I am wiring three overhead florescent lights in my unfinished basement and I need 14/3 because of where the switch is located. The wiring already present between the fixtures is 14/2. I have a length of leftover 14/2 romex. Can I remove the sheathing and use each individual wire?

  • No. You do not want unsheathed wire carrying mains voltage anywhere in your house. - Exposed in an unfinished basement it could easily get damaged when moving furniture, cabinets, etc. Nov 13, 2016 at 18:37
  • Just run the sheathed 14/2, use the black wire, and cap off the white and ground. Nov 13, 2016 at 18:42
  • Either way, I'm buying more wire.
    – Evil Elf
    Nov 13, 2016 at 18:43
  • I recommend using Split Loom Tubing.
    – aguertin
    Nov 13, 2016 at 19:16
  • 1
    I've learned electrical codes are not just for the safety of the user, but also the safety of the tradesman or serviceman working on the system. Things that have no use to the homeowner usually provide safety to someone else.
    – Damon
    Nov 15, 2016 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


Short answer: NO

You may be able to use individual wires taken from a non-metallic cable (Romex is a brand) within a fixture, but not between fixtures or switches.

NEC 300.3(B) requires that:

All conductors of the same circuit ... shall be contained within the same raceway, auxiliary gutter, cable tray, cablebus assembly, trench, cable, or cord [with certain exceptions that do not apply here].

If you give us a diagram of your fixtures and switches, we may be able to suggest a solution.

  • I appreciate the offer. Due to the current setup, I'll have to buy more wire.
    – Evil Elf
    Nov 13, 2016 at 18:41

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