Can you spray foam over electrical wires?

Can you spray foam over electrical wires?

Posted by Ecostar Insulation on August 01, 2020

Do I Wire Or Install Insulation First?

Spray foam insulation is becoming more and more popular day by day due to its energy-saving benefits. Any space of your house can be insulated using spray foam insulation, but can you spray foam over electrical wires? 

Everything should be done correctly when building a home. Both insulation and electrical systems need to be installed inside the wall cavities of your home and everything should go in the correct order.  It is important that wiring needs to be done before insulation. Holes need to be drilled into the frame and wires run throughout the walls. Trying to do this kind of work around insulation would provide needless obstacles for the electricians to work.

Wiring is not a job that anyone can do. It requires an electrician to complete the job so that every requirement is observed. After the wiring is installed, the insulation process can start. Most homes are insulated using spray foam insulation because they choose the best. 

How To Spray Foam Over Electrical Wires?

When you spray foam over electrical wires, you have to fill as much space as possible with spray foam insulation. There are two ways that can be used to insulate around wires. First one, you can cut or tear the insulation sheets in half and lay half behind the wire and half in front. If you want an easier second option, tear the sheet across the width instead of tearing it lengthwise. After doing that, you have to put the wire between the top edge of the bottom half or the sheet and the bottom edge of the top half.

The professional who will apply the expanding spray foam should apply the spray foam further than three inches away since the foam will expand towards the wiring. The expanded spray foam should be allowed to harden before being cut or scraped away from the wires for all types of insulation, including spray foam insulation.

There are some cases that open-cell spray foam should be used instead of closed-cell, such as when applying spray foam to an existing wall cavity. The open cell spray foam structure will prevent the foam from applying too much pressure to existing wiring. The open cell sutructure’s low density will also be less likely to over-insulate the wiring and may prevent overheating.

In a few words installing spray foam insulation around the wires will ensure that the entire stud cavity is filled with alternaty saving insulation benefits such as the capacity to block moisture. The voltage/gauge of the wiring should be taken into consideration when spraying on or around existing wiring.

Does Expanding Foam Damage Wiring?

Extending spray foam insulation might be a great way to quickly insulate your home or insulate hard to reach areas. The spray foam insulation material expands to fill holes and cracks to provide an airtight and even watertight, barriers. Spray foam insulation is ideal to be used between studs and rafters or floor joists. You have to consider if using foam is safe if you have anything routed inside the cavity, such as electrical wiring.

So, if you were wondering whether expanding foam damages wiring the answer is yes. Expanding spray foam without carefully planning can damage electrical wiring. You can prepare any space you want to fill with expanding foam by routing wiring in conduit and making sure not to overfill the cavities where spray foam is being extended.

Can You Put Expanding Foam Around Wires?

Spray foam will insulate anything within the cavity it’s applied. Including electrical wires. Electrical wires that are used in residential construction have insulation around them already through the PVC material on the outside. The positive effect that the insulation has around the wires is that it will protect electrical shock and prevent fires by keeping the wires from having contact with flammable surfaces.

If you want to insulate around an electrical box, you have to split the spray foam insulation so you can loosely tuck some behind the box, then you carefully cut the remaining insulation around the box. If you use spray foam insulation to seal up recessed lighting fixtures, some air circulation is required to ensure cooling. 

There are several ways to prevent wires from overheating. Electrical wires are sized to carry current as much as how pipes are sized to carry water. When routed directly through a material like expanding spray foam, the wires can be oversized to reduce how much heat they will lose.

Types Of Expanding Spray Foam

Extending foam or spray foam insulation, is a product that expands when it has contact with air. This type of insulation is used to insulate homes, vehicles, and other structures to maintain a better temperature inside the space.

There are three different types of spray foam insulation: medium density closed cell, light density open cell, medium density closed cell, and high density, closed-cell. 

So the final thought is that if spray foam insulation is injected directly into an existing wall it can potentially damage wiring. To prevent this from happening you have to make sure that your wiring is encased with a rigid conduit. Ecostar Insulation professional’s will help you to identify issues and recommend the best course of action. 

Why Ecostar?

EcoStar’s insulation team strives to provide the best quality products and the highest standard of expertise. Our professionalism and experience goal is that you never have to worry about anything less than thorough and complete workmanship. Our professionals will guide you from the consultation to the execution stage. Contact us for your free estimate.

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