disconnected hot wire

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  #1  
Old 11-08-06, 03:13 PM
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disconnected hot wire

I'm replacing receptacles in a room I just remodeled and one had a disconnected hot wire. The oultet box has two cables going into it with one totally hooked up but the other has only the neutral and ground connected. The hot is snipped. At first I thought it broke off but it looks like it was done on purpose. I turned the power back on and the wire isn't getting any juice. There are no oulets or switches that aren't working. I have no idea what this could be for. Has anyone seen this before and should I keep the neutral and ground hooked up from this line???thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 11-08-06, 03:40 PM
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depending on several factors this is not uncommon...unfortunately You do need to find out where this goes (if anywhere) and remove if not hooked up on the other end. The reasons that this wire may not be hooked up are numerous. You will have to trace it back if at all possible.
 
  #3  
Old 11-08-06, 03:44 PM
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It's possible that at one time someone tapped into the receptacle for power. Rather than remove the cable when it was no longer needed, they may have simply cut the hot wire to de-energize the cable.

Unless you know where the cable goes, it's tough to say what it was once used for. I would suggest disconnecting the neutral and ground, and taping and capping all the ancillary wires just as a safety precaution.

Best wishes!
 
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Old 11-08-06, 04:33 PM
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What the others said, but I would suspect it used to be a switched 1/2 receptacle. Look in a switch junction box in the same room, for similar disconnected wires.
 
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Old 11-08-06, 04:35 PM
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thanks. I can't really find out where it leads to. The only thing I can think of is the room has recessed lights that were not origional in the house and before that I think it could have had one of those deals where a light switch is hooked up to an oultlet. Then they just cut it when the recessed lights were installed. I have a somewhat silly question about disconnecting the neutral and ground. Is it possible they are hooked into the system somehow and are being used?? thanks
 
  #6  
Old 11-08-06, 04:59 PM
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I would suspect that that unused cable was sending power down-stream to someting else ( the replaced light?). They just whacked the black hot wire, instead of doing it right, and removing them all.

Theoretically, the matching neutral and ground should be part of the same "go nowhere" circuit and could be disconnected.
The assumption here is that the 2 neutrals and 2 grounds are both respectively "tied" together, i.e. - the neutral isn't hooked to a black, or anything really stupid like that)
 
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Old 11-08-06, 06:05 PM
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Disconnect the neutral & ground "not used", and see if everything works.
If you loose something, then you must address it. sooner than later.
 
  #8  
Old 11-09-06, 12:34 PM
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I disconnected the neutral and ground and the light in my hallway stopped working. It's a 3 way that you can turn on in the hall or the garage. I opened up the switch junction box in the hall and found the other end of the snipped hot wire. The neutral is being used on the 3 way and goes to the neutral terminal on the receptale in the room next door. Wierd.
 
  #9  
Old 11-09-06, 12:47 PM
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Someone improperly wired this. They most likely added the extra switch in the garage.

You need to fix this, and soon. What you have now is an unsafe situation. This is especially true if for some reason these are different circuits.

Until you fix this, leave the neutral disconnected and do without the hallway light.

If you want out help fixing this, tell us all the wiring at the various switch boxes and tell us if the receptacle and light are on the same or different circuits.
 
  #10  
Old 11-09-06, 01:03 PM
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the receptical and light are on the same circut. Too be honest with you I think this might be how the house was originally wired. I wouldn't even know where to start fixing this.
 
  #11  
Old 11-09-06, 01:05 PM
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This is NOT how the house was originally wired, at least not if done by a proper electrician.

We can help you, but you have to tell us ALL the wires in the boxes.

Or you can call a reputable electrician.

But leave that neutral wire disconnected, as it is wrong and dangerous.
 
  #12  
Old 11-09-06, 01:11 PM
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ok I will take a look at all the wires in the boxes and post back in a few. thanks
 
  #13  
Old 11-09-06, 01:47 PM
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As far as I can see they used 2 wire cable for everything. The switch in the garage is getting the power. The common terminal has hot wire and the white snipped. Everything grounded. Then the travelers are black and white. The switch in the hall has black and white traveler again and black common. The light box has everything hooked up like normal. Inside the switch box in the hall where the cable from the light is coming the neutral is connected to the neutral that goes to the receptacle. So as far as I can see they hooked that up for a neutral connection from the light. They didn't use 3 wire cable so thats why everything seems so whacky. This is just what I think. thanks
 
  #14  
Old 11-09-06, 01:55 PM
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I suspect the garage switch was added, and rather do so properly, they did so using cable they had.

Replace the wire from the hall to the garage with proper three conductor (plus ground) cable. Then fix the wiring to either eliminate the power into the garage box or the run from the receptacle to the hall switch.

Or eliminate the garage switch entirely.

Either one of the above is the proper solution. Doing nothing is the WRONG solution.
 
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