Basement continuity test

Little Bill

Staff member
Tennessee NEC:2017


Senior Member
I would not take responsibility for wiring inside the walls that cannot be seen.
I think that someone will have to take responsibility for the basement wiring. Either they will have to run new wiring or inspect to a degree they are sure it's safe.

I got myself in the middle of a situation like this a few years ago. I went to get a permit for a kitchen and laundry room in a basement of an almost new house. The basement had been finished but without permits. The owner was not responsible because he had just bought the house in that condition.

So there was about 1500 sq ft of finished living space with no certificate of occupancy. The owner or a GC needed to pull a building permit to finish the basement and get the records in correct order.

The only way to turn unfinished space into finished living space is for someone's name to be on the permit and on record and that's whoever does the electrical.

It's not just the electrical that will need permits and inspection. The HVAC, plumbing, and framing.


Electron manager
NE Nebraska
I get it but you are willing to take a chance without seeing what is behind the walls? I'm not....
We sort of taking that chance on every install we do that involves use of some the existing wiring, but this situation is different from that - it is an AHJ asking you to let them off the hook for no rough inspection via a method with no real criteria for the assessment - then sort of shifting all liability to the poor sucker that falls for it.

I'd at very least write up detailed report that states what was tested, how it was tested and the results of that test. Nothing is documented in go/no go type results, and still clearly stating you can not completely verify exactly what is covered up, just that at time of testing there were no detectable ground faults or open continuity where it shouldn't be.

The way around this is to give an estimate for such testing that is high enough that it makes more sense to just expose the wiring in question for more direct inspection - then let the AHJ condemn anything they wish and you fix it, or give lower estimate for straight out replacement than for testing.