knob and tube wiring in attic
wiring of a house
Laura Scudder, Knob and tube 1930, CC BY-SA 3.0

Old homes come with so much history and they’re great to live in even in modern times. However, since living in modern times comes with higher electrical demands and appliances, you’ll have to alter your old home’s wiring to meet your needs.

In this article, we will share the tips you need to complete an old house rewire.

Is an old house rewire necessary?

Before you take the steps to pull out the old wiring and install a new one, it’s important to confirm if you need to rewire at all.

If your old home is as old as the 1980s, then it’s almost certain that it will need an upgrade to its electrical system. Aside from parts been outdated and not up to recent codes, they might be damaged due to wear and tear.

Your electrical panel might also have insufficient capacity because old homes didn’t need as much power as modern homes do.

To be sure that a house rewire is right for your old home, call a licensed electrician for an inspection.

Tips for old house rewiring

  1. Hire an electrician who’s experienced with old homes

Working in older homes can be a complex and demanding project requiring experienced hands. The last thing you want is to make even the smallest mistake that could lead to a costly or deadly disaster later. So don’t DIY and don’t hire just anyone.

Find an electrician who knows and understands older buildings to rewire your home for you.

  1. Have a plan

House rewiring is much more than installing new wires. A successful house rewiring project takes planning. Start by doing an inventory of all the electrical appliances you use including those you’re yet to install but may need in the future.

Let your electrician know what you need before the project starts. Work with a budget but also plan ahead for any emergencies or unexpected costs and events during the project.

Plan for cleanup as house rewiring projects can get messy.

  1. Upgrade electrical panel and circuit

Before adding new wiring, the electrician has to know if your electrical panel can handle the new demands. Since most old homes used at most a 60 amp panel, you will probably need to upgrade to at least 100 amps or standard 200 amps.

Be sure to also install dedicated circuits for power-hungry appliances to avoid overloading your new wiring.

  1. Upgrade the outlets and fixtures

Modern homes have different and safer outlets and fixtures from that of old homes. Don’t skip changing these during the house, rewire. The electrical outlets should be installed at 6 to 8 feet apart. Replace two-pronged outlets with three-pronged outlets. Install GFCIs in damp areas and outdoor areas.

  1. Make your old home a smart home

Rewiring your old house gives you a chance to convert it to a smart home with installations like smart lighting, security cameras, network cables, and so on. Let your electrician know what you would like.


Tips for Old House Rewire was last modified: May 10th, 2021 by Brian Hortin