How to Safely Install Exposed Home Electrical Wiring

How to Safely Install Exposed Home Electrical Wiring


Installing exposed electrical wiring in your home can provide a stylish, industrial look, but also comes with safety concerns if not done properly. As electricity can cause serious injury or death if mishandled, it's crucial to follow safety protocols and best practices when working with home electrical systems. In this guide, I will walk through the complete process to safely install exposed electrical wiring in your home.

Planning the Wiring Route

The first step is deciding where you want the exposed wiring to run. Some common options include:

When planning the route:

Also check:

Choosing the Right Electrical Wiring

For exposed installations, you'll want flexible, multi-strand THHN wiring. Key factors to consider:

For lighting circuits, 12 or 14 gauge is commonly used. For 20 amp branch circuits, 10 gauge may be required. Select the minimum size needed for safety and capacity.

Installing Safety Boxes and Conduit

Wherever the exposed wires transition to connections or fixtures, install an appropriate electrical box or conduit body to house the splices or terminations.

Between boxes, wiring can run through flexible metal conduit for protection. Secure conduit with appropriate hangers and fasteners following local code.

Running and Securing the Wires

When ready to install the wiring:

Adhere to minimum bend radius and use wire lubricant to reduce friction when pulling.

Making Connections

When splicing or terminating exposed wires:

Avoid electrical tape alone for splices - use friction wire connectors. Tape alone can loosen over time.

Labeling the Circuit

Properly label each circuit at the panel and any intermediate boxes:

This helps ensure safety for future electrical work.

Testing and Turning On

Before activating the system:

When complete, your exposed wiring should provide stylish illumination while still meeting the highest safety standards. But take care - improper installations can be hazardous. Follow codes and best practices, and you can safely add this popular look to your home.