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Old 08-06-2007, 08:15 PM   #1
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Removing a circuit?


I'll admit to being very new to the electrical stuff, but I've replaced a few receptacles and I'm gaining some confidence. Here's my next challenge:

I just recently removed a baseboard heater that was 240V. I now have this wire just sitting here protruding from under the baseboard in my office (of course, I've cut power to the circuit in the panel). I was reading some threads in here, and I've seen that some people have converted the 240V circuit to a 120V receptacle (by moving the second hot wire in the panel to the neutral bar -- I'm sure I'm criminally over-simplifying here). I don't need any more receptacles in this room, and what I'd prefer to do is simply remove the circuit.

I think I'm lucky in that this spaceheater is on a dedicated circuit and it is literally located about 4 feet from my service panel. I was hoping that this could be as simple as disconnecting the wires from the panel (the bus and neutral bars) and pulling the cable up and out.

Question: Is there any fundamental flaw in my thinking here? Is this not as simple as it seems?

I desparately hope that this post made some sense to the resident experts in this chat room. If I'm way off base, feel free to bluntly set me straight.

Thanks!

Tom ("DIY Newbie")

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Old 08-06-2007, 08:21 PM   #2
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Removing a circuit?


Tom if it is as you say it is... on a dedicated circuit, then it should be as simple as you think. Simply trace the wiring to the breaker, disconnect it there, then disconnect the ground, remove the wiring from the panel, then you're done. But... please exercise extreme caution when working in a live panel. Use an insulated screwdriver. Wear insulated shoes (work boots) and keep your spare hand away from any grounded object. Don't let the disconnected wires flop around in the panel... tape up the ends if you have to.


Last edited by SecretSquirrel; 08-06-2007 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Extra cautionary suggestions.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:39 PM   #3
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Removing a circuit?


Thanks Secret Squirrel (not very often I get to type "secret squirrel" in a sentence). I'll go one better and cut off main power before I do the work. I know there is still the live wires coming in from the street, but as long as I avoid those, I should be good right?
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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Removing a circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by viking1974 View Post
Thanks Secret Squirrel (not very often I get to type "secret squirrel" in a sentence). I'll go one better and cut off main power before I do the work. I know there is still the live wires coming in from the street, but as long as I avoid those, I should be good right?
Yep! If you don't mind resetting the clock on the microwave oven, then I'm all for disconnecting the main

But for practice... still treat everything like it was hot. Let us know how it turned out.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:54 PM   #5
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Removing a circuit?


Well, it turned out a partial success. I successfully removed the cable from the breaker. Getting into the panel like that is pretty nerve wracking the first time! Removing the cable was actually pretty simple. What was not simple was removing the cable from the wall. I just couldn't do it, no matter how hard I pulled. I can only assume that it was stapled or otherwise attached to the frame of the house. I pulled on both ends (from the panel and from the baseboard) but no luck at all.

So then I was left with a predicament. I didn't want a bunch of wires sitting around in the panel that could somehow screw with other cables and wires. So, what I did was clip the cable completely down on both ends, so that there is only a nub in the panal box (covered with electrical tape) and a nub tucked under the baseboard (also taped). Not my preferred solution, but at least the wire is gone from sight and it is disconnected.

Next I need to figure out how to remove the breaker that is left unconnected in the box. Back to the books...

Tom
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Old 08-08-2007, 06:15 AM   #6
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Removing a circuit?


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Next I need to figure out how to remove the breaker that is left unconnected in the box.
Don't even worry about it unless you need the space for a different breaker... just leave it switched off and everything will be fine.

Your wire was probably stapled and clipping it was about the only thing you could have done, which is, as you said, much better than leaving a couple of abandoned wires in the box.

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