A Complete Guide To Rewiring a Home in San Antonio

A Complete Guide To Rewiring a Home in San Antonio

Bringing an older home up to code or replacing the electrical system of a home to add capacity safely is a major undertaking. Here’s a complete guide to rewiring a home in San Antonio.


San Antonio has historic districts that may limit the design of home renovations, additions, and improvements. Rewiring a home usually doesn’t involve changes in the home’s exterior appearance, but it’s important to double-check to see if your home is in a historic district, neighborhood conservation, rivershed improvement overlay, or any other special zoning district that may have specific requirements or restrictions.

Rewiring can be very disruptive. That said, some of the detailing in older, historic homes could be damaged or disturbed in order to add electrical capacity capable of managing all the appliances, HVAC systems, and electronics in a modern home. Find out ahead of time whether the rewiring plan you are contemplating will cause that kind of damage, what it takes to repair it, and who will perform the repair work. Set aside extra money in the budget to restore historical details.

Use a Licensed Electrician

Rewiring a home is a big job that requires a licensed professional electrician and a licensed electrical contractor. One of the most common problems with rewiring jobs performed by unqualified handymen is damage to the structural integrity of the home from holes or cuts in joists or other structural elements. A licensed building contractor should review the rewiring plan against the home’s blueprints to ensure the plan won’t impair the structure of the home.

In addition, an experienced, licensed San Antonio electrician will be able to anticipate problems and create solutions when the unexpected occurs. Older homes can have some peculiarities when it comes to wiring. Whether it’s an outdated fuse box, insufficient amperage to power a modern lifestyle, or a bizarre, unrelated selection of outlets and switches piled onto a single circuit, a licensed electrician will be able to figure out a more efficient way to wire the home.

Rewiring work will be subject to inspection by local building authorities. Licensed electricians know the building code requirements for wiring, circuit panels, outlets, and switches. Your insurance company will also be interested to know that you used a licensed professional to perform a rewiring job to minimize the risk of electrical fires and shock injuries.

There Will Be Holes in Your Walls

In rare cases, it may be possible to rewire a home without making holes in the walls. If you have a basement, crawlspace, or attic, your electrical contractor may be able to pull wires up from under or drop them within walls from the attic above. It’s unlikely, however, that they can complete the entire job could without creating some openings in your walls.

This is because your electrician can’t just pull out old wires, as they may be stapled onto studs, or run through old ceramic knob and tube systems.

A licensed electrical contractor will know how to get the old wires out while minimizing damage to your walls. Yes, they’ll have to make holes—but the holes will be properly cut and easy to repair when they finish the job. By contrast, someone who doesn’t understand the materials and structures they’re working with may create large, asymmetrical holes in your walls that are difficult to patch.

Spell Out All the Details

A complete guide to rewiring a home in San Antonio must include this observation: when you rewire your entire home, you’ll see every switch, light fixture, and outlet removed so it can be reattached to the new wiring. This is an opportunity to take a close look at where your outlets are, and whether you need to move them or add more of them.

Your rewiring plan should also specify where your electrical contractor will place ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlets. These protect you from electric shock by shutting off the current if the outlet detects a risk of electric shock. Building codes require GFIs in damp areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

Examine your current lighting and determine if you want to add recessed lighting, wall sconces, or pendant lights. Work new fixtures into your budget for a rewiring job.

Finally, consider the possibility of future power outages. The weather in Texas has gotten pretty wild in recent years, with unexpected cold snaps and severe storms. These can all result in your home losing power. Your San Antonio electrician can provide transfer switch installation. A transfer switch is a system that will safely change your home’s electric power source from electric utility wires to your generator during a power outage—and safely switch it back when the power comes back on.

Specify Who Is Responsible for Cleanup

While the homeowner is responsible for moving or storing furniture, knick-knacks, and fragile items, a quality electrical contractor will protect your property from dust and debris as much as possible during a rewiring project. Get specifics about what is included in the contract, such as how the contractor will protect floors, seal off work areas, and clean up dust and debris.

Plan To Move Out

Depending on the size of your home, a rewiring job could take anywhere from 2 or 3 days to 2 weeks. It’s reasonable to plan to stay with relatives, or to enjoy a vacation while the work is ongoing. Staying in your home during a rewiring job presents all kinds of challenges. All of your appliances will be disconnected and the electricity will be off. You won’t be able to use an electric dryer or safely use any gas appliance with electric ignition, and your refrigerator will be without power.

Before the rewiring begins, clean out the fridge, pack away items you want to keep clean and free of construction dust, find a place to board your pets, and prepare a suitcase with enough clothing and toiletries to last at least a week. That way, you’ll be ready to depart when your contractor shows up.


Because you won’t be home during most or all of the rewiring work, make a plan for home security in your absence. How will your contractor and electricians enter the home to work, and how will they secure it when they leave for the day? Hardwired security cameras and doorbells won’t work until the electricity is back on, so don’t rely on technology to secure your home during a rewiring job. Lock away valuables and securely store antiques, electronics, and sentimental items to ensure against damage and loss.

If you are contemplating upgrading the electrical system of your San Antonio area home, contact Allgood Electric for professional, courteous, prompt, and safe electrical service.

A Complete Guide To Rewiring a Home in San Antonio
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