Another Question about unboxed Live wires

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  #1  
Old 08-02-05, 05:29 AM
see7towers
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Another Question about unboxed Live wires

I have another question as well . The home examiner noticed 2 very thick sets of wires that were cut and left hanging from the ceiling .
These look to be from the old wiring black cloth casing and very thick like main wires. My husband was told to put them inside a junction box because they were live wires.
Why would anyone leave these wires live out in the open?
Can these wires be severed from the main box ?
When I bought this home I think I stepped into a nightmare.
I was very ignorant to many things that are of a serious nature .
We were first home buyers so FHA had their inspector come in as well and make sure things were sound. She insisted that the outside garage door be painted due to chipping paint as well as a semi rotted door step be fixed before loan approval.
In my ignorance I thought if they were being so picky about these small things the rest of the house must be safe.
Now that I have lived here for 3 years I come to find that the fireplace that is in the living room shares a flue with the furnace. There is no seperation.
They just punched a hole 3 feet up from the fireplace floor for venting for the furnace and left the fireplace open .
It's either we seal the fireplace due to air pressure issues or spend lots of money seperating the two.
The plumbing is a joke as well.
Integrity appears to be a fairytale.,
 
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Old 08-02-05, 05:46 AM
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I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

It is perfectly acceptable to completely disconnect wires and leave them abandoned and in place. However, they cannot be live. How did the examiner determine that they were live?

You don't say exactly where these wires are (other than the ceiling). Does it look like they were feeding a light?

If the wires are truly no longer necessary, then you could find the other end and disconnect them. However, finding the other end may not be an easy task. You can leave them where they are, but if they are live you need to place the ends into a permanently accessible junction box. Permanently accessible means that the box cannot be hidden above drywall, and that the box must have a removable cover.
 
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Old 08-02-05, 06:54 AM
see7towers
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These wires are down in the cellar and just barely come out of the ceiling . How the examiner determined that these were live I don't know.
I was very ignorant to many things . We can place these in a junction box easily enough . This junction will sit on a beam and be readily accessable.
They look too wide , thick for just a light .
It saddens me to think that an electrician or DIY electrician would do such a thing as leave wires hanging like this .
Thanks for your help I really do appreciate it ,
Laura
 
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Old 08-02-05, 09:00 AM
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It's possible that this is Knob & Tube wiring. With K&T wiring, each individual wire was inserted into a thick black fibre sleeve, or "Loom", where the wire terminated, say at a lite-fixture.

You have implied the ceiling is "finished" with the wiring concealed above the ceiling finish. You may have to remove a section of the ceiling finish to examine the wiring above. If you do this, please submit a "report" of what you find/

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!
 
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Old 08-02-05, 09:22 AM
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You still need to find the source that is powering these wires so you can shut it off while you install the junction box. Whatever you do, do not attempt to install a j-box without de-energizing these wires. Use a neon tester to test the wires against a known ground.

If you don't know how to safely test whether or not the wires are live, call someone who does.

Once in the junction box, each wire should be capped off individually with a wire nut.
 
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Old 08-02-05, 11:25 AM
see7towers
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I thought if we cut power to the whole house it would cut power to these as well . Is this wrong thinking ?
Thanks for all your help .
Laura
 
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Old 08-02-05, 12:02 PM
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Cutting power to the house "should" cut power to those wires, but in what way would you like to find out? Seriously, anyone working on an electrical circuit or device should check it for voltage even if breakers are off, lights are out, etc. Wiring doesn't always follow ones logic or even law. You've already mentioned a strange situation.... I've seen a circuit wired into the hot side of a main fused disconnect on an older home. I'm guessing this was done due to nusiance fuse blowing?

BTW, in case Racraft misses this opportunity - you need to map your breakers anyway - document what receptacles and fixtures are controlled by every breaker. Now would be a good time to do that. It could save a life.
 
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Old 08-02-05, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by see7towers
I thought if we cut power to the whole house it would cut power to these as well . Is this wrong thinking ?
Thanks for all your help .
Laura
Usually, the main breaker or fuse will deenergize all wiring in the house. HOWEVER, you have to trust everyone who ever modified the electrical system always did the right thing. Bad assumption.

For example, when I moved into my house, the electric range was installed before the main fuse. Even with the main pulled, that one big ominous looking cable was still live, and that was installed sometime after 1960. The older the wiring, the more chance for unexpected problems. Unless you know for sure where the other end of that wire is connected, always test it with a neon tester before you touch it!
 
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Old 08-08-05, 01:10 AM
see7towers
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Thanks for all your help everyone , My husband knows an electrician from work that most likely help him out with this mess.
Again thanks for the heads up .
Laura
 
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Old 08-08-05, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by see7towers
Thanks for all your help everyone , My husband knows an electrician from work that most likely help him out with this mess.
Again thanks for the heads up .
Laura
great idea!

I think the most amazing part of this is the FHA inspector who obviously blew it bigtime. I can't believe the house was actually approved for the loan. Let's hope that "inspector" has a new line of work.
 
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