Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?
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Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?
Ernie_Fergler wrote:

Wow, that must keep a lot of Sparkies on the job.
What is the reasoning behind it?
Its not like Romex is unsafe and all that.

The reason they do that is get the night-by-flyers out of the cities plus they think it's safer. The cost does not come down, in fact it goes up. I've seen it that rather run romex in the conduit, they run individual wires, but if you run say 1 in EMT, you can get more circuits and less routing of the wires than romex. You can run say 2 or 3 rooms with conduit, rather than three sperated romex cable running and all over the place. I think it's looks neater without those wires like that, but that's my opinion.

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?

Interlocked Galvanized Steel Conduit with old wiring was left all over my house. it's impossible to remove without tearing down walls of horse hair plaster.

I have some lights with new wiring and some lights with the old wiring.

i have a new 200amp breaker board installed for 2400.00. to actually rewire the house without tearing down the walls. priceless.

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?
Tesla wrote:


....Will this break the bank ?
probably not
RSVP with your suggestions. In NJ,does licensed electrician need to perform the work? yes it must be done by a licensed electrician unless its being done by someone actually living in the houseInspection following by local officials ? Thanks, -J- :)you most definately need an inspection.

I may know an electrician or two in New Jersey

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?

:) Greetings, Many Thanks for your comments/advice. Since my last posting,I've purchased a wire finder/locator to precisely spot embedded BX cables in the walls. The old-timers ran everything thru exterior walls to upper floors. Down-cellar,they're linked to jcn. boxes with pull-chain lights,before reaching the ckt.panel.

All I need to do is separate those junctions, and run individual lines for separate rooms to brkr.panel. This will resolve my orig. issue of three upper bedrooms on one ckt. Another surprise,when my Dad converted to brkrs.from fuses in 1960, a 200A incoming mains was installed from the pole. I need to chg. the 100A panel to the 200A variety. Will also contact PSEG, as I have a remote meter fitted .

When I update the kitchen,I'm planning on min.5 breakers there.One ea. for Microwave/Fridge/DW, and two GFI ckts. for countertops. Updated bathroom will have two GFI ckts.
Garage-workshop-shed will have dedicated 20A feeder line,with aux. 15A-GFI brkr.mounted in garage. Will save me a walk inside the house,if the ckt. cuts-out.

QUESTION: Is it necessary to use BX armored cable again, or will 14-12 AWG Romex be adequate? I need to invest in a Roto-Split if "yes" is the response. Except for potential plaster/lath cutting (repl. with Hardibacker),I'm good to go I think.

Before I seal the walls, I'll call the local inspector for his OK. As always, your comments are welcomed. Thanks In Advance. -J-

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?
atomica wrote:

Hi all, I'm new here, and in contract to buy my first place. In the SF Bay Area this is a feat I am proud of! Thing is, I'm finding out rapidly that I may have to run screaming from this home instead of signing documents.

The place is a 1908 (09?) Victorian duplex in Oakland, CA in which I am potentially purchasing the upper story. There are existing wood floors and paneling, 12' ceilings, plaster walls, and knob and tube wiring. (the foundation is old and is being inspected as I type - off topic) After reading here and realizing the potential costs and insurance problems, how much could this run to replace in the near future? (I understand that these are guesses only) It has a 60 A service with circuit breakers, there is no basement - just a crawlspace, and is ~1400 sqft.

With the expected seismic retrofit work, I fear the price tag you all will guess for me. Thanks in advance for your advice.

Am I doing this correctly??? I just wanted to inform you of one good thing- Farmer's Insurance DOES cover knob and tube, which is what this place you're describing most likely has. They're the only ones who do, too, which is smart of them because it's darn good stuff. You just have to have it inspected by a knowledgable electrician (not so young they think the old stuff is crap- lol). If you're lucky they can simply repair the areas that need and that will save you LOTS of money. Good luck to you (when was this posted? I forgot to look at the date- whoops!

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?

All good answers but Lloyd's were great. I'm starting on a K & T makeover next week and will keep all these suggestions in mind.

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?

Yikes! I too just had an inspection on a 1901 home yesterday that I was planning on buying. Lots of wiring issues. I haven't had a contractor come look at it yet for an estimate, but I was also told, by the inspector, under $5000. But the electricity hasn't been turned off.

Mine is also a victorian, but only 1200sf. 3 bedrooms 1 bath, no basement.

And get this, it has a 12 gallon hot water heater? LOL!

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?

Telsa, sounds like you're getting into this thing!
About BX, most people use MC cable these days, if they have to in a commercial building or the local AHJ makes them.
Otherwise, #12 NM-B (romex)would be my choice because you're allowed at least 12 outlets vs 10 for #14. And, other than the places that require GFCI protection a $36 AFCI breaker is now required rather than a $4 standard breaker.

Did you really mean two 20A GFCI circuits in one bathroom? Only one is required and is usually adequate.

Before you install sheetrock be sure you've got all the phone, satellite/cable TV, thermostat, smoke detectors, surround sound etc wires run. The most dreaded sound an electrician can hear is "here come the rockers".

I would run at least a 30A 120/240V circuit to my garage with a 8/16 space MLO panel ($40)so no matter what you (or the next owner) does you don't have to run new wire. And, don't forget it too will require a smoke detector.

Also, if your inspector mentions the 2009 IECC codes be prepared to install high efficiency lights (i.e. T8 flourescent, CFL's etc.) and seal up the boxes on the outside walls with a can of foam (great stuff, is really great stuff) where the wires enter...but be careful, too much will drive them right out of the wall!

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Tureon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?

I'm just a newbie here. Just wanna say hello to everyone...

Re: Cost to completely rewire an old house?? Is it worth it?

Hi Weezer 123, let me be the first to welcome you.

I've found it's a great place to share one's knowledge and experiences and learn from others.

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com


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