Electrical Question w/ romex

I am currently working on becoming a home inspector.

I noticed romex wiring inside my unfinished garage running the length of the exterior of one wall with uncapped ends. I tested to see if it was hot. It was not. How would this be reported in a home inspection?

Thank you for your help!

-John A-B

If it’s not terminated at either end, you would report it as abandoned, If it’s terminated at one end and not the other, you would report it as improperly terminated. Just because it’s not energized when you checked it doesn’t mean it won’t be if someone happens to flip the right switch or breaker, so be careful how you report a cable that’s not live when you check it, because unless you verify both ends, you don’t know that it can’t become energized. Would need to know more about where the conductor is routed to be able to determine if it needed physical protection or not.

A few words on terminology, since you’re just getting started. Romex is a brand name, not a wire type. The wire type is NM (non-metallic sheathed cable). Just like all refrigerators are not Frigidaires, not all NM cable is Romex. As for “uncapped ends”, I assume you mean “exposed conductors” (btw: wire nuts on conductors not secured in a rated box/enclosure is still an improper termination). “Hot” is a reference to temperature, thought it’s commonly used to describe a “live” or “energized” conductor, there are times that you will describe electrical components that are actually temperature-hot. Best to reserve the term “hot” to describe temperature to avoid ambiguity.


Thank you for the information and feedback. Appreciate the corrections toi!

Like Chuck said … either ABANDONED or IMPROPERLY terminated.

In my area inspectors either typically say exposed wires OR they say exposed romex depending on whats there. Chuck is 100% correct in saying NM … However in my area its a term that would leave a lot of clients, agents, etc calling to ask what NM cable is, and I don’t like unnecessary calls (interfers with my drinking time)


Exactly, that is why I identify it in reports as “NM / Romex”.


I do the same Dave. :slightly_smiling_face:

Good thought David

I like to say “romex-style wiring” or “hardiplank-style siding”.
Gets the point across but doesn’t pin me down to an exact manufacturer.

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