off Power

Shut off the main breaker/fuse for the room you'll be working in. Verify power is off with a contactless voltage tester.

2. Remove Old Wiring

Take down existing wires, outlets, switches, and junction boxes. Properly dispose of old electrical components.

3. Plan New Wiring

Map out new circuit routes and devices. Consider additional circuits, grounded outlets, lighting needs, etc.

4. Install New Wiring and Boxes

Run new NM cables and install junction boxes and mounting brackets where required.

5. Connect Devices and Outlets

Connect wires to devices like switches, outlets, and fixtures. Secure them to boxes.

6. Turn Power Back On

Restore power at the breaker and test operation. Check for faults.

7. Finish Surfaces

Patch over holes and refinish walls, ceilings, etc. to match old surfaces.

Follow this basic sequence for each room. Pay close attention to electrical safety procedures throughout the process.

Tips for Safe Rewiring

Warning Signs of Electrical Problems

While rewiring, watch for any of these warning signs of faulty wiring:

If you notice any of these, turn off power and thoroughly inspect connections. Faulty wiring can't be ignored and should be repaired by a qualified electrician.

When to Call a Professional

While do-it-yourselfers can perform basic electrical repairs, it's safest to call a licensed electrician for:

Hire a qualified electrician any time you feel unsure about performing a task safely. They have the proper tools, training and expertise to handle hazardous electrical work.


Rewiring a home has serious risks if safety rules aren't followed. With careful planning, the right protective gear, and proper procedures, you can minimize hazards and complete a successful, code-compliant rewiring project safely. Pay close attention to warning signs and don't hesitate to call a professional electrician when needed.