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Old 06-10-2009, 10:03 PM   #1
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Demo of old wiring in walls


I'm remodeling my kitchen and am splitting off receptacles and adding new 20A circuits. I'm also breaking off the feed for the bathroom from the kitchen light circuit.

I have all the new feeds pulled into the boxes and everything hooked up. I'm trying to decide what to do with the old feeds and interconnections I took out. Some of the cable I have exposed in a hole in the drywall and some are cut off in the receptacle or switch boxes. I would have to tear apart all my walls to get these wires out since they are stapled to the studs, go around corners, etc.

I plan to just wirenut the hot, neutral, and ground together on the cable ends in the wall so if someone finds them in the future they are clearly shown to be not used circuits and if someone happened to find the other end and try to hook anything up it would trip out and you wouldn't be left with a hot wire cut off in the wall.. The couple cable ends in the boxes I can't really get shoved out of the box so I'm debating wether to wire nut the ends together and shove them in the back of the box or just cut them about as flush with their entry into the box as I can get.

Does this sound reasonable or are there other methods I'm not thingking of? Are there code issues with this?

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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Demo of old wiring in walls


You can't wirenut them if hot inside the wall
They must be in an accesible box

I'm not sure you should wirenut them all together in a box
Sounds like a good way to possibly start a fire if someone does hook them up
Usually if dead at both ends you cut them & push them out of the box
They are then considered abandoned

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:30 PM   #3
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Demo of old wiring in walls


I had a similar situation when replacing some old ungrounded NM wiring in my house; I stripped back the jacket, cut the wires at staggered lengths, and folded them back against the jacket. I wrapped that tightly with red electrical tape and marked them "DISCONNECTED/ABANDONED".

Frankly I don't know if this addresses code requirements, but at least if someone came along and found them, they (hopefully) wouldn't re-connect them to a live circuit.

(The reason I staggered the conductors is so that there wouldn't be a short if they somehow were connected).

If what I did was against code, someone let me know and I'll remove this post.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:14 AM   #4
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Demo of old wiring in walls


In a recent basement remodel I just cut the wires off and wrote on the jacket/sheath of the cable "DEAD - ABANDONED IN PLACE" on each end that was cut. Inspector never said anything about it on the rough-in inspection with the new wiring, so I must be "ok" lol.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:26 PM   #5
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Demo of old wiring in walls


I ended up having to abandon a couple of cables last night, so I took a couple of pics..





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Old 06-11-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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Demo of old wiring in walls


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I plan to just wirenut the hot, neutral, and ground together on the cable ends in the wall so if someone finds them in the future they are clearly shown to be not used
Don't short them out. If someone finds/hooks up the other end it will make sparks

I try to abandoned cables in existing boxes just in case someone needs them some day.

If there are no splices you can stay legal and put them in a covered JB and then you can bury them.

I have been known to abandon a cable in a wall. I strip the sheath back a few inches with a razor knife then cut the wire in a staggered fashion about 1/4" between them ..gnd, neutral, hot (hot being the longest).

I then tape the neutral and hot, fold the sheath bac over the cut/taped ends and tape it up. No exposed wire, no potential short circuits.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #7
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Demo of old wiring in walls


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I try to abandoned cables in existing boxes just in case someone needs them some day.
You mean with or w/o other live connections in the box? I would've thought that would be a no-no because someone might connect them "just to see what they do"..

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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I have been known to abandon a cable in a wall. I strip the sheath back a few inches with a razor knife then cut the wire in a staggered fashion about 1/4" between them ..gnd, neutral, hot (hot being the longest).

I then tape the neutral and hot, fold the sheath bac over the cut/taped ends and tape it up. No exposed wire, no potential short circuits.
Makes me feel better about the way I've been doing it.. I like the idea of folding the sheath back over the whole thing for protection. I've just been wrapping the ground around them for extra holding in place..
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:21 PM   #8
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I would've thought that would be a no-no because someone might connect them "just to see what they do"..

You can't protect stupid



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I've just been wrapping the ground around them for extra holding in place..
Potential heating element.

Cut those of flush, clean and staggerd a bit. Make it clean and stealthy.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:35 PM   #9
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Demo of old wiring in walls


I am in the process of decommissioning the K&T in my house (80% of the lights and recs in the house run off four circuits). B/C the K&T is in a 'ladder' arrangement I can't just cut and pull until I replace everything.

I label everything still connected, but no longer in use, 'HOT' and note the old purpose 'OLD SUNROOM' and what breaker it is on. And, of course, I leave them in boxes - clearly labeled. For wires that I've actually managed to kill at both ends, but not pull, I label 'ABANDONED IN PLACE'.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
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Demo of old wiring in walls


A wire or cable that is diconnected at both ends is no longer part of the code. It just a hunk of wire and you can abandon it place just any other piece of wire laying around in the basement or garage on a shelf.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #11
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It just a hunk of wire and you can abandon it place just any other piece of wire laying around in the basement or garage on a shelf.
I believe that somewhere it says that abandoned must be removed "if possible" or something.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:35 PM   #12
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I believe nec says they must be removed if possible. I like the wire nuting them together. Thatll make it real obvious if they get hooked up. Better than hooking them up on the other end and having it live
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:43 PM   #13
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Demo of old wiring in walls


Waht?

How is a dead short is better than a insulated live cable?

There are live cables strung all throughout your house
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:59 PM   #14
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Cuz a dead short throws up a big neon sign that says your an idiot. Don't hook that up.

Having live wires flop around in your walls (not ending in a box) doesn't sound good to me
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:09 AM   #15
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Demo of old wiring in walls


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Originally Posted by jimmy21 View Post
Cuz a dead short throws up a big neon sign that says your an idiot. Don't hook that up.
A dead short throws up a fire if hooked up to the wrong OCPD or a faulty OCPD, though.

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