5 Tips for Rewiring an Old House

Bring a classic house up to modern electrical standards with this checklist.
Position Marble Tiles Around Backsplash Outlets

Position Marble Tiles Around Backsplash Outlets

Marble is delicate. If you force the tile through too quickly, your cut will not be smooth. Back-butter and position your cut tiles around outlet, sliding them under the outlet's metal clips.

Photo by: H. Camille Smith

H. Camille Smith

To eliminate electrical hazards, owners of older homes may have to rewire the entire house. Modern appliances such as air conditioning, microwaves and hair dryers weren't household necessities years ago, and to meet such demands, changes are often in order to increase a home's electrical capacity. Here's how to ensure safe operation:

Note: Upgrading and rewiring the main service panel is a job for a licensed electrician -- let him do it.

  1. Upgrade the main service panel to at least 100 amps.
  2. Install dedicated circuits in the service panel for each of the home's major appliances.
  3. Space electrical outlets six to eight feet apart throughout the house. That will eliminate the need to run extension cords that could be a fire hazard.
  4. When installing new outlets, install only the three-prong type to avoid electrical shocks.
  5. Install outlets with ground-fault circuit interrupters in the kitchen, bathrooms and outdoors. These outlets will shut themselves down to prevent an electrical shock if they get wet.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spot and resolve small plumbing problems before they become major issues at home.

Home Weatherization Tips

Leaks aren't just for doors and windows. Here's how to track down their hidden sources and seal them.

How to Install a Whole-House Fan

Learn how to keep your cool by installing a whole-house fan.

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

A certified home inspector shares 10 home-maintenance tips for spring.

Essential Home-Selling Tips

What is staging? Sabrina Soto, Get It Sold host and home-staging expert, knows. Here are her top tips for helping you compete in today's real estate market.

30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value

The road to selling a home can be a long one. Learn to improve the value of your home based on your budget with these 30 tips.

10 Tips to Increase Your Home's Value

Increasing the value of your home is easier than you think. Follow these tips, and your home will be worth more before you know it.

9 Tips for Hassle-Free Home Construction

Cindy Stumpo is one of Boston's premier custom-home builders. With more than 20 years' experience in the business, she has plenty of expertise to share.

5 Tips for Childproofing Your Home

How to safeguard toddlers in the most serious problem areas

Genevieve's Design Tips: Celebrity Homes

The Design Stars create spaces for celebrities: a home office for Kathy Griffin, a bedroom for Tiffani Thiessen and a nursery for Jason Priestley. See what Genevieve says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.