RomexÂ® Must Be ProtectedRomexÂ® wiring is simply plastic-coated wiring (typically 10-, 12-, or 14-gauge) wrapped in another plastic sheathing. This outer plastic sheathing does not provide any kind of protection against punctures, perforations, lacerations, or any other harm that may very well come to electrical wiring in residences.
Because of this, electrical codes dictate that any type of non-metallic wiring, RomexÂ® included, be protected. The protection usually comes in the form of auguring holes in the studs of walls or the joists of floors and running the wiring through those holes.
Basements Often Have Exposed SurfacesOlder basements tend to have exposed masonry, or brick, surfaces. If you intend to run electrical wiring along this exposed masonry, you must use conduit.
RomexÂ® Can Be Used in BasementsThere are two alternatives, if you wish to use RomexÂ®:
- If you're lucky enough to have a newer basement or an older basement that has been remodeled, you may have walls built up against the masonry surfaces. These walls, provided they are full-size and made of 2x4's and faced with greenboard drywall, provide enough protection to run RomexÂ® through.
- Look upward: RomexÂ® wiring can also be run through the joists of the floor above.