About House Rewires
Homes that were built before 1950 may need to be rewired to meet today’s codes and higher safety standards. Construction pre-1950 involved the use of cloth covered wiring. Over time, the cloth deteriorates and falls off the wires, leaving the wires exposed and prone to spark fires. In most cases, the older the wiring, the more likely it is that it needs to be replaced.
Another safety concern with older homes is the electric panel. The electric panel is where the circuit breakers and fuses are stored. The power from the outside comes into the electric panel where it is distributed to the various breakers and fuses. Older electric panels may not provide enough electricity for today’s needs. If you have fuses blowing and breakers tripping, this is typically a sign the electric panel is not keeping up with your electric demands.
Another concern with older electric panels is the fact they may not cut the electricity when there is a power overload or power leak. This can result in melted wires, spark fires or create a shock hazard. You can read more about electric panel upgrades here.
House Rewires FAQs
What is a House Rewire?
When Does a Home Need to be Rewired?
Is Deteriorating Wiring Really a Problem?
How Do You Know What Kind of Wiring You Have?
How Much Will it Cost to Rewire a House?
How Long Will the Rewire Take?
Will the Rewire Require Walls to Be Broken?
Will the Power be Shut Off to the House During the Rewire?
Will the Rewire Increase the Value of My Home?
Will the Rewire Reduce my Homeowner’s Insurance?
Will the Rewire Require a Permit?
Can I do My Own Rewire?
How Often Should a Home be Rewired?
What Is the Next Step for Home Rewiring?
What is a House Rewire?
A house rewire involved the old wiring be removed and new wiring being installed. An electric panel upgrade may also be included. If some of the wiring is safe and usable, a partial rewire will suffice. The electrical system may be safe and only need to be grounded.
The following points will help you determine if a house needs to be rewired.
- If it was wired before 1950 and has not been upgraded it likely needs rewiring to replace cloth-insulated wiring.
- If the home has cloth-insulated wiring.
- If the home has knob and tube wiring. This is typical in homes built before 1935.
- If the home has aluminum wiring. This type of wiring was used in place of copper wiring during the 1960 and 70s. Aluminum wiring is a fire hazard. However, the wiring can be upgraded to make it safe at a lower cost than a complete rewire.
- If a home’s electric system is not grounded or outlets are not grounded. Grounding directs excessive electricity out of the house to prevent fires and electric shock.
- If your home does not have enough power for your needs or is lacking outlets, an upgrade will help get your home to match your needs.
- If you notice you are using several extension cords on a regular basis, you need additional outlets that may require an electric system upgrade.
- If an electric panel is not safe, it needs to be replaced. This may or may not be part of a home rewire process.
Yes. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 67,800 fires are caused by electrical problems. Those fires resulted in 485 deaths and $868 million in property damage. Home electrical wiring accounts for twice as many fires as electrical appliances.
You can compare exposed wiring or wiring at the electric panel to pictures of knob and tube and cloth wiring to help you determine what kind of wiring you have. Determining whether or not you have aluminum wiring is not as easy and will require a professional eye. Your wiring should be inspected every 10 years. If you are unsure about the kind of wiring you have, call an electrician for a safety inspection.
The cost will depend on the square footage and the existing wiring. The number of outlets needed and the condition of the existing wiring will also play a role in the total estimate. Wiring that is not encased in conduit will lower the price. An electrician can give you an estimate over the phone or visit the house to give you an exact price bid.
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How Long Will the Rewire Take?
This will depend on the size and scope of the project. You will get a better estimate once the exact bid is given. You can typically count on it taking anywhere from a few days to a week.
This will depend on the construction of the home. In many cases, the majority of the wiring can be done without breaking a lot of walls. If it is necessary, we are quite adept at breaking a small portion and cleaning up and repairing the walls when we are finished so a painter can make it look new again.
Portions of the house will not have power during the rewire. We focus our attention in one part of the house before moving on to the next which minimizes the space that is without power.
It is very likely the rewire will increase the value of your home. If you were to try to sell your home, the wiring could prevent a lender from lending and home insurance companies may not insure the home with outdated wiring. You are increasing the likelihood of the home selling by increasing the pool of buyers eligible and willing to buy the home.
Possibly. Many insurance companies will not insure a home with outdated wiring and you could be forced to choose one that does not offer prime rates.
Yes. By law, you must show the work was done with a permit. If you did not get a permit, you must disclose that. Permits require the work the electrician has done has been inspected and deemed up to code and safely installed.
This will depend on your own electrical knowledge. You would need to know about the National Electric Code and the requirements it takes to pass a building inspection. A home rewire is a big job that requires two to three experienced electricians about a week to complete. Doing it on your own will take much longer and does pose a safety risk if you are not adept at electrical wiring.
There is no exact time or expiration date on electrical wiring. However, it is a good idea to have the home’s electrical system inspected every 10 years or so to ensure all the electrical connections are still tight. If you are unsure or would simply feel better having your system checked, give us a call and schedule a Free Home Safety Inspection.
If you would like to get an estimate or want to find out about the safety of your home’s electrical system in Los Angeles, give The Electric Connection a call and schedule an appointment for a free consultation.
House Rewires Reviews
“The first time I called them in was to confirm that I still had original knob-and-tube wiring in my house. I did. They were able to call the office and give me an estimate on the spot for rewiring.
The next week I was able to get an appointment to have the work done. It took two days–the crew was always here first thing in the morning, and here past 5PM to get the work done.
They were scrupulously clean, rolling plastic everywhere they were going to walk. They had to knock holes in the walls to reach the old wires, which I expected, but they did a rough plaster patch for me in each spot and swept up all the dust and debris afterwards. The workman consulted me often to make sure things were as I wanted them.”