No job is too big or too small for the electricians at ServiceCity Electric. From a detached garage wiring to a complete home rewiring for your next remodeling project, our talented electricians are safe, fast, reliable, and affordable.
If your house was built before 1950, it may need to be rewired. Before 1950, insulation covering electrical wires was made of cloth. As cloth ages, it deteriorates and becomes brittle. Eventually, cloth may fall off and leave bare uninsulated wires. Uninsulated wires can spark, start fires, or, if touched, cause electrical shocks. Generally, the older the cloth insulation, the more likely the home needs to be rewired.
Older homes may also need replacement of their electrical panels. The electrical panel is the box that holds your circuit breakers or fuses. It receives power from the electric company and distributes it to all the circuits in your home. Older electrical panels may not provide sufficient power for current homeowners’ needs. The result can be circuit breakers flipping off or fuses blowing.
Older electrical panels can also pose a hidden danger – they may fail to shut off the electricity when power overloads or power leaks occur. The result can be melted wires, sparks, fire, or shock hazard.
Home Rewiring Frequently Asked Questions
(1) What is a house rewire?
(2) When does a home need rewiring?
(3) Is deteriorating wiring really a safety problem?
(4) How can I determine the type of electrical wires in my house?
(5) How much does a house rewire cost?
(6) How long does a house rewire take?
(7) Does a house rewire require breaking walls?
(8) Will I lose power during a house rewire?
(9) Will a rewire increase the value of my home or business upon re-sale?
(10) Will a rewire reduce my insurance rates?
(11) Does a house rewire require an electrical permit?
(12) Can I rewire my house myself?
(13) After how many years should a home be rewired?
(14) What’s my next step?
What is a house rewire?
Rewiring a home involves pulling out the old wires and installing new ones. Sometimes, it’s also necessary to upgrade the power source for the house, the electrical panel. A partial rewire may be all that’s needed when some of the existing wiring is salvageable. Other times, all that’s needed is to add a “ground wire” for safety.
When does a home need rewiring?
Here are some tip-offs that a house rewire might be needed:
Wired before 1950. Homes wired before 1950 are likely to have deteriorated cloth insulation. In addition any home built before 1950 may have an ungrounded electrical system or one that is no longer safe due to other reasons. The earlier your pre-1950 wiring was installed, the more likely it should be updated. Click here for more information about wiring systems before 1950.
Cloth-insulated wiring. Most homes built before 1950 have cloth-insulated wiring. The cloth insulation deteriorates with age and may need upgrading. In addition, such systems are ungrounded.
Knob and Tube wiring. Many homes built before 1935 have Knob and Tube (also called “Knob and Spool”)wiring. Such systems have cloth-insulated wiring and are ungrounded.
Aluminum wiring. Over 2,000,000 homes in the U.S. built or renovated between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s have aluminum rather than copper wiring. Aluminum wiring has proved to be a fire hazard. A qualified and specially-trained electrician can upgrade for safety without the necessity of replacing all the wires. This can save you quite a bit of money. Click here to read more about upgrading aluminum wiring at lower cost.
Ungrounded wiring or ungrounded outlets. An ungrounded wiring system lacks a metal conductor that routes electricity safely out of the home and into the ground should an electrical problem occur. Grounding provides greater fire safety and protection against electrical shocks.
Insufficient power or too few outlets or switches. Your home may need additional electrical circuits (wiring). Not having enough available power or not having enough outlets are both indicators of an older electrical system that may need to be upgraded for both convenience and safety reasons.
Use of extension cords. If you find that you’re using extension cords for more than a temporary fix, your home may need additional electrical circuits. Click here for more information about extension cords as a fire hazard.
Unsafe electrical panel. Click here for information regarding replacement of an electrical panel, the box for the circuit breakers or fuses. While replacing an electrical panel isn’t a “rewire,” it may be needed along with rewiring a home.
Is deteriorating wiring really a safety problem?
Many home fires are due to faulty wiring. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a department of FEMA:
“During a typical year, home electrical problems account for 67,800 fires, 485 deaths, and $868 million in property losses. Home electrical wiring causes twice as many fires as electrical appliances.”
