Is Surface-Mounted Wiring Right for Your Project?
If you want to add wires or upgrade your appliances but don’t want to tear into walls, surface wiring could be the solution you need.
With surface wiring, you can install small appliances, lights, and new outlets directly on your walls and ceilings. Most electrical installations require you to drill holes in your walls and remove drywall. If you’re not willing or able to do that, surface-mounted wiring is a good alternative.
When Should You Consider It?
Surface wiring is ideal for specific situations, for instance:
- Making renovations to a historic home.
- Improving the lighting in a rental home.
- Adding ceiling lights to a shed or garage.
- Hooking up a smoke or carbon monoxide detector.
- Adding wiring for a new electronic device.
Surface wiring allows you to add outlets and switches in all these situations and many more. It’s not suitable for every situation, but it can save you time and money on some small projects.
What Is Surface Wiring?
Surface wiring is a system of channels and boxes that allow you to attach lighting components and electrical outlets to your home without cutting into drywall or removing walls. You layout the wiring on a series of fixtures. Surface wiring allows you to expand your options when traditional wiring won’t work.
How Does It Work?
Surface wiring uses a fixture called a raceway or a wire mold. Raceways can be plastic or metal. You mount these components to a wall instead of cutting a hole in the wall.
You can buy these components as separate units or as complete kits. The raceways attach to your existing outlets or boxes. To add wiring, you attach the raceways to your walls or ceiling.
Where Can You Get Surface Wiring Kits?
You can buy raceways at most home improvement stores and hardware stores. Plastic is easier to cut, but metal is more durable. You will also need:
- Outlet covers.
- Needle-nose pliers.
- Wire cutters.
- Drill and drill bits.
- Voltage tester.
- Electrical tape.
- Several lengths of wire mold.
Are There Any Places You Shouldn’t Use It?
You should never use surface wiring to install an appliance that uses a lot of power. Only use it for low-voltage lights and devices.
If you want a seamless look, don’t use surface-mounted wiring. It doesn’t look as neat and professional as traditional wiring does. Having a lot of wires hanging around can be messy-looking. If, however, you paint the channels the same color as the walls, you can help camouflage the wiring and outlets.
It’s best to use it in areas where you don’t really care how the wiring looks.
Call SESCOS for All Your Wiring Needs
If you want to add outlets or increase your available electrical options, contact SESCOS. Our expert technicians can perform a safe, professional installation of all your wiring. Don’t take chances with your home or your family’s safety.