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Question – Cabin Wiring Methods

Is it safe to just lay wiring on top of the rafters?


I am doing a wiring job myself on a cabin, 36 by 14. I am going to have a vaulted ceiling. The question then is, being that my service box is on one end and to get the wire from that end to the other end, can I just lay the wire on top of the rafters? Or should I drill and feed it through the rafters. Maybe I should go under the cabin, but then I would need out-door wiring right?
I would like to know if the walls and ceiling will be finished off with any sheet rock, paneling etc. This will have a lot to do with how the wiring is installed. If the area will be open such as the ceiling, then the wiring should be protected by using EMT, Flex or BX Armored Cable.

Yes, running the wiring under the cabin is an option, just keep in mind that rodents may be an issue, so even outdoor rated UF Cable may not be the most ideal, even though it has a tougher sheath. However if the area below is really accessible by you, such as a crawl space, and it is protected by a concrete foundation, stem walls, skirting or whatever then regular Romex would be ok – ONLY if you don’t think the wiring will become vulnerable to damage of any kind.

If walls or ceiling areas will be covered, then I would drill through the center of the wood members, rafters and studs and install Romex keeping the wiring clear from nails or screws coming from both directions, exterior and interior, and use metal safety plates where wiring may be vulnerable to possible damage.

Not seeing or knowing much about the structure or the environment really leaves things wide open. If you want to be more specific then please email me back and I’d be glad to be more specific – ok?


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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

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The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
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The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
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