If you live in a home that was wired before 1950, there is a strong possibility that it needs to be rewired.

Prior to 1950, cloth insulation was common on household wiring. Over time, the cloth insulation deteriorates and falls away from the wire, leaving it bare. The chance of a bare wire sparking and starting a fire or shocking a family member is strong. Accordingly, the best course of action is to replace older wiring, for the safety of people and property.

For more information about rewiring and to schedule an estimate, don’t hesitate to call us. We have experienced technicians who are ready to upgrade your wiring or electrical panel to meet your current and future needs.

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A Guide To House Rewiring

As a homeowner, you know that comes with a lot of responsibilities. From financial to physical work, there are many difference aspects of your home you need to take care of.

When it comes to electrical responsibility, rewiring an older home should be at the top of the list. When you take care of outdated or overloaded wiring systems, you can ensure your home’s safety and potentially save money on bils.

What is a house rewire?

When rewiring a home, you are removing the old wire and installing new, modern, non-metallic wiring. Non-metallic wiring is safer and easier to work with than the older types of wiring. It also does not get hot when surrounded by the insulation in your home.

How do you know if your Wasatch Front Area home needs rewiring?

house rewire open wallHere are some tip-offs that your house may need rewired:

  1. Your home was wired before 1950. In addition to cloth insulation, homes wired before 1950 sometimes have ungrounded electrical systems. The older the electrical system, the greater the need to have your house rewired by a Wasatch Front Area electrician.
  2. The wiring is insulated by cloth. Cloth insulation is substandard and poses a general fire safety hazard to your home.
  3. Your home is wired with Knob and Tube wiring. The oldest electrical systems employ a Knob and Tube, or Knob and Spool wiring system, including cloth insulation. Homes wired before 1935 are likely to have this system.
  4. Aluminum wiring is present. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, over 2 million homes were wired with aluminum wiring, a known fire hazard.
  5. An ungrounded system. Grounding conducts excess electricity out of the home and to the ground. Without this conduction, excess electricity is threatening to start a fire or deliver hazardous shocks to household members.
  6. You don’t have enough power. If your outlets are frequently crowded or circuit breakers often trip, consider getting a Wasatch Front Area electrician to rewire your home. Making excessive demands on your system can aggravate underlying electrical issues
  7. Using extension cords all the time. If those temporary extension cords became permanent installations, you need a better solution, like an upgraded electrical system installed by a Wasatch Front Area electrician.

When looking to start the rewiring process, keep in mind that your home made need more than just replacing the old wire. If your electrical panel cannot handle the load of your appliances or electrical needs, it may be time for a panel upgrade as well.

Re-wiring an Older Home

If you live in an older home, you may find it time to upgrade different things. Kitchens, bathrooms, garages — all things need updating now and then.

While most things are just cosmetic, your electrical system usually needs upgraded because of new technology and the strain new appliances put on it.

If you have a house built before the 1950s, chances are they were planning for a multiple TVs and computers to be used daily when designing the electrical system. The wiring used back then also wasn’t up to par with what is used now.

There are two types of wiring that was used back then: Knob & Tube Wiring and Cloth Covered Wiring. We’ll take a look at both below and explain why it’s important to have them checked out and removed if damaged.

Knob and Tube Wiring

knob and tube wiring
Laura Scudder, Knob and tube 1930, CC BY-SA 3.0

Knob and tube wiring was widely used throughout North America from the 1880s to the 1930s when wiring homes. This technique used single insulated copper conductors which ran through walls or ceilings and passed through joists and studs via porcelain insulated tubes. They were supported by nailed-down porcelain knobs along their length.

This type of wiring was eventually replaced due to the high cost of installation. It is often discouraged due to the fact that it cannot handle most modern day levels of power usage. The wiring is also susceptible to drying out and turning brittle which could lead to electrical fires. Many insurance companies will deny coverage if knob and tube wiring is present in a home due to the increased risk.

Cloth Covered Wiring

cloth covered wiring
Cloth covered wiring photo courtesy of StackExchange user funtastic

This type of wiring was used in homes built before the 1960s. It consisted of wires that were covered in cloth, as the name suggests.

There are many factors as to why this type of wiring is dangerous in a home. It can become brittle which leads to wear and tear. Insects and rodents are more likely to damage it as well. Both of these may lead to an electrical fire. Some cloth covered wire may also contain asbestos as it was a preferred material for installation.

As with knob and tube wiring, many insurance companies will not insure houses with cloth covered wiring.

Why hire a professional electrician for a house rewire?

Taking on this big electrical project is no easy task — even if you are a proud DIYer. It’s important to understand the risks of working with your electrical system. When you hire a licensed and insured electrician, you can be sure you are in safe hands.

A professional electrician will be able to assess your situation and give you the best course of action with your house rewire. They will also be able to help you with permitting if it’s needed.

This may sound like a lot of work — and, honestly, it can be — but when you hire a professional to help with your project, it’s just another day on the job. Find an electrician near you who has expert knowledge of wiring houses, like Captain Electric.

  • Captain Electric came out to fix a problem created by a previous owner trying to do the job on the cheap and not up to code. The job ended up being harder then they had anticipated, yet they persisted and got it done in one day. When all was said and done I am so happy that I got the job done right.

    thumb Janice Whatcott
    August 16, 2019
  • A very capable and professional business. They installed a whole house generator system for our home and we were very pleased with how timely, and efficient they were in putting the system together. And a year later, it works flawlessly! Thank you Roger!

    thumb Thomas Vegh
    July 16, 2019
  • They definitely went the extra mile to help me out.

    thumb Steven Syphus
    July 16, 2019
  • Great service! Easy to schedule, reliable and on-time. Our technicians helped me figure out all of my options and bids for each. They did a good job. I would call Captain Electric for future projects.

    thumb Christine
    June 12, 2019
  • Captain Electric speaks to my millennial soul. I love that I could text with a representative to talk about the issue I was having and that I could schedule it as well! The service was prompt and friendly. The technician was able to come out quickly and provide the service at a reasonable price. He was also friendly and courteous. I would definitely recommend using Captain Electric again!

    thumb Jacob Newman
    May 21, 2019
  • Provides excellent service! We purchased a generator from them and they have done a great job installing and servicing.

    thumb Chris Morey
    July 12, 2019

Captain Electric proudly provides wiring services to the following and surrounding areas: Salt Lake City, Sandy, Provo, Orem, Park City, American Fork, Pleasant, Draper, and Alpine

How much will it cost to rewire my home?

house rewire costsA question we are asked frequently is “how much will it cost?” In order to give an accurate quote, it’s best a technician comes out to assess your situation as it can vary from home to home.

The exact cost will depend on the size of your home as well as it’s age. You could do with a partial rewire or may need a whole home rewire. Another factor in the cost would be how easy it is for our electricians to access the current wiring to replace it.

You can usually expect to pay between $1,500 and $10,000 for a house rewire. Again, that’s a huge gap because there are so many different factors that go into the pricing. Please reach out for more information and we would be happy to get you a better cost!

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House Rewire was last modified: January 6th, 2023 by Brian Hortin