Debunking the Myth that Running Electrical Through Bale Walls is Dangerous

A myth lurks still that somehow running electrical wiring through straw bale walls is more dangerous than running it through a conventional wall system. That is complete nonsense and I’ll tell you why and how to install wiring in a bale wall in this latest issue of “The Straw Bale Minute”. Click on the image below to view the video.

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7 Responses to Debunking the Myth that Running Electrical Through Bale Walls is Dangerous

  1. Avatar
    Enga Mon, January 20, 2014 at 4:06 am #

    thanks for the addition of the straw bale minute. GREAT!

  2. Avatar
    TommyD Mon, January 20, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    I assume you run Romex?

  3. Avatar
    Andrew Morrison Mon, January 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    Here in Oregon, I typically run UF-B9direct burial) wire because most inspectors ask for it. It is in the current Oregon straw bale building code that Romex is acceptable too. Romex is certainly easier to work with.

  4. Avatar
    Justine Tue, January 21, 2014 at 4:58 am #

    I love your straw bale minutes! I am glad to see them resurrected.

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    Laura Holdenwhite Tue, January 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I couldn’t disagree with you more and think that was a mistake at our Orangevale barn. I agree that fire is not an issue but would you like to replace the wiring that got damaged by hanging a picture or needed a technology upgrade with out conduit to pull it through? I think the small price of using conduit is well worth it.

  6. Avatar
    Andrew Morrison Tue, January 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi Laura. Right back at you with the disagreement. When properly installed, the wires will be 2″ back into the bales. Once the plaster is added, this means the wires will be roughly 3.25″ deep in the wall. In a conventional home, the wires are placed 2.25″ inside the face of the walls. As such, your wires are 1″ deeper in the bale wall assembly and thus LESS likely to be struck by an errant nail, etc.

    In terms of upgrades, the last time wiring was updated in a way that changed the wiring was when we moved from aluminum to copper many years ago. The movement in all aspects of electrical engineering is towards wireless, so the need to yank wires out of the home is very unlikely. The cost and effort to use conduit is certainly not excessive. I have no problem with someone choosing to use it; however, it is not necessary.

  7. Avatar
    Andrew Morrison Tue, January 21, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Thanks Justine!!

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