Can Romex be Exposed in Garage: Pros & Cons of Romex Wiring

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Most homeowners use Romex for electrical wirings on their property. As electrical wirings are found everywhere homeowners often wonder – can Romex be exposed in the garage? 

The short answer to the question is – no, you should never expose your Romex wiring in your garage. You should always cover Romex wiring on your property. 

This article will give you more details about Romex wiring and the pros and cons of using Romex wiring. 

Romex Wire

Romex is a special electrical conductor that is mostly found in residential wirings. The National Electrical Code has identified Romex as an underground feeder.

Romex electrical wiring has at least two non-metallic sheath conductors under the sheath. Again, due to its flame-resistant, moist-resistant coating, Romex electrical wiring can be used in the basement, garage, or cooler spaces.

can romex be exposed in garage

How Do You Cover Exposed Romex?    

You should never keep your garage Romex electrical wiring exposed. According to the electrical standard code, you’ll have to run Romex wiring through studs and cover a minimum of 6 feet to 12 inches of the fixture.

Can Romex be Exposed in the Garage?

National Electrical Code- Detached Garage Resolution on Romex

Not Allowed in Residential Homes that are More than Three Stories

According to National Electrical Code and the NEC, you cannot use the Romex conductor if you have a residential home that is more than three stories tall.

Protection Measures

While using the Romex conductor, you’ll have to maintain maximum safety. Besides, you’ll have to protect the junction boxes and fixtures. Again, while using the Romex conductor, you cannot use tools such as bent nails that can potentially damage the Romex wire.

Only for Permanent Use

National Electrical Code or the NEC suggests the users use the Romex conductor for permanent use. Besides, they demotivate to use the Romex conductor for supplement use of any appliance wire.

4 Benefits of Using the Romex in Detached Garage

1.  Very Light Weight

When it comes to wiring, heavier electrical wires are of no use because when the electrical wire is heavy, your overall wiring process will get tougher and require more skills to do to the wiring.

But Romex conductors are completely different from regular electrical wires and they are light. If you like doing DIY projects at your home, you should always go for the Romex wires. It’ll make your whole wiring process faster and easier.

2.  Easy Pulling

With other types of electrical wires, when you pull them through stud holes, they can get stuck and cause damage to the wire.

But the Romex electrical wire has a non-metallic sheath that makes the surface of the wire smooth and slippery. Because of this, you can effortlessly pull the Romex wire through any stud holes.

If you have little experience in wiring, you should use Romex wiring for electrical appliances. It’ll change the course of your work entirely.

3.  Flexible

Unlike other electrical wires, the Romex conductors are flexible. As I mentioned above, Romex wires are made of PVC sheaths, which makes them pliable and increases the overall flexibility.

But when you use other electrical wires, you’ll face difficulties in straightening the wire. Sometimes this causes damage to the wire and makes the electrical appliances vulnerable.

4.  Easy Cutting

As the Romex wires are made of PVC or non-metallic sheath, they are easy to cut. You can use a utility knife or pliers to cut the wire. Again, you can use your hands as well to cut the wire.

Cons of Running Romex in Finished Garage

1.  Not for Commercial Use

According to National Electrical Code or NCE, you cannot use the Romex wires in commercial spaces. You’ll have to use other types of wire for business and commercial buildings.

2.  Cannot be Used Outside

You cannot use Romex cables on the outside unless it’s a UF cable. UF cables are rated for underground usage. Again, you cannot not-metallic sheath or Romex cables near the foundation of a building. If you do so, it’ll go against the NEC code.

FAQs about “Can Romex be Exposed in Garage”

1.   Can Romex be Exposed in Detached Garage?

No, u003cstrongu003eyou cannot expose Romex wires or non-metallic sheath wires in the detached garage or anywhereu003c/strongu003e. Because it’s not safe to expose it on the outside. Besides, it goes against the National Electrical Code or NEC.

2.   Can Romex be Exposed in Basement?  

No matter whether it’s a u003cstrongu003eu003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003edetached garageu003c/au003eu003c/strongu003e, or basement, you cannot keep the Romex wires exposed anywhere. It’s very unsafe to keep the Romex wire exposed and can cause damages or accidents if it’s kept in that way.

3.   Can I Use Romex Wires in Commercial Spaces?

No, u003cstrongu003eit’s not permitted to use the NM cables or Romex wires in commercial spacesu003c/strongu003e. It can cause damages and unwanted accidents.

4.   Why It’s Not Permitted to Use the NM Cables Outside?

Because when you use NM cables outside, there is a high probability that it’ll cause accidents and damages to property.
That’s why the NEC or National Electrical Code has prohibited the use of non-metallic sheath cables outside. Again, you should never use this cable as a substitute for any wires. It’s recommended to use Romex cables for permanent use only.

Labeling of the Romex Wire

While buying the Romex wire, you’ll notice labeling like- 10-2 or 12-1. The first two digits of this labeling indicated the gauge of the Romex wire.

Usually, you’ll have to buy 10 or 12- or 14-gauge Romex wire. Again, the latter part of the labeling indicates the conductors of a wire. If you see a Romex wire with 12-2, it indicated that it is a 12-gauge wire with 2 conductors.


If you have little experience in wiring, you should consider using a Romex wire because they are flexible and easy to use. However, while using the Romex wires, don’t use them outside or in non-permitted areas. You should always check the NEC code before using the Romex wire

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