How to Rewire Your Home's Outlets for Next Level Energy Savings Without Messing Everything Up
Upgrading the electrical wiring in your home can save you money on your energy bills and provide more convenience, but it's important to do it right. Here's how to rewire your home's outlets safely and effectively:
Know When It's Time to Rewire
- Most homes built before the 1960s have outdated electrical systems that aren't designed for today's energy demands.
- Signs it's time to rewire:
- Frequent tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
- Not enough outlets in each room
- Outlets only accept 2-prong plugs
- Flickering lights
- Slow/weak electronics charging
- Rewiring provides grounded outlets for safety, more outlets per circuit, and support for modern electronics.
Develop a Rewiring Plan
- Consult an electrician to inspect your electrical system and provide a rewiring plan/quote.
- They'll evaluate:
- Amp load on circuits
- Number of circuits needed
- Location of new outlets/switches
- Upgrading electrical panel if needed
- Prioritize high-use areas like kitchen, office, and entertainment spaces.
Safety First! Turn Off Power at the Breaker
- Turn off the main circuit breaker to cut power to the whole house.
- Then turn off individual circuit breakers and unplug appliances.
- Test outlets with a voltage tester to be sure power is off.
- Failure to do this could result in electrocution, so take precautions.
Remove Existing Outlets and Wiring
- Take outlet and switch covers off.
- Remove the outlet/switch mounting screws and pull them out.
- Take note of each wire's location on the outlet.
- Carefully detach wiring and pull it out of the electrical box.
- Try to salvage wiring that's still in good condition.
- Dispose of old outlets and bad wiring.
Install New Electrical Boxes
- Upgrade old electrical boxes to meet National Electrical Code.
- Use plastic NM boxes with clamps for easy wire installation.
- Position boxes where you want your outlets and switches located.
- Make sure they're properly grounded with ground wires.
Run New Wiring to Outlets
- Run fresh 12 or 14 gauge NM cables from your electrical panel to boxes.
- Use cable clamps to secure them tightly.
- Pull multiple wire runs through drilled holes in studs.
- Keep wires separated from plumbing and insulation to prevent damage.
Connect the Wires Securely
- Refer to your home's wiring diagram.
- Match wire hot/neutral/ground connections.
- Secure wires firmly with screw terminals - no loose strands.
- Add a ground wire to 3-prong outlets if missing.
- Use wire nuts to join multiple wires secured with electrical tape.
Mount New Outlets and Switches
- Insert wired outlet into the electrical box keeping wires folded in.
- Tighten mounting screws securely.
- Install a compatible wall plate cover.
- Properly label circuit breakers.
- Test outlets thoroughly to ensure tight connections.
Call the Electrician Back to Inspect
- When the rewiring is complete, call your electrician back.
- They should do a full safety inspection and test all outlets.
- They'll confirm proper grounding and circuit loads are balanced.
- This ensures your home's electrical safety before turning power back on.
Rewiring your home's electrical system is very rewarding but also hazardous if not done properly. By taking precautions, planning thoroughly, and hiring a professional electrician, you can gain energy efficiency while avoiding costly mistakes.