regarding abandoning an outlet


Old 12-17-00, 11:48 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

One of the circuits in my house is severly overloaded with the fridge, washing machine, microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, etc. Yes, the washing machine is on the kitchen circuit even though it is in the basement! I'm planning to correct this. I have it already planned to get a new microwave combo/vent that will have a new dedicated line to it. It will be replacing a counter-top microwave that is plugged into this already over loaded circuit. There is no outlet for this which makes it simple, I'll just install a new one, in other words I won't have to go through the trouble to fish new wire into an existing outlet. However I will run into this situation when I try to upgrade the 4 outlets that are left in the kitchen. I would like to just bring up 2 additional lines instead of using these outlets. The new lines would be a larger wire 12g. I'm pretty sure the existing wire is 14, as the fuse panel contains 15 amp. fuses. The wire is also original to the house 1940's, romex type with a cloth covering. There is no ground in this wiring. So, it should seem obvious the new lines of larger wire and with a ground wire plus GFCI would be most beneficial and safe. What would you think I could do with the old outlets? I have heard that you shoudn't hide boxes in the wall. I have traced the wiring to a junction box in the basement and if I find out that disconnecting the wires in there disables all the outlets in the kitchen, then could I take out those now defunct outlets. They would be dead, or does code require you to pull everything dead or not? If someone responds that I should try to fish new wire in the existing outlets- I would have to say that would probably be impossible as the wiring goes through the top of outlet box and extends to the next one through the bottom of box. Without putting holes in all the walls I don't see how this would be done. I put in a new line for a dishwasher as well as a dedicated line for my computer, so I do have experience. It's just that I don't know everything. I have two available slots(fuses unused) in my fuse box. Come springtime I may call an electrician to update the service to 3 wire and replace the fuse box with breaker box. This upgrade will put me deeper in the poor house so I do a lot of the electrical myself. What would you do in this situation?
Sponsored Links
Old 12-18-00, 11:09 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
If you have existing receptacles you still want to use that are fed from the old receptacles and you can not reroute around those existing recepacles, then I suggest you leave the existing receptacles where they were untouched and add a new receptacle next to that existing receptacle by installing a new box with the 12/2 wire feeding that new receptacle. Having two receptacles next to each other shouldn't hurt a thing and the important part is you took the heavier loads off the old wiring.

If you can route around the existing receptacle thus completing the old circuit without that receptacle then match the same size wire the is on that older circuit and route a wire from the point the removable receptacle is fed to the point where you want to still use the existing receptacles. You should be able to tape the route around wire installed from the source feeding the receptacle to be removed and tap into the rest of the receptacle string that will become dead at any point in that string of receptacles.

If you are sure that you have permanantly de-energized [disconnected totally] an existing wire and its device, then you can either remove the de-energized wiring and device or just cover it up as not being there. DO NOT COVER ANY JUNCTIONS THAT ARE STILL CONNECTED TO THE SYSTEM.

If you have successfully disconnected a wire and / or its device from the electrical system then this disconnected wiring or device box is no longer considered electrical equipment, but just metal in a wall like a nail etc.

It is best to remove old wiring and devices, but in reality once disconnected from the electrical system, it can be buried or hidden or covered.

Hope this helps

Old 12-19-00, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 1,052
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Sowewo, a note about upgrading your service. I did my own recently and it feels great, I'll tell you. I'm not an electrician but have 20+ years experience. I changed out a 60 amp 4-fuse panel for a new 150 amp breaker panel. Just about the same time as I was busting my butt on this project my brother calls me up and says he had his replaced professionally. He described the full-service and minimal inconvenience to his family during the project, which was done a couple days after he called for an estimate, and says it's the best $900 he ever spent. For this price he got a 100 amp panel and had his existing circuits transferred over as-is. He also did all of the following, which is my standard description this very common "package deal" done by electricians every day.

The electrician will probably replace your old 60 amp service entrance cable (from the utility's aerial cable point of attachment down to the meter and inside to the new panel), and if your meter is inside your utility will probably require it to be moved outdoors. Your electrician will apply for the permit and inspection, contact your utility for the cut-over and pay any fees, do all the necessary coordination, and in the end simply hand you a bill that covers everything.

