Hidden electrical boxes in ceiling.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ScottTENN, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. ScottTENN

    ScottTENN New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Again working in the basement... The previous owner had finished about a 150-200sqf section for a pool table. I removed it all because he just furred the walls and didnt allow for any outlets.

    When I removed the sheetrock from the ceiling I discovered several electrical boxes. I know that from watching home shows that hidden electrical is a no-no. I have since removed the fixtures from all of the lines and one I can relocate into the unfinished furnace room. I still need that line since it powers an island outlet in the kitchen.

    Can I just terminate/cap the dead end line and leave it in a box (it is still a live wire) or do I need to trace the lines down and figure out where they go and disconnect them were they tie in? And if so how do you do that????

    Thanks.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  2. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Sure. There are live wires running all throughout your house :D
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    but the box will need to be accessible
  4. ScottTENN

    ScottTENN New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Yeah it's the boxes that I'm worried about. I don't want them there. I don't want to provide access to a box that is not used.

    I have a tracer that I can plug in and tell what breaker a line is on, very handy. Then I would just have to guess as to what outlet/switch that the line is jumped from and remove that connection? That will be difficult if even possible. Can you leave a dead line in the wall? Find the original connection point that is accessible and clip it there? Then do I have to give access to the box or remove the wire entirely?

    Thanks
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    The pros will verify, but I think if you can find the other end of that wire, cut it off so it can't be reconnected, you could leave that in place. What you don't want is to leave it so someone could look at it and then reconnect, potentially creating a problem later on down the road.
  6. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    That's debatable.

    If it's a dead end and blanked off, it's safe.

    No harm, no foul.
  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    314.29 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhole Enclosures to Be Accessible.
    Boxes, conduit bodies, and handhole enclosures shall be installed so that the wiring contained in them can be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building or, in underground circuits, without excavating sidewalks, paving, earth, or other substance that is to be used to establish the finished grade.

    If the circuit was discontinued then I would agree with you but as long as the circuit is active then make it accessible
  8. ScottTENN

    ScottTENN New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Sounds like I will have to track this thing down and nip it.
    Is there a tool for doing that? Some type of tracer? Once the wire is in the wall it can go any direction and I would hate to be punching hole in the living room to find a wire that I'm only going to disable. Can you ohmn one out? Flip the breaker, twist the dead end together then find all the outlets/switch on the circuit and start working the ohm meter for the right wire set?? If all the switches are off and since the outlets are not creating a connection (unless maybe something is plugged in on that line) the meter should read zero until I hit the corresponding black and white pair right? Logical?

    Thanks a ton fella.
  9. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    You would also be in violation. It doesn't say all LIVE wiring in them can be rendered accessible.

    Either way, no harm no foul.
  10. ScottTENN

    ScottTENN New Member

    Messages:
    19
    I guess I'm still lost. Trace it out or leave it? Hours vs Minutes both equal no worse chance of fire than any other box in the wall.

    And I need the names and addresses of all who participated in this discussion so that I can keep a record for when the fire marshal shows up. haha
  11. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    Yes, it is called a qualified, licensed, professional electrician.

    If you have to ask that many questions they you should not be doing that job.

    Sorry, my opinion.

    electrical work is not a hobby
  12. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Oh but my friend if the circuit is abandoned the there is no code requirement for it to be anything.

    I can install as many cables and boxes in any manner I so desire as long as they are not energized.

    If it is energized then it MUST comply with the NEC
  13. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina

    Me too also (note the good use of english in this statement)
  14. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Check the blue bumpersticker...

    Attached Files:

Similar Threads: Hidden electrical
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Septic system electrical lines Jun 24, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Installing Garbage Disposer electrical Jun 18, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog One right way to run electrical Jun 5, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog How to wire outdoor electrical outlet using old hot tub connection? Jun 3, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Dropping an electrical line.... Apr 28, 2014

Share This Page