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Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Update Basement Electrical Wiring

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Updating a Basement Electric Panel and Circuit Wiring: How to update the wiring in a home where the main panel is in the basement with a couple of fuse boxes and replacing this with a circuit breaker box.

Basement Electrical Wiring

Electrical Question: I am updating the electrical wiring in my basement and changing from the fuse boxes to a circuit breaker panel.

This electrical wiring question came from: Brent from Michigan.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Brent.

Updating Basement Electrical Wiring

Application: Electrical Wiring for a Basement.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits, Extension Cords, and a Ladder as needed.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the basement wiring project and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the new wiring should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring in the basement should always be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Updating a Basement Electric Panel and Circuit Wiring

Note: Updating Electrical Wiring is essential for most older homes to make them safer and more reliable.

Brent, you may be referring to what is known as a parallel feed, where there are more than one cable that supplies power to the same bus or phase of power. This is sometimes used to supply power to a main breaker where two cables will be easier to terminate than one larger cable. Consider the following information which may apply to your home improvement project.

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2 Responses to “How to Update Basement Electrical Wiring”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Tawanda,
    First, lets be sure the light bulb is working by testing it in another light fixture before we proceed.
    How to Fix a Porcelain Light
    The circuit power of a porcelain base light is best tested where the wires are connected to the screw terminals, however lets check a few other possible problems:
    Test the Pull Chain Switch
    If the pull chain switch does not pull and retract normally then it may be repaired by spraying a non-conductive lubricant into the hole where the chain leads into the base, then gently pulling the chain until it becomes free and begins to operate normally.
    Adjust the Center Tab in the Light Socket
    If the pull chain works fine, and the light still does not work then turn off the power circuit to the light, and use a wooden Popsicle stick or similar small non-metal device to gently pull down the center tab of the inner light bulb contact slightly so it may come into contact with the center area of the light bulb. Some light bulbs depress the center tab in the light socket which may prevent replacement bulbs from working.
    Replace the Pull Chain Switch
    I hope this helps you,

  2. Tawanda says:

    Basement porcelain based single bulb pull chain light doesn’t work. How do I test it? Can you walk me through some possible scenarios with repairs/replacement? Many thanks!