Removing Electrical Wiring


Old 02-03-06, 01:19 PM
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Removing Electrical Wiring

I am installing a new circuit for a spacesaver microwave. I am also removing the wiring for an exhaust fan that it will be replacing. I followed the wiring for the fan down into the crawlspace and up another wall into a light switch box. I cut the wire in the crawlspace, taped the separated (3) wires with electrical tape, and stapled it to a beam down there. I then separated the other end of the wire in the switch box and taped the ends, then left them in the box. The reason that I didn't completely remove the wire is that it is stapled to the beams in the wall and I didn't want to tear into another wall. Does this modification meet code, since the wire is no longer live? Or do I need to completely remove the wire, or at least remove the light switch end of the wire out of the box? I know the stapled/taped end of the wire in the crawlspace will look a little unusual, but I feel that could be explained to an inspector...

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Old 02-03-06, 01:52 PM
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Your removal job does not meet code because you left the end of the wire in the light switch junction box.

You have two options.

Install a junction box in the crawl space where you put the end of the cable. Cover this box with a blank cover.

Remove the wire from the light switch box. Cut the wire as close as you can to the location where it enters the box and then push it out. Then go and cut the wire right where it enters the crawl space. If the wire goes straight down the wall into the crawl space you can sometimes pull the wire all the way out.
Old 02-03-06, 02:14 PM
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What Bob said.
If the wires are left completely unusable then you can leave both ends free, even in the wall.
If one end is in a box, such as at the switch, then the other end must be boxed as well.
Old 02-06-06, 07:47 PM
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Thanks; I never thought to cut the wire short and try to push it out of the box. (It seems pretty obvious now...) But I was also worried about loose wires in the wall.

I'm going to try the pushing method. I'm not going to pull on the wire; there are two wires leading up the same hole from the crawlspace and I'm guessing they might be stapled to the wall with a single larger staple, so I don't want to mess with the other wire. (I've seen that in a few other places in my house.)

I take it from the answers that as long as I can get the one wire end out of the box I can leave the other loose end in the crawlspace, just in case it is difficult to push that end into the wall due to the proximity of the second wire. It might look a little funny, but at least I can explain that the other end has been removed from the box...
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