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Old 09-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #1
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


I just turned my previous home into a rental property. My new tenant felt unsafe in the home she asked to have an electrican come in to inspect the home to ensure the wiring was safe. The electrican found above the ceiling in the attic wires running every where from when a ceiling fan, new recessed lighting and wall outlets were installed. The electrican used the term "a mess" in the way the wires run every where. The wiring is about 10 years old and there are junctions boxes. He quoted me $2000 to do the repair work. I told him that when he installes the new breaker box in the basement (old one is about 30 years old) not to reconnect the wires going into all the wiring going into the attic. The attic still has a dedicated line and switch that was original in the house when the house was rewires 30 years ago.

Well he told my tenant that even if the wires aren't connected to the box in the basement that it's still a safety hazard the wires are above the ceiling. She's telling me if the wires aren't repaired she's contacting a lawyer.

My question is,is this contractor trying to get more money out of me for work? Is it safe or unsafe to have wires above a ceiling that are not connected to a breaker box and are completly dead?????



Dan

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Old 09-28-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Find another electrician.
You are the customer, not the tenant, and he should be talking to you and you alone.

If the wires are truly disconnected, then they are safe.

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Old 09-28-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


While JB is correct about speaking with you, I am inclined to say that if you disconnect the wires, you will have stuff not work and then she will have something to complain about.

And just to clarify, if something was truly unsafe and the landlord refused to repair it, I would tell the tenant. Not that this is necessarily the case. Did he say anything about how the wires were spliced/ran into boxes?
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:47 PM   #4
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Quote:
Well he told my tenant that even if the wires aren't connected to the box in the basement that it's still a safety hazard the wires are above the ceiling. She's telling me if the wires aren't repaired she's contacting a lawyer.

My question is,is this contractor trying to get more money out of me for work? Is it safe or unsafe to have wires above a ceiling that are not connected to a breaker box and are completly dead?????
Well, I can't speak from a legal perspective, but technically the wires being left there could be a safety hazard, if someone were to tie on to them. I think even electricians would vary on this one. If it is aluminium wire then I would agree it should be taken out as you can no longer use it for branch circuits. If it is copper I'm not sure why he wouldn't want to remove copper and take it to the scrap.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby333 View Post

Well he told my tenant that even if the wires aren't connected to the box in the basement that it's still a safety hazard the wires are above the ceiling. She's telling me if the wires aren't repaired she's contacting a lawyer.

My question is,is this contractor trying to get more money out of me for work? Is it safe or unsafe to have wires above a ceiling that are not connected to a breaker box and are completly dead?????



Dan
From a practicule perspectus if its not connectted it "IS SAFE"
And most electricains who doesn't have a vested interest would agree.

But that doesnt mean it is up to code !
I would check with your local electrical authority to be sure.
codes are quite complex and dont always seem logical.

Tell the whining tenant to move out if not happy !
There should be plenty of other tenants.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


It was supposed to be a remodeling project to finish off the attic for a music room. The project was never finished because the previous owner never finished it.

I don't have an issue having something repaired to make sure it's up to code. I'm not going to spend the money to have the wiring organized for a non finished attic. There is no heat or duct work. It can only be used for storage.

So I'm seeing 2 different answers here. Some say if it isn't connected it "SAFE" others are saying as per code it could be unsafe.

What is per code?? Thats what I;m concerned about. If an unconnect wire "WHICH IS DEAD" is code safe and not a hazard if it above a ceiling or behind a wall. If it's unsafe then I'll have it removed.

Now accoding to my tenant when I told her I'd have it removed she said I need a licensed electrian to remove the wires.

My tenant has only been there 3 weeks. She's stressed numerous times that she's fearing for her life, yet I've told her that I will give her back her security deposit and she can get out of her lease.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
While JB is correct about speaking with you, I am inclined to say that if you disconnect the wires, you will have stuff not work and then she will have something to complain about.

And just to clarify, if something was truly unsafe and the landlord refused to repair it, I would tell the tenant. Not that this is necessarily the case. Did he say anything about how the wires were spliced/ran into boxes?

The electrican didn't say how they were run. I can tell you that all the wires were run into junctions boxes with the fasteners to hold the wires into the box and with wire cap.

All he said was that there was a lotof wires above the ceiling and the were run messy. As in wires just every where.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaSparky

but technically the wires being left there could be a safety hazard, if someone were to tie on to them.
What? They are dead wires in a unused space!
There's no " saftey hazard". On the OFF chance that someone would " tie into them" is foolish to indicate its a safty hazard.
One of two things is happening here.
Either the tenant knows the electrician and is trying to get him work OR the electrician sees the fear in the tenant and is trying to get work playing off her fear.
At this point I would not even allow him to do ANY work in the house.

Last edited by sublime2; 09-28-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


I agree. You are in charge.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:47 PM   #10
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Explain to the customer that

1 - Just because wiring is "messy" doesnt mean its dangerous .

2 - The wiring is not connectted to anything, so it is safe !

Also code violatons,
are determined by legal definitions so,
what is at a practicule level safe,
might not met the legal defination of safe.

This is why you should ask the local electrical inspectors
they should know what is considered legally safe !

In the mean time I would not lose any sleep over it !
You have done all that can be reasonably done.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:07 PM   #11
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


I am confused about this statement:

"...I told him that when he installes the new breaker box in the basement (old one is about 30 years old) not to reconnect the wires going into all the wiring going into the attic. The attic still has a dedicated line and switch that was original in the house when the house..."

So if you currently have a circuit that is going to the attic, what do you propose to do with this wire with a new panel. Simply rolled it up?

Not sure about other towns but in my town, I am required to to nip all abandoned wires closest to the stud entry/exit or remove it entirely.

BTW, I would vote for getting rid of that tenant as well.

Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Why not have the City Inspector come out and give an opinion?
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:17 PM   #13
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot
Why not have the City Inspector come out and give an opinion?
Hell no!!!!
Will open a whole new can of worms!
He won't be looking at just the wires while he's there.
DO NOT follow this suggestion!
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:55 PM   #14
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


nice tenant.. three weeks in and she threatens legal action against you. This is something she should've done before she signed the lease. Can't imagine the pain in the ass she's going to be going forward, even if you do take care of this to her liking.

I would get two more opinions from licensed electricians; take the one that's the least amount of work; do that; deem it "safe"; and tell her to move out if she doesn't like it.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:51 PM   #15
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Are Dead wires allowed or unsafe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by allthumbsdiy View Post
Not sure about other towns but in my town, I am required to to nip all abandoned wires closest to the stud entry/exit or remove it entirely.
Where in Jersey are you? I know a few sparkies there and have never heard of this BS rule. Who is enforcing it and under what rule?

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