Spray foam insulation and electrical wires

I encountered a home today that had spray foam insulation in a three car basement. It covered the majority of the flooring along with some plumbing and wiring. I don’t consider the spray foam on the wiring an issue since I encounter fiberglass insulation covering wiring in the attic all the time. However, I was surprised to see it cover all the wiring going into two sub panels. I’ve reviewed the web and the forum, and while I’ve seen a few discussions from several years ago, I’m wondering if anything has changed since then. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

Here’s a start for ya… https://forums.mikeholt.com/threads/expanding-foam-insulation.108247/

Hey Jeffrey, thanks for the link. I didn’t think it would be as cut and dried as I’d hoped. The forum link is a little older than other information I’ve seen which tells me that this must be a non-issue. I think if anything had presented itself as “enforceable” then there would have been mention of it somewhere as I’m sure it would have merited discussion. In this situation, since there isn’t any code to govern the application (that I’ve been able to locate), I believe I’ll keep my photos to myself and move on. Thanks again for the link and some information to think about.

Did you note the comment about if it was ONLY about 24 inches… they weren’t worried about it? (De-rating is the concern). Seems about the same as what shows in your photos above the panels.

Note: Most all of those posters are electricians or other related contractors. Mike Holt is one of the leading educators of electrical code standards today, thus the crowds he attracts.

I read the 24 inches, but didn’t equate it to my scenario. You’re correct, there’s only about two feet of wire above the panels. Thanks for pointing that out. Can’t see the forest for the trees, sometimes. Thanks also for the Mike Holt lead. Great website with tons of info. Definitely going into my toolbox.

1 Like