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Old 05-08-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
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What to do with un-used wires


I have a few wall electrical heaters that I removed. Now, the wires sticks out of the walls. I use electrical tape to tape the opening up, but I think that is not good enough for code compliance.

The other end of the wires at the electrical panel, I plan to remove from the circuit breakers, and label them clearly. However, even that won't be enough for code compliance.

I know that if I open up the wall, put a box there, and terminate it there, then it'll be good. But that's a lot of work, and needs to put the dry wall back, mud and paint.

If I just squeeze it in there, and hide it. That would avoid code check, but what if some fools decides to stick the other end to a breakers to see what happen, or if the labels falls off after 20 years for example, it would be real bad.

So, what would you do with least effort, safe, and code compliant?

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:28 PM   #2
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What to do with un-used wires


Install the boxes and wirenut with covers, Or pull them out completely if possible.

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:54 PM   #3
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What to do with un-used wires


If it's not possible to pull them out, I seperate both wires a bit, cut one shorter then the other, don't strip it, put a wire nut on it very tightly on both ends, and tape each individually, then tape the whole thing together. If by chance power was to be applied, there is no way they would contact anything. The fact that one is longer then the other makes it less probable that it would somehow arc. Overkill yes, but figure why not.

Making sure power never gets to it is #1 though. Remove from panel, and remove it all the way to where it goes up through the floor, then cut, and do the same thing on that end too.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:45 PM   #4
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What to do with un-used wires


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
If it's not possible to pull them out, I seperate both wires a bit, cut one shorter then the other, don't strip it, put a wire nut on it very tightly on both ends, and tape each individually, then tape the whole thing together. If by chance power was to be applied, there is no way they would contact anything. The fact that one is longer then the other makes it less probable that it would somehow arc. Overkill yes, but figure why not.

Making sure power never gets to it is #1 though. Remove from panel, and remove it all the way to where it goes up through the floor, then cut, and do the same thing on that end too.
Thank you very much for the insightful and very helpful advice. I don't think it's overdone at all. Just what I needed.
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:52 AM   #5
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What to do with un-used wires


This is what I would do.

In the room put wire nuts on each individual conductor, then push the wires into the wall and seal them up.

At the panel cut the cable just shy of reaching the panel, and label it and don't strip the jacket leaving (6 inch) exposed conductors. The next owner will have to add a junction box and a short length of new cable to connect up that cable and this extra work should at least prevent someone from connecting it up without knowing where the other end is. Meanwhile the wire doesn't go completely to waste.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:09 AM   #6
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What to do with un-used wires


Don't do what Mike Holmes says to do, he always says to twist the wire together and use a wire nut. That way if someone trys to hook up the breaker it will pop as soon as they turn it on. I am against maeking a dead short on purpose so follow the advice other people have giveing you so far, they are good ideas.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:37 AM   #7
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What to do with un-used wires


I agree with Darrin.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:57 PM   #8
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What to do with un-used wires


You should splice them together like Darren said. You should also put them in a box. You can buy 'ez boxes' which are boxes that attach to drywall instead of a stud. You just trace the size of the box out of the drywall, tighten the box up and you're done. You won't need to refinish andy drywall and you can put a blank cover on it and it'll be up to code.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:29 PM   #9
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What to do with un-used wires


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You should splice them together like Darren said.
Darren advised against splicing them together...which I also agree with.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:58 PM   #10
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What to do with un-used wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
Don't do what Mike Holmes says to do, he always says to twist the wire together and use a wire nut. That way if someone trys to hook up the breaker it will pop as soon as they turn it on. I am against maeking a dead short on purpose so follow the advice other people have giveing you so far, they are good ideas.
lol that is silly. I understand it should make the breaker trip, but it will still do an arc before doing so, it's not instant. Or if it's a stab lok.... lol
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:31 PM   #11
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What to do with un-used wires


It's not going to arc, the wires are spliced together. Arcing happens when there is a bad connection - an air gap is being ionized to conduct current. Splicing them together assures that it will trip the breaker instantly. If the breaker is bad and doesn't trip, the main will trip milliseconds later. Splicing unused wires together is a good idea, much better than having an unknown hot wire sitting inside a wall.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:51 AM   #12
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What to do with un-used wires


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Originally Posted by fdiddy View Post
It's not going to arc, the wires are spliced together. Arcing happens when there is a bad connection - an air gap is being ionized to conduct current. Splicing them together assures that it will trip the breaker instantly. If the breaker is bad and doesn't trip, the main will trip milliseconds later. Splicing unused wires together is a good idea, much better than having an unknown hot wire sitting inside a wall.
I believe properly marking the wires at both ends is better than having possibly 100 or 200 amps going through 12 or 14 gauge wiring, even if for a moment. And they should be marked in a very clear way.

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