Basement electrical fun

Every time we start working on something in the house, we discover a new example of how not to do things. Yesterday I spent a lot of time on the previously discussed basement demolition. One of the things that slowed me down was the maze of the steam pipes, gas lines, plumbing, and electrical that festoon the basement like spaghetti scattered by a baby. The basement apartment was built recently, in the last five or ten years. Because they framed and drywalled without first addressing water issues, whole stretches of wall are rotted and moldy. In the above picture (sorry it’s a bit grainy), you can see the conduit come down to a junction box, then flexible conduit (BX) comes out, goes behind the adjacent studs, back up, back behind the studs, across the conduit, and finally terminates in an electrical box. The outlet covers were screwed in with drywall screws, and the whole thing is rusting from all the moisture that was trapped in the wall. The lower junction box was completely hidden behind drywall. I have no idea why they have a big unnecessary loop, but it’s just one of many ways they messed things up.

This is a minor example. The real fun started with the light fixtures in the bedrooms. I wanted to shut off the circuits and ideally remove all of the conduit so I could get all of the drywall down. The wiring contortions I discovered required videos to truly explain. The first one covers the bedroom light fixture and its branches.

The second video is an electrical line servicing the first floor.

The third video shows off the gas lines that were added in the basement.

So that’s the most recent brilliance of the previous owner. We’ll share more as we come across it.

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