perm. removed light. what do i do with wires?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by nothingeverworks, Oct 26, 2007.

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  1. nothingeverworks

    nothingeverworks New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Florida
    i removed a light fixture and want to plaster the wall hole. i put caps on the wire ends. can i just push them through and close up the holes or is there something more i need to do?

    thanks
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    YES. If you absolutely need to cover this box you MUST find where the wires originate and cut them off so they can't be used again.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    21,994
    Location:
    New England
    Said another way, if the wires are still hot, you can't cover it over!
  4. nothingeverworks

    nothingeverworks New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Florida
    there is no box. just two wires coming out of the wall and no other place to access them. can the live wires be disconnected at the switch?
  5. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

    Messages:
    149
    Yes, they have to come out somewhere. The switch would be the best place to look.

    If the fixture was a pull-chain style, the wires could end up anywhere.
  6. nothingeverworks

    nothingeverworks New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Florida
    sorry but i am almost completely stupid when it comes to electrical...

    isn't it a default fallback plan to just disconnect the wires at the switch to solve the problem of the hot wire in the wall?
  7. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I don't know of any code section to support it, but I would want the wires CUT off short in the box so they can't be used any more.
  8. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT


    I would be happy just to short them out and tag them in the box they originate from, Don't see the need to cut them, you may need them in the future...
  9. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    ...if you can find them. :p
  10. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT

    I just keep telling myself the same thing...:D all kidding aside, something about cutting them just bothers me, but I hear there is help for that now... :D
  11. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Do more than just "cap" them.

    I abandon wires all the time and I rarely cut them short in a box. If it is newer "Romex" style cable you can slide the sheating back a few inches, stagger cut (3/8")the individual wires with the hot being longest, the slide the sheathing back and fold the end over. If it's older "cloth" sheathing, stagger cut the wires and tightly wrap tape SEVERAL layers around until you have completely isulated the wires.

    As long as you insulate the wires as good as the rest of the run it will be as safe as the rest of the run.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  12. nothingeverworks

    nothingeverworks New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Florida
    thanks for all of the responses ...including the off cuff ones (or should i say off-cut ones ;)

    since there is no box and the wires will never be used again i will try aletrician's suggestion: staggering and insulating. thank you.
  13. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Are you saying you leave hot wires, not terminated in a box or anything, hanging inside walls?
  14. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina

    That would be a big No No wouldn't it
  15. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I'm more than a little bit alarmed, yeah.

    Not only is it bad, dangerous, illegal advice - but it sounds like the OP is going to take that advice?

    This is not okay.
  16. nothingeverworks

    nothingeverworks New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Florida
    okay so are you saying i shouldn't stagger cut the wires and tightly wrap tape SEVERAL layers around until i have completely isulated the wires??

    once again please remember there is either no box or because it's behind the wall i just cannot see it. the two small wires that were attached to light fixture just come through a quarter-size hole in the wall. this fixture, btw, was on a wall about 12 feet up in a room with a vaulted ceiling.

    i am going to check to see if there is a box behind the hole.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
  17. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    300.15 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, or Fittings — Where Required.
    A box shall be installed at each outlet and switch point for concealed knob-and-tube wiring.
    Fittings and connectors shall be used only with the specific wiring methods for which they are designed and listed.
    Where the wiring method is conduit, tubing, Type AC cable, Type MC cable, Type MI cable, nonmetallic-sheathed cable, or other cables, a box or conduit body shall be installed at each conductor splice point, outlet point, switch point, junction point, termination point, or pull point, unless otherwise permitted in 300.15(A) through (M).

    There is nothing found in (A) through (M) that would allow the installation of tape on the end of the conductor.

    It is a good idea to,

    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.
  18. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Speaking as a remodeller... when I see a cut end, I assume "dead wire".

    Because THAT'S CODE.

    And also because, THAT'S WHAT'S NORMAL. Even the hacks don't leave a live wire hanging loose in the wall.


    ...You could kill somebody with that staggered cut trick.
  19. tonykarns

    tonykarns In the Trades

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    wisconsin
    Keep it simple!!!!!!!

    If there is no box to terminate the wires you must find the source and disconnect the wires and wire cap them on the hot end. You cannot leave connected live wires loose behind a wall! END OF CONVERSATION
  20. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    And if there is a box, it must remain accessible.
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