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Question DetailsAsked on 4/14/2013

how much to re-wire a house?

House built in 1972, does not have ground wire in most of the outlets. Thought it needed to be re-wired when I bought it in 2011, but my electrician assured me that it did not. After their work, I have outlets that when I plug my computer in, and someone touches me, I shock them, painfully! How much does it cost to completely re-wire a 2500 sq foot house?

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2 Answers


The short answer is: Get several estimates as prices will vary. I spoke with an Indianapolis electrician several years ago for an article on this very project (link to article here) and he told me, "Rewiring a whole house takes days and runs from $8,000 to $15,000 for a 1,500- to 3,000-square-foot house." However, that was in 2009, so that cost info may be a bit outdated now.

I hope this info helps. If/when you sign in to and search for "electrical" in your area, you may want to note reviews that contain projects simliar to yours and look at the cost. Another way you could possibly save money is to look for electricians on Angie's List that offer exclusive discounts to Angie's list members.

Good luck with your project!


Answered 7 years ago by JP


Don't think rewire before you find out what the actual problem is.

You say "after their work" implying you had an electrician do some work after you bought the house ? A 1972 house should have had 3-wire wiring (either 2 insulated [black and white] wires plus a bare ground in a plastic sheating, or three insulated wires in a sheathing), with each junction and outlet box grounded. If you are shocking people with 110 V you should be feeling quite a shock frequently, not just when you touch people. Maybe what you have is a static electricity problem, not a wiring problem. I am guessing that when they touch you, they have been walking on carpet, or you are sitting on an ungrounded plastic chair mat with carpet in the house ? That kind of shock is definitely no good for your computer, either.

Easy way to check the electric situation - any hardware, lumber, or box store carries receptacle or outlet testers for about $10. You plug it into the outlet, and it has LED lights (typically 3) that light up (or not) in different colors [usually orange and green or red and green]. Look on the tester, and it shows what condition each color pattern means (swapped live and neutral, swapped neutral and ground, no ground, no neutral, etc). Typically, all green means tht outlet is OK, any unlit, red or orange light means something is either wired the wrong way or not hooked up at all.

If it shows green all around, then static electricity is likely your problem (barring a wiring defect in the computer that is energizing the case), and may be solvable with an anti-static spray on the carpet, or a grounded chair mat and/or keyboard mat (the latter is a good idea to protect computers anyway). If you have a friend with a volt-ohm meter they should be able to check if the computer case is "live" in just a minute or two.

If the tester does show wiring problems, a house built in 1972 should have 3-wire wiring installed, probably like a 14 or 16/2 + ground type NM or maybe a 14 or 16/2 + ground Romex. A LOT of electricians are lazy, and neglect hooking up the ground - sometimes at the outlet, sometimes at the ground bus in the distribution (breaker) panel. In all probability, if you have incomplete or swapped wiring at switches, boxes, etc you can just have an electrician come in and check and fix each connection in each circuit, which only involves removing all cover plates and swapping around the wiring (unless the original electrician was a jerk and snipped off the ground wire when doing the installation, in which case there might not be enough wire to make a connection). to check and correct wiring on the whole house might take a day or so if you move furniture first so he can get at the outlets easily - say $500-$1000, as opposed to $10-20K for a whole-house rewire, plus another $5-20K for the interior finish repairs and repainting where he had to penetrate the wall to pull wires.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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