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Old 02-26-2007, 02:49 PM   #1
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


Okay, here's my situation. I am having some my countertops replaced with granite later on this week. The instlallation of the granite also includes a six inch backsplash. One of my electrical plugs is situated too low for this to happen as you can see in the included picture. I've already turned the plug 90 degrees to see if it has enough clearance. No dice. Can I remove the plug, cap the exposed wires, tape the caps and tuck it back into the wall and just patch the opening? Or is this taboo....?

The outlet in question is situated just below the two flower vases.

P.S., can the same thing be done with the phone jack that's also in this picture?


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Old 02-26-2007, 03:37 PM   #2
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


Is it on the end of the circuit, or are there other outlets/switches beyond it? If it is at the end can you find where it daisy chains from? If you disconnect it from that end, you won't have to worry about live wires in the wall just taped up.

I have lots of abandoned wire in my house that I keep running across. Sometimes its easier just to leave a dead wire in the wall. I'm no electrician or an expert on building codes, but I don't see any harm in doing it this way. At the very least its safe.

It doesn't seem practical by any standards to fully remove an abandoned wire from a wall.

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:40 PM   #3
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No, there is nothing beyond it. And I don't think I can find where it daisy chains from. However, asking around with some electricin buddies, they also say that it's not a problem tucking the ends into the wall and patching things up so long as the ends are capped and tapped and will never touch each other (positive with negative). I'll make sure of that, though.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


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capped and tapped and will never touch each other (positive with negative). I'll make sure of that, though.
Just curious what is running on DC in your kitchen, since you mention postive and negative.

You have your termonolgy wrong, that would be a hot and a neutral. There is only postive and negative on DC circuits and your house is AC.

Does this plug only have two wires or is there four wires. If there are four wires you cannot cover the box, the box has to be accesible unless you want to rip walls apart. If there are 4 wires you will have to joint them in the box for the other plugs work.

If there are only two wires read on.

I am sure you can find where that orginates from it will just take some leg work. Go around and map out whats on that circuit. It could be on a circuit by itself. SInce this is a kitchen I am assuming it would be on another kitchen circuit. Once you find out whats on that circuit start digging. Find the plug that is closest to it, take it off the wall. If there are 4 wires at the outlet take them off the plug(with power turned off) and leave all 4 separeted. Turn the power back on and see if there is power at the plug you want to remove, if not then you have find the other end. With your tester go find out which two wires are your power coming into the other plug. Once you figure that out turn off the power. Put the two wires that is power back on the plug and the other two i would cap off and tuck in the back of the box, maybe put a note on them for the next person who goes in there doesn't put them back on the plug. Then go to the plug you want to remove, cut the wires short or cap them off and cover the box. Hope that makes sense. Keep repeating the above until you find it.

I would not be comfortable leaving live wires in a box that is covered up.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


Thank you, and yes, I completely spaced it. I meant hot and neutral. I will try what you said to be on the safe side. I'm at work right now, but if I remember correctly, three switches from the circuit box control the kitchen. I think there are two more plugs towards the corner on the same circuit, so the search for the 4-wired plug won't be too arduous. In either case, I have a week to do it, so I have plenty of time to get this little project done. Again, Darren, thank you.

Last edited by 1nonly; 02-26-2007 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:51 PM   #6
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


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Just curious what is running on DC in your kitchen, since you mention postive and negative.

You have your termonolgy wrong, that would be a hot and a neutral. There is only postive and negative on DC circuits and your house is AC.

Does this plug only have two wires or is there four wires. If there are four wires you cannot cover the box, the box has to be accesible unless you want to rip walls apart. If there are 4 wires you will have to joint them in the box for the other plugs work.

If there are only two wires read on.

I am sure you can find where that orginates from it will just take some leg work. Go around and map out whats on that circuit. It could be on a circuit by itself. SInce this is a kitchen I am assuming it would be on another kitchen circuit. Once you find out whats on that circuit start digging. Find the plug that is closest to it, take it off the wall. If there are 4 wires at the outlet take them off the plug(with power turned off) and leave all 4 separeted. Turn the power back on and see if there is power at the plug you want to remove, if not then you have find the other end. With your tester go find out which two wires are your power coming into the other plug. Once you figure that out turn off the power. Put the two wires that is power back on the plug and the other two i would cap off and tuck in the back of the box, maybe put a note on them for the next person who goes in there doesn't put them back on the plug. Then go to the plug you want to remove, cut the wires short or cap them off and cover the box. Hope that makes sense. Keep repeating the above until you find it.

I would not be comfortable leaving live wires in a box that is covered up.
Against code in my parts to leave live wires...even 'capped'...in the wall. Thus, this advice above from Darren, is the good for the circumstances (terminate it at another point)...

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 02-28-2007 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:58 PM   #7
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


I would not use those buddies to do any electrical work. That is a major code violation to leave live energized wires inside a wall. There must be a box and it must have an accessible cover or the wires must be disconnected at the source and cut off so they can not be engerized. Also there are counter top requirements for receptacle spacing. No space on your counter top must be more then 2 feet from a receptacle. That means there must be a receptacle withing two feet of the end of a counter and then every four after that. If you remove this receptacle will you still meet this code?
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:42 PM   #8
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


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However, asking around with some electricin buddies, they also say that it's not a problem tucking the ends into the wall and patching things up so long as the ends are capped and tapped and will never touch each other
those are neither electricians or friends. What you are talking about is a blantent code violation and a posible safety hazzard, not to mention a neusance for anyone trying to do work on this system in the future.

you need to make sure all the wires are dead before you drywall over the box. Yes this is some work. if this is your house, you should be intrested in making sure the job is done right.
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:42 AM   #9
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


Success! I found the outlet that had all four wires, from which the soon-to-be covered outlet got it's power. After some experimentation, I got the correct combination of wires disconnected. So the wires going to the outlet that I want covered are no longer live. Thanks guys. Your help was really appreciated. Now on to getting the outlets completely covered and to install the granite countertop. I'll post pictures once everything is completed. Again. Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:11 PM   #10
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


You still have a code violation. That counter space is required to have a receptacle.
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:20 PM   #11
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


If this is the end of the run you should be able to move the outlet box higher to clear the backsplash and retain the outlet
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #12
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If this is the end of the run you should be able to move the outlet box higher to clear the backsplash and retain the outlet
It looks like can't he get it any higher because of the window. It still needs to be there however.
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:00 PM   #13
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Drywalling an existing outlet?


just curious, why the requirement? so you don't have stretched cords?
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:51 AM   #14
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just curious, why the requirement? so you don't have stretched cords?
Yes, you are correct.

A huge percent of all fires a year are caused by extension cords. All code recepticle spacing requirements are intended to eliminate the use of extension cords for any appliance.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:11 AM   #15
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Yes, you are correct.

A huge percent of all fires a year are caused by extension cords. All code recepticle spacing requirements are intended to eliminate the use of extension cords for any appliance.
Yes, I understand fully. But for the time being, I will leave it as is. The granite goes on today, and I believe it would have overlapped the outlet ever so slightly. Worst comes to worst, I'll have to move covered outlet and reposition it somewhere on the wall again. But, like I said, that's another thing for another time. I do, however, understand the worry of extention cords. As it is, we won't be putting any appliances in that general area, maybe just a house plant for decoration. But thanks for the insight on why it's a code violation. I really do appreciate it.

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