Awhile ago I shared our adventure of combining/redoing our breaker boxes. The biggest reason for this was because we had electrical everywhere… And when I say everywhere I mean that wires were hanging, lots of wires sharing one breaker, and there was 3 breaker boxes. We wanted to clean things up, so we hired someone to come combine all our breaker boxes and replace the low voltage in the basement.
After all the work was completed, I started to remove all the old wire that was no longer needed (AKA: low voltage). But something that I discovered was that the conduit that formed a “C” in all the rooms of our basement, had a bunch of the old wires (3 wires), and that conduit needed to be removed to build a closet for one of the bedrooms. So it was time to rewire!
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TOOLS TO MAKE IT EASIER:
Non-Contact Electrical Tester – This is to check to see if the power is turned off to the wire.
Wire Cutter & Stripper – This is used to cut the wire and remove the jacket from the wire without cutting through it. Plus it help when connecting wires together or to an outlet.
PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT an electrician and you should be aware that there are dangers in doing this project. Make sure you follow all the code in your area.
First thing I did was discover what those three wires went to. One was to the upstairs outlets that attached to the living room and bedrooms in two different places. The other wire was for our furnace but that was not it, that wire wired the bathroom downstairs, light pole outside, light in a closet, and a light in the storage room. To me this was screaming a NO, NO… I wanted our furnace on its own breaker. The other wire wired the lights in the laundry and storage room.
Now these three wires all had their own breakers but we wanted the furnace on its own, so we needed to add a breaker for the bathroom. Something to note about standard breakers, they come in 15 AMP & 20 AMP. Different things need to be wired with a curtain one and each AMP has a curtain wire that goes with it (14-2 or 12-2 are the standard house wires).
- Things normally on a 15 AMP – lights
- Things normally on a 20 AMP – outlets & large appliances (fridges, dishwashers, freezers, etc…)
Back to wiring our house, I decided to rewire the wires this way. I did call my dad, who knows something about electrical to confirm using these breakers.
- Furnace on a 15 AMP – we have a smaller furnace and the electrician wired it that way.
- Bathroom on a 15 AMP – we have a small bathroom and do not plan on having many hair dryers on at one time.
- Storage Room/Hall on a 20 AMP – this will be for lights and outlets
- Living Room Upstairs Outlets on a 20 AMP – these are all outlets and this is what they were wired before.
- Laundry Room on a 20 AMP – this will be the washing machine outlet plus others and a couple of lights (this room will be slightly divided).
If you still have questions or are wondering about installing a breaker, check out our post when we installed a breaker for our freezer.
Something else I learned during this process is that when you need to pull wires through a hole, it’s easier to have that said hole be the size of 5/8″-3/4″ (3/4″ can hold 3 wires easier).
FIRST THING FIRST, I turn OFF the power to the breaker box!!!
I started most of the wires out at the breaker box (not connected) then I pulled the wire until I reached where it needed to go. I made sure to leave the extra wire on both ends and used staples to hold the wire in place. I rewired the wire, not next to the breaker, the same way as it was before (using wire caps). I then wired the breaker box.
But there was a couple of places I decided (laundry room & upstairs outlets) to use a junction box to attach old wires to new. To do this, I purchased some supplies.
I decided where the wires will be coming into the box and removed the metal circle of the side of the electrical box . Then I added the clamps to the box. I then used 1.25″ screws and attached the box to the joist.
After I fed the wires (power coming in and power going out wires) into the box through the clamp, I then clamped the wire into place. Next I took my wire strippers and removed the jacket from the wires inside the box (about 6″). Then I stripped about 1″ off of the neutral (white) and hot (black) wires. Once I did that, I attached all the hot (black) wires together, the neutral (white) wires together, and copper wires together. I twisted the wires first then placed a wire cap onto them.
I then pushed the wires back into the box and put the cover on.
SIDE NOTE about this box, I have one wire yellow bring the power into the box, the other yellow wires takes it to another location, and the black wire is the old wire.
I added 3 of these junction boxes to my basement. I still need to finish removing some of the old wiring and rewire some light (plus adding more because our basement rooms are dark…).
Anyone else need to redo their wiring in their house? Or update some electrical?