If you are wondering if your electrical system is safe or if you would like more power, outlets, or switches, give our in-office electrician a call for a consultation and Free Home Safety Inspection.
How can I determine the type of electrical wires in my house?
If you have a pre-1950 home, you can look at these photos of knob and tube (knob and spool) andcloth insulated wiring. There isn’t an easy way for a homeowner to detect whether their wiring is aluminum and needs a safety update.
As an electrician should check the tightness of the electrical connections in your wiring at least every 10 years, the safest approach is to ask an electrician to take a look. We’ll be happy to give you a free safety inspection and tell you the type of wiring that you have and when it might have been installed.
How much does a house rewire cost?
We charge for house rewiring based on square footage and the type of wiring currently installed. If your home has copper wires running through conduit (a hollow metal tube that the wires run through), the cost is less than if the electrical wires are not encased in conduit. With any rewire, the type and condition of the existing electrical wiring, and how many outlets, etc. are desired, affect the price. You can call our in-office electrician for a free over-the-phone cost estimate and also a free on-site exact price bid.
How long does a house rewire take?
This depends on factors like the size of your house. We will be able to give you a good estimate when we have more information. However, in general, for an average size house, a complete rewire, where all the wires are replaced, takes between a couple of days to a week or so.
Does a house rewire require breaking walls?
It depends on the way in which your house has been wired and how much of the system needs replacement. Sometimes a lot of work can be done without breaking walls. If it’s necessary to break walls, we are masters at doing the minimum and cleaning up after ourselves with clean patches ready for the painter. We are very aware that you want a job that solves your problems and doesn’t create new ones.
Will I lose power during a house rewire?
You will lose power to the parts of the house where we are pulling out your old wires and replacing them with new ones. However, over the years we have developed a system where we work on one specific area of your home at a time. We are able to leave the power on in the other rooms. Also, we never leave a customer without needed power overnight.
Will a rewire increase the value of my home or business upon sale?
Very likely. If your existing wiring is unsafe, this issue will come up in escrow during the home inspection. Also, some lenders may decline to provide a mortgage and some insurers may not offer home insurance. In this situation, you can expect fewer potential buyers and a lower price for your home. When we rewire a home, we offer a Lifetime Guarantee on all our work. It travels with the home and is transferable to the new buyer.
Will a rewire reduce my insurance rates?
Many insurers refuse to provide insurance for homes with older electrical systems that don’t meet current safety codes. If you have such a home, you may find that your options are limited to insurance companies that charge higher rates.
Does a house rewire require an electrical permit?
Yes. Upon sale of the house, if a rewire has been done, legally you will need to be able to show an electrical building permit or to disclose that no permit was obtained. A permit requires that your electrician obtain an electrical inspection to make sure that the wiring follows the National Electrical Code and has been safely installed.
Can I rewire my house myself?
This depends on your electrical knowledge and skills. A safe rewire and one which will pass building inspections requires knowledge of many parts of the National Electrical Code as well as many electrical skills and special tools. Rewiring an average-sized house is a large job that takes two or three expert electricians something like a week to complete. Rewiring could be both a hazardous and lengthy undertaking for non-electricians. It’s a possible but challenging undertaking.
After how many years should a home be rewired?
There’s no set lifetime for an electrical system. But even an electrical system which was sound when originally installed should be checked every 10 years. A qualified electrician should check to make sure that all electrical connections are still tight.
If your home is older, especially if built before 1950, the original electrical system may not be up to current safety codes or may have deteriorated into an unsafe condition.
If you feel that you would sleep sounder at night knowing that your electrical system has been checked, ask us for a Free Home Safety Inspection. A qualified electrician may find that no work is needed, or that some connections need tightening, or that an older electrical system needs a rewire.
What’s my next step?
If you would like a consultation on the safety and adequacy of your home electrical system, call ServiceCity Electric today and we will send one of our highly trained, licensed electricians out to your home or business.
Call ServiceCity Electric at 972-362-6338 for more information!