As far as doing your own wiring, the electrician who performs your upgrade will swap any existing cables he finds connected to your fuse box over to the new breakers. If some of these are your new circuits I would hope that you have done your home wiring correctly. The electrician will apply for the inspection for a particular piece of work (the service upgrade) and will have only that piece of work inspected. But any consciensious inspector will be duty-bound to point out any situation that would present a clear and present danger to people or property, and may require that it be corrected and re-inspected. So I hope your own wiring is sound. But not so that you don't get busted, but so that your family is safe.

Hope that I was helpful.

Old 12-19-00, 11:09 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

Thank you Wg for your input once again. I'll most likely de-energize the circuit as I don't like the fact there is no ground in the circuit. I'll have to take a more thorough look at this circuit before I proceed.
Hey Juicehead, thanks for giving me an idea of how the service upgrade will look like. It just happens that I had some questions about this very thing. I have been assuming I have 60 amp service all this time, due to the fact I have two wire service, and that is what my trusted friend had told me. Taking a closer look at the panel has me puzzled: actually two panels (there are two meters; house has apartment set up-separate electric upstairs from downstairs)
The two panels are identical. The information on the cover of the panel is as follows; Made by Wadsworth, A. 100, V. 120/240, 3 poles. The fuse box inside looks like this;
Two cartridge pull outs, one labeled main lights and the other main range. The fuse sockets underneath appear as this
0 0 0 0
0 0
So, I have 6 fuses in each panel. Looking in my electric book they showed a picture of a 60 amp panel and there were only 4 fuse sockets. Is it possible I have 100 amp service?
Juicehead! Only $900 dollars! I figured something like this would require taking out a home equity loan. I figured $2000 to 2500. But of course while the electrician is in my house at that time, I will want him to do a full inspection of all wiring, to deem it safe, and that won't be free. Thanks again to all you guys that help out people like me. This site is so informative. southwestworms (sowewo)
Old 12-20-00, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 1,052
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Hey Sowewo,

I believe from the model number that you do in fact have a 100 amp panel. I didn't realize, of course, that you have a two family service. That will certainly up the ante. By how much I'm not sure. I have seen installations very similar to yours, where two 60 or 100 amp panels are being fed by an old cloth covered #4 aluminum service entrance (SE) cable, which I believe is rated for 60 amps. (Since 100 is the minimum now allowed by the NEC for dwellings it's not even listed in their table.) If you go with two 100 amp services I would recommend, and your electrician will probably specify this, that he installs a #4/0 aluminum SE cable, which is rated at 200 amps. But as 100 amps is the minimum requirement you might want to consider two 150 amp services. This will require a #350kcmil SE cable, much fatter, which is rated for 300 amps. This setup will make the building much more attractive if you decide to sell it some day. But if you do this, and put in two Square D QO series breaker panels, you probably ARE looking at around $2000.

But not to worry. Knowing what you're looking at can lead to peace of mind and good planning for the day when you are finally able to do this thing. So I would recommend that you get 3 estimates from reputable electrical contractors. Often your city, town or village maintains a "short list" of contractors that have good track records with them and are known to do high quality work. There's also a "Need a Contractor?" link on this site.

One thing I'd like to mention about running new cable through your kitchen. There's a little method I've seen electricians use for that in old houses. If you're any good at all with drywall tape & compound that is. They would get out their trusty stud finder, locate the studs and bust a fist-sized hole in the wall between each one. Then get a 12" ling by 9/16" spade drill bit and drill a hole through each stud in the very center, then feed your new cable across the room that way. Just a thought.

See ya 'round.

Old 12-20-00, 07:12 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Ya, just had contractor upgrade my 60 amp fuse box to 200amp service/breaker--was going to do it myself--this was one of the few things I have paid someone to do--after watching them for five hours--I'm very glad I did. $995 for 150amp $180 more for 200amp--so I went for it. He told me I could power 3 homes that size! Wow I really have a lot of breaker room for expansion--hope I get return when I sell! Plus I get free power until the power company desides to hook up the meter! could be a month!
Old 12-20-00, 07:18 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
By the way juicehead was right--I had a 100amp fuse box(two pull outs and eight screw in fuses) but the pull outs were only 60amps--ie. most likely only 60amp service cable. Also had two 30 amp boxes jumped off the service lugs! not run through box! hence need for upgrade.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: