Electrical Wires In The Attic (All You Need To Know!)

Having wires all around the place gives your home an unorganized look. Nobody wants a messy house, do you?

Unless you want to go around walking or working in the dark, you will need electrical wiring done in your house. And even though the wiring process can be a hassle, you can easily pull off the attic wiring with proper guidance.

In this article, we will be looking through how you can run the electrical wiring through your attic.

electrical wires in the attic

Here’s If You Can Run Electrical Wires In The Attic:

Yes. You can easily run your electrical wires through your attic if you want it. Your attic can serve as a space to run your electrical cables through.

Running your wires through the attic can ease off disturbances wires cause while walking around the house. It also provides you with a safer home space with a reduced chance of home hazards if you have kids.

Are Electrical Wires Allowed In The Attic:

An attic is an indoor space between the highest floor of your house and the roof. You can use your attic for various purposes, especially the storage of items and valuables.

You are allowed to run electric wires through it depending, on the structure of the building. However, there are codes and policies guiding the electrical wiring of a house.

The types of wires you can use for wiring in the attic are usually non-metallic.

While it is mostly accepted in major parts of the US, you can always check with professional electricians in your local environment or consult home inspection companies to be certain.

Can Electricity Wires Run Over the Ceiling Joists?

Running wires over the ceiling joists is probably the easiest. Running wires through this joint will enable the user to let wires run between the two ceiling joists.

All you have to do is mark the point and make a hole for the wire to run through. You can make this hole yourself with the help of adequate equipment such as a knife or a saw.

Is It Safe To Run Electrical Wires In The Attic?

According to statistics, the attic is the commonest place where fire accidents start when the house wiring is done there. This is due to a couple of reasons.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you consider the safety of running wires through the attic.

Depending on the context, it is relatively easy to say that electrical wires are safe to run through the attic if they are properly done, and necessary preventive measures are implemented.

Here are a few reasons an attic may be unsafe for wiring purposes:

●     It is often damp due to moisture accumulation and a lack of ventilation:

Your wires are not meant to be used in a wet area. This moisture common to attics serves as a major disadvantage of running wire through the attic.

●     Rodents can eat up your wires:

Rats and other household pests can cause serious damage to your wires, especially if you also use your attic as a storage space. When they eat up your wires, it becomes exposed, increasing the risk of sparks.

Can You Lay Insulation Over Wires In The Attic?

It is extremely important to insulate the wire from an outlet in your attic. Any homeowner can easily use insulation for the wire to ensure safety and prevent a fire. But there are certain factors that you should keep in mind before proceeding.

For instance, it’s important to know what type of insulation you should use and how you should install it. For safety and security reasons, it is integral to have insulation in place over the wires. One common material that people use is fiberglass. Cellulose fiber is one such material that’s currently trending.

But one of its most common drawbacks is that since it is made up of recycled material, it might be highly flammable. It is especially true when the temperature exceeds a certain limit outside. Therefore, glass fiber is a preferred option for users who are looking to insulate the wires in their attic.

Do Electrical Wires In The Attic Need To Be In Conduit?

Conduit serves as protection for your electrical wires. Do you need them for your wires in the attic?

Although it might not always be necessary, placing the wires in your attic in metallic and plastic conduits help protect them.

It is a safety precaution enforced in a few states, maybe even your state.

It is to your best benefit to protect your electrical wiring and save yourself from tendencies of electrical hazards.

Can I Run Romex In The Attic?

Romex is mostly used for lighting wiring in residential buildings and other electrical outlets. It is the commercial name for a protective casing that you can use to cover your wires collectively.

You can easily run Romex through your attic. Although, there are some specific requirements your attic must meet.

As proposed by the NEC (National Electric Code), these requirements are based on the accessibility of the attic. The requirements for inaccessible attics are less strict compared to the accessible ones.

If you have the intention of running a Romex through your attic, then you should know that according to the NEC provisions:

●     In an accessible attic, the Romex should be at least six feet away from the scuttle area.

●     If your attic is inaccessible, the Romex should be hung high on the joists.

Romex is advisable to be used in your attic since it keeps rodents away and helps pack your wires away from view and disturbance if your attic is accessible.

Your attic will often be dark and damp, a perfect breeding space for rats, mice, and other pests. These animals are the best options for causing physical damage to your electrical wires, and you need to protect your wires against these.

Can you Place a Junction Box in the attic?

One of the reasons for a junction box in an attic is accessibility to the electric instruments in the attic. These boxes function as the routine electricity boxes from where the electrical equipment is controlled with the help of switches.

It is legal to place junction boxes in the attic but has to be authorized by the building management too. You need to ensure that the junction box is accessible at all times. While it is advisable to go for only one junction box, you can place up to 4 if you feel the need. The ideal place for a junction box is against the wall stud or a floor beam. You should ensure that the cables are tucked inside the box in such a way they are not touching the surface of the junction box door.

Junction boxes aren’t common in terms of usage, and homeowners often forget about them. This might be a contributing factor to the rising number of accidents and property damage occurring during home maintenance. If there is a need for a junction box in your attic, you have to create a viable plan or get professional help.

Is It Safe To Run An Extension Cord In The Attic?

You use an extension cord when you need to extend a connection or plug in your wire to an external source.

You might be tempted to run an extension cord to connect an appliance from the ground to another power source in the attic.

Do not do it!

It is not safe to run an extension cord in an overhead space. Extension cords can cause fire when they melt. Running it through the attic is a disastrous move.

Can You Put A Breaker Box In The Attic?

The breaker box always needs to be accessible all the time to professionals if needed, placing a breaker box in the attic may cause you trouble in the case of any emergency situation.

Avoid it!

How Do I Protect My Attic Wires?

You are now aware of things that pose a danger to the wires in your attic. The next step is to get yourself familiar with the necessary steps to protect your wires and keep your home safe from electrical hazards.

Electrical fire is common when people don’t pay close attention to their attic or refuse to observe safety precautions.

To protect your attic wires, you can do the following:

●     Repair cracks to keep rodents away from accessing your attic and causing damage to your wires and other properties.

●     Use rodent repellents as an added precaution to keep those pests away

●     In case you already have rodents living in your attic, use pesticides.

●     Insulate your wires

●     Cover exposed wire to avoid sparks and electrical fire.


It is a modern world where we are accustomed to electrical appliances, and we can’t imagine living without them again. It is a key aspect of our homes and offices.

The attic is one of the best places to run electric wires in our homes. However, you have to be aware of the various risk factors that come with doing that and how to tackle them.

If handled properly, your attic can serve as a storage place for your old items and also the electrical cables that light up your home.