June 7, 2023

As a homeowner, one of the last things you want to come across is a section of exposed wires. They can be dangerous, and since they are exposed, they’re at risk of sustaining damage, which could mess up electricity and cause all kinds of headaches.

When this happens, you’ll want a solution, and the truth is that you have a few options, depending on the nature of the exposure.


Safety First



Exposed wires can be very dangerous. When live, they can carry deadly levels of current, and it’s easy to come in contact with that current when the wires are exposed. On top of that, exposed wires can represent fire hazards and other dangers. So, safety comes first.

The most important thing is to turn off power to the exposed wires at the circuit breaker before touching them or doing any repair work.

On top of that, a lot of electrical work has to be done by a certified expert, so if you’re not familiar with this type of work, then call an electrician.

With all of that said, whether you or a professional is actually carrying out the task, you have a couple of likely paths to resolution when wires are exposed outside of an electrical enclosure.


Evaluate the Circuit


The solution to exposed wires is to cover them with something. In most cases, you’re going to use sheathing to cover them, but it might make more sense to replace exposed wire if it is damaged. There are also cases where it makes sense to protect them with an electrical enclosure.

Which applies to your situation?

It depends on many circumstances, which is why it’s important to evaluate the circuit. If there’s a lot of extra slack in the wires, it might make sense to splice out the exposed section. If there’s something that threatens to damage the sheathing on replacement wires, then adding an enclosure is a good idea. You get the gist.


Adjust the Wires


Once you do analyze the circuit, what matters most is removing exposure. In many cases, the easiest solution is sheathing the wires. You can do this with electrical tape, shrink wrap, and other insulating sheaths. This solution is ideal for small sections of exposure that aren’t at a high risk of becoming exposed again.

If the damage is more extensive, you might need to replace some wire. You can either rerun the whole line, or you might be able to splice in a repair section. It depends on the extent of the damage and how accessible the wires are (keep in mind that both of these tasks should definitely be done by a qualified electrician).


Consider an Electrical Box


If you can clearly see what caused the exposure in the first place, and it’s not something you can fully address, then consider adding an electrical box. This is basically heavy-duty protection that can prevent future problems. If the exposure is very near your existing electrical enclosure, then it might make more sense to replace the existing box with something larger that offers the protection you need.