Removing Unwanted Electrical Box

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Verdeboy, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I need to deep 6 this electrical Box and repair the hole in the wall of this adobe house. What's the best way to proceed?
    FYI, this is in the kitchen, and there's plenty of outlets in there already.

    Attached Files:

  2. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    No advice on how to cap off this line and bury it in the wall?
  3. George R

    George R New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    You CAN'T bury it in the wall. But you can turn the conduit by 90 degrees (either horizontal or vertical), keep the wires in a flush mounted box, cap the lines, and put a blank cover plate over it. (Assuming it doesn't feed another box).

    Alternatively, you can trace the wires that feed this box and then disconnect them at the source and then just remove the box.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2007
  4. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Thanks for the help. I said "bury it in the wall" just to get someone's attention.:)
  5. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    George - FIY - Verde isn't a homeowner working on his own place, he's working for hire.

    Verde - Look up your state laws.

    I'm not saying you always have to follow the rules; I understand you maybe just need to put food on the table. But I'm not going to help you do it.
  6. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Wow!

    First there's "Grumpy Plumber," now there's "Grumpy Electrician."

    Frenchie, FYI, I've installed about 1000 light switches, 1000 receptacles, 1000 light fixtures, 1000 garbage disposals, numerous range hoods, swamp cooler pumps, fan motors, and various other minor electrical installations and repairs in my 20 years working in apartment maint. and as a General Handyman--all in homes and apartments I don't own.

    If you want to go "Joe Tedesco" on me that's your right, but I'll keep improving my knowledge base with or without your help.
  7. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Relax, bro. I'm not an electrician, I'm a GC.

    All I said was, I'm not going to help you break the law. Didn't say you had to follow it - just that I ain't going to help you break it. How is that going Joe T on you?

    As for your extensive experience... If you've done that much electrical work, what's up with this rookie question?

    20 years? Between this and the tile countertop on 1/2 ply, I thought you were some young guy, just starting out...
  8. HandyAndy

    HandyAndy General Contractor, Farmer

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Haxtun, CO
    If it was me I would do similar to what George said, I would probably use a new box, (to eliminate the open knock outs) and enter from the rear and set it in flush with the adobe wall and plaster it back up and leave the outlet, unless there is some other reason to move/remove it. other wise go to the source of the flex and disconnect and pull the whole thing, and then plug the knock out on the other box that was entered into by the flex. and then plaster over the hole.
  9. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    RE: Electrical,
    1. I've never encountered a situation like this with adobe (I'm from Michigan). 2. I like to hear how a pro would do it, if nothing else, to confirm what I already think.

    RE: Tiling a countertop,
    Never done one before. Guilty as charged.

    RE: Breaking the Law,
    I follow my conscience. It's always clear, unlike many laws, rules, and codes. And it hasn't let me down yet.
  10. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Your question wasn't about the adobe part of it - even on the other thread you started, which was nominally about the adobe, you wound up saying:


    I agree with you about the conscience bit. Mine'd give me a hard time, charging money for something I didn't know how to do.
  11. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Mine, too. Which is why I try to gather as much info as possible on a subject, and if I still don't feel comfortable, I turn down the job. I'll probably turn down the counter tiling job for just that reason.
  12. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    Not much with plumbing, heat, or air, but I can answer some electrical questions (and no, Im not a pro). Here, you can cap the wires and terminate them in a box with a blank cover, but that box and cover HAS to be accessible and exposed. You cant panel over it, paper over it, or hide it in or behind a wall. Check code and see what they say there, and have fun!
  13. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Thanks Andy and Biker,

    If I disconnect that wire at the breaker box, but am unable to pull it out of the wall, do I still need to terminate the unused wire in the same way?
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Central Florida
    If you can find the other end of the flex, you might be able to pull the individual wires out of the flex, then I think you could cover up the box.
  15. dx

    dx General Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Michigan

    Yes you do. You cannot bury any boxes or wire ends regardless of whether they are connected to anything or not.

    Not only is this required by code, but doing otherwise would expose you to huge liability. Can you say "fire hazard" ? :)

    dx
  16. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If you cut off both ends and make sure it is not connected to anything in any box or at the source, then it is not a circuit and is not covered by the code. There is a lot of wire that is abandoned in structures because it can't be removed.

    The only NEC requirements that I can find requiring removal of abandoned cable relate to communication type cables that are accessible.

    I found nothing that requires removal of inaccessible cables or removal of power cables.

    Perhaps dx can furnish a citation of the code paragraph that requires removal of abandoned power wiring.
  17. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    Done some asking around here...if you cut the wire short (as stated above) so it cannot be connected at either end, then you can panel/paint/paper or plaster over it at both ends. It is an unused conductor, and code does not apply. When you have a house rewired, they usually abandon the old wires in this fashion, rather than destroying walls and pulling them all. Have fun!
  18. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Install the device as a flush mount device by changing the type of box and then repair the hole.

    Repairing in this manner there is neither worry about the abandonment of conductors in the wall nor any worries about receptacle placement. There can never be plenty of receptacles and thus the relief to just abandon one. Someone went to a lot of trouble to install that device and it is hard to believe that they did all that work for something that was not needed.


    Please post a picture of your finished work so we can see the great job that we know you will do.
  19. Old Dog

    Old Dog G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states)

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Questions?

    Is that on the same circuit as the kitchen plugs?Are the kitchen plugs gfi protected? I would'nt leave that in the kitchen area if I didn't plan on putting it on the business side of a gfi...thats how people end up on a slab in a hospital basement somewhere.Don't bury it either!Kill it and remove it.
    (2 months ago I opened a wall under a stairwell,found a live wire from a dryer plug taped with masking tape,not even wire nuts!fire waiting to happen...)
  20. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Au contraire. There is another properly placed, flush mount receptacle within 4 inches of this one and a dozen more scattered around the room. In case you didn't notice, there is a large hole in the wall, and there's no drywall or studs to anchor this box to. Hence, the need to deep-six it.

    I picture you gritting your teeth as you wrote this. :)
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007

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