How to Wire a Basement

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Having power throughout your basement adds value to your home and brings power to other areas of the space. Taking the time to plan a wiring scheme and following it to the letter is the best place to start the project.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpentry tools
  • Breaker box
  • Outlets and wire
  • Drill and bits
  • Determine what areas of the basement will receive power. Look for areas that can be wired for the best distribution of outlets and ease of use. Limiting the number of outlets can reduce the power consumption on a particular circuit.

  • Find out exactly what the electrical code is for the home from the local building authorities. Understanding the power load on the new breaker box is essential for best results and to limit any electrical fires or accidents in the future. Code regulations must be followed and inspected before any service starts to the new system.

  • Purchase new electrical outlet boxes from any local hardware or home improvement store. Calculate how many new outlets will be needed and buy as much electrical wiring as you need to complete the project. Consult with an electrician as to the gauge wire needed. Pick up an appropriate breaker box and mount it according to instructions.

  • Drill holes through wall studs to accommodate the wire. Pass the wiring through the stud holes to the new breaker box. Securely connect each wire to its proper location within the breaker box. Connect each outlet box to the wiring scheme. Attach the faceplates after securing the outlet box to a wall stud.

  • Wire the new breaker box to the house's main electrical line and power up the new basement.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place breaker boxes in locations where they can be accessed from the most directions. This will limit the load to the new circuit.
  • Space outlets at equal distances where possible and limit the number of outlets per wall.
  • Turn off electricity during the installation process.
  • Wear eye protection and gloves at all times.
  • Consult with local electric authorities and codes before attempting this project.

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