How to Safely Rewire Your Home Electrical System Yourself


Rewiring the electrical system in your home can seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and precautions, it can be done safely without the need to hire an electrician. Electrical work does require attention to detail and adherence to electrical codes and safety standards, but the process itself is straightforward. In this guide, I will walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know to successfully rewire your home's electrical system yourself.

Reasons For Rewiring

There are several common reasons you may need or want to rewire your home's electrical system:

No matter the reason, a complete rewire has the benefit of bringing your home's electrical system fully up to modern safety and performance standards.

Electrical Load Calculation

The first step in planning your rewire is to calculate your home's electrical load. This determines how much amperage you'll need from your electrical service.

To calculate load:

This gives you the minimum service capacity needed to handle your home's electrical needs.

Evaluating Your Existing Electrical System

Before developing a rewiring plan, you need to thoroughly evaluate your existing electrical system:

With this information in hand, you can begin mapping out an optimal rewiring plan tailored to your home.

Developing a Rewiring Plan

Your rewiring plan serves as a roadmap for the project. It should include:

Take the time to carefully think through all aspects of the rewiring to create a solid plan before purchasing any materials or starting work.

Electrical Codes and Permits

Electrical work must adhere to national, state, and local electrical codes for safety. These include standards like the National Electrical Code (NEC). Thoroughly research the applicable codes in your area.

Most areas require permits and inspections for electrical service upgrades and rewiring projects. Contact your local building department early in the planning process to learn about permit needs, inspection requirements, and scheduling.

Some key NEC requirements include:

Closely following code ensures your DIY rewiring project meets all safety standards. Failing inspections can lead to significant delays and added costs.

Purchasing Materials and Equipment

Based on your rewiring plan, you'll need to purchase:

Shop at reputable electrical supply stores to ensure everything meets NEC and local code standards. Stick closely to your rewiring plan and code requirements.

Safety Gear and Equipment

Rewiring a home comes with electrical hazards. Have the proper safety gear:

With the proper safety equipment, you can perform a rewire safely without risk of shock or arc flash.

Working With the Power Off

A key safety rule is to always work on electrical wiring with the power turned completely OFF. To do this:

Taking these precautions prevents shock or electrocution hazards. Be diligent about keeping the power off throughout your entire DIY rewiring project.

Running and Securing New Wires

Here are some best practices as you run new wiring:

Taking the time to properly install and secure wires makes for a long-lasting rewire.

Making Safe Connections

Follow these guidelines when making wire connections:

Properly spliced connections ensure good continuity and prevent shorts or arcs when energized.

Testing and Energizing the System

Once the new wiring installation is complete, it's time to test and energize. Proceed methodically and safely:

Thorough testing confirms safe and good connections throughout the system. Your DIY rewire is now complete!


While rewiring a home is a major project, it can be successfully accomplished DIY. Careful planning, adhering to electrical codes, using proper materials and safety gear, and methodical installation and testing steps allow you to upgrade your electrical service and wiring safely and economically. Paying close attention to detail ensures your rewired home electrical system will function flawlessly for years to come.