Rewiring the outlets in your home can provide some great benefits if done properly and safely. With some basic electrical knowledge and the right tools, a homeowner can upgrade their electrical system to add more outlets, replace old and unsafe wiring, and gain the convenience of having outlets just where they need them.

I recently completed a full outlet rewiring project in my home without hiring an electrician. In this comprehensive DIY guide, I'll share everything I learned so you can take on this project yourself.

Safety Precautions

Before digging into any electrical project, safety should be your top concern. Electricity can be extremely dangerous if wiring is handled improperly. Here are some key safety tips:

Following basic electrical safety protocols is crucial to avoid electrocution, shocks, fires, and other hazards. If you don't feel completely confident working with electrical systems, consider hiring an electrician instead.

Gather the Right Materials

To rewire outlets successfully, you'll need:

Gather all supplies prior to starting to make the process go smoothly. Having the right tools for the job makes electrical work much easier.

Planning Your New Outlet Locations

Carefully mapping out where you want to add new outlets or move existing ones is an important first step. Here are some tips for planning:

Putting thought into outlet placement will provide optimal convenience and avoid potential issues down the road.

How to Safely Rewire Electrical Outlets

Once you've gathered supplies and mapped out your plans, you're ready to get to work. Follow these steps to safely rewire outlets:

Turn Off Power and Disconnect Wires

Start by using the main breaker panel to cut power to the room you are working in. Test that outlets are dead before disconnecting them. Remove cover plates, unscrew receptacles, and detach wires.

Prepare New Electrical Boxes

If adding new outlet locations, cut holes for additional boxes and mount them securely to studs. Feed the new NM-B wire through first before attaching the boxes. Use cable staples every 4-6 inches when surface mounting wire.

Route and Connect New Wiring

Determine wiring paths between the breaker, existing outlets, and any new boxes. Carefully run and staple the wire into place. Leave plenty of excess at ends to work with. Connect the hot (black), neutral (white), and ground (green or bare) wires securely using wire nuts.

Install New Receptacles

Attach each outlet's wires to the matching hot, neutral, and ground screws. Follow diagrams on the receptacle. Fold wires neatly into the boxes, screw outlets into place, put on cover plates, then turn power back on.

Test New Circuits and Connections

Verify proper polarity and grounding on each outlet. Plug in lamps or devices and test each one. Use a multimeter to check voltages. If problems arise, double check connections before proceeding.

Take your time following these steps and use caution when working with live electrical components. Thoroughly test all work before completing the project.


Rewiring outlets isn't extremely complicated but does carry risks if safety is neglected. As long as you power down the area you are working on, take precautions against shocks, use quality materials, and carefully connect the new wiring, you can upgrade your home's electrical system successfully without calling an electrician. Just be ready to take your time and exercise patience throughout the process.

The result will be outlets that are safer, more abundant, and ideally placed according to your needs. Understanding how to rewire outlets yourself provides a valuable skill for tackling electrical projects and improving your home.