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ChantryOntario 04-22-2013 02:30 PM

Legal to re-use wire in good condition??
Greetings all! Basic question I hope.... I am decommissioning 8 220 volt wall heaters and would like to keep the wire runs for later use if possible.
Is there a legal way to do this based on my survey of the wires condition, or is this practice banned completely?? I'm in Ontario, but don't have a code book handy with me... Generally a no-no or is there a way to safely do it?

All told this is probably about 500 feet of the good red heater-grade stuff, can't remember the rating but I'm sure it's worth a pile, and I am a notorious cheapskate..... I'd like to re-use it for some lesser-duty circuits if I can legally and safely do it.

Thanks, and if you have time for a good (long) read, please see my other recent thread.


jbfan 04-22-2013 02:32 PM

Not a problem in the states.
Someone from up north will know for sure.

Red Squirrel 04-22-2013 05:26 PM

Never heard of such rule, I think you're fine just make sure there's no nicks etc. Especially where staples were.

rjniles 04-22-2013 06:46 PM

If this is the red jacketed cable with red and black conductors, you can not use it for 120 volt circuits in the states. Canada may allow.

rrolleston 04-22-2013 07:08 PM


Originally Posted by rjniles (Post 1165164)
If this is the red jacketed cable with red and black conductors, you can not use it for 120 volt circuits in the states. Canada may allow.

What code reference prevents this use?

AllanJ 04-22-2013 07:23 PM


Originally Posted by rrolleston (Post 1165186)
What code reference prevents this use?

I don't remember the chapter and verse in the (US) NEC but the neutral conductors (grounded conductors; there correctly being just one interconnection between neutral and ground, at the main disconnect location) must be white or light gray. A 240 volt only circuit does not use a neutral.

micromind 04-22-2013 08:02 PM

Legal or not, I've done it lots of times.

micromind 04-22-2013 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by rrolleston (Post 1165186)
What code reference prevents this use?

200.6(A). An insulated grounded conductor of 6 AWG or smaller shall be identified by a continuous white or gray finish.......

A grounded conductor is a neutral.

There are a few exceptions, but conductors contained in a cable isn't one of them.


dmxtothemax 04-22-2013 10:42 PM

Provided the cable is in good condition,
A megger test would be useful !
Then you can use it !
Most people prefer not to take chances,
And most insurance companies ditto.

The wrong color could be an issue but !

ChantryOntario 04-22-2013 10:43 PM

Thanks for the help guys. The cables is question are I think 10/2 red Romex, I'll check when I get out there. I believe they are sheathed in black and red. It seems a shame to turf it when it's worth about a buck a foot by the 200' spool at home depot. Probably 4-500 bucks worth that I would only get about 10 bucks for at the scrapyard.

theatretch85 04-23-2013 12:34 AM

I believe the current NEC code requires that all accessible portions of that abandoned wire be removed, unless you tag the wiring for "Future Use" (also been told that it may need to include the future use date, and type of equipment being serviced). I don't have my 2011 code book in front of me, it's at work, maybe someone else has it handy?

Although, just realized you are in Canada so you don't follow the NEC...

rrolleston 04-23-2013 05:14 AM

Since baseboard heaters are so conveniently near windows I find them very useful to put in 15 or 20 amp receptacles for window AC units. Can always remark conductors. White heat shrink works on both ends. Or if you have a large window AC unit you can leave it the way it is at the panel and install a 240v receptacle. I have removed electric baseboard heaters and prefer to use the wire for something. An extra receptacle is always nice.

ChantryOntario 04-23-2013 08:35 AM

DMX, I hear you. I am quite interested in playing by the book here, but at the minimum cost . I realize that safety and legality are paramount, but I am going to twist every measly penny out of this otherwise.

Theatrech85, i am not sure whether the same "accessible" section applies under the Ontario ESA, but I will find out. On that note, is it just me or does anyone else think that some sections of the code are only there to get you to buy more stuff???? I will render said wire "inaccessible" if I have to, or pull it and hopefully use it elsewhere.

Rrolleston, that was my plan sorta.. These were actually wall heaters mounted about 18" up , in about an 8x10 box recessed. Some of the existing wires could even use the same breaker slots and I would just have to buy 15 amp breakers and connect the other end of the wires into outlets. Surely there is a way to do this legally.

There are enough outlets in some areas, I wanted to pull those wires,
and then use it to run light circuits after we re-frame. I know Romex 14/2 is only about 45 cents a foot here, but I cringe at the thought of throwing anything out, especially lots of righteous 10/2 wire.

I am ok with marking/painting/taping one side as neutral. I will knuckle down and buy an Ontario ESA code book and see if I can make sense out of it. I have a feeling that the inspector is gonna be looking quite closely at this job, because it's a partial rebuild.

Heat shrink it is, provided that the ESA says I can.

rrolleston 04-23-2013 09:15 AM

You can run a circuit off the 10/2 but you can't install a breaker panel with 10/2. I would change the breaker in the panel out for a smaller breaker 15 or 20 and at the panel make a note about what was done to that circuit. Then you could go with 14 or 12 from where the heater was. Make sure all splices remain in accessible junction boxes. So you just need some 15 or 20 amp breakers and you will also need some blanks to fill in the spots where you change out the double pole breaker for a single pole.

ChantryOntario 04-24-2013 09:50 AM

Ok, got it I think . Thanks Rrolleston

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