Right way to remove under cabinet kitchen lights

Old 01-22-14, 08:03 PM
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Right way to remove under cabinet kitchen lights

Hi--I had very ugly fluorescent under cabinet lights in my kitchen. There were a total of 4 lights spaced a few feet apart along the wall, and there was one toggle switch that controlled all of them together. There is also a toggle switch on the same box for the insinkerator. Anyway, I hired an electrician who came out to remove the lighting. He was very young and working alone so I am not sure what he did was right.

He removed the lights and metal casings and there were a bunch of wires coming out from a hole in the wall behind where the lights used to be. He said, "What do you want me to do with the wires?" I said, "I have no ideado what's safe to doI'm not an electrician." He then asked if I was planning to put new lights up and I said, "Yes at some point, I am. That could be a year or two from now."

He suggested pushing the wires back in the wall. I saw him wrap some tape at the end of each set of wires and pushed them into the hole in the wall. He said he also disconnected the wires from the switch, so the switch would no longer work. I asked if this was safe and he said yes because the switch wasn't hooked up (or something of that sort).

I'm a little concerned. I was planning to drywall over the holes. In general, if an electrician tells you its safe--it's safe, right?
Old 01-22-14, 08:23 PM
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In general, if an electrician tells you its safe--it's safe, right?
Young or not, electricians have gone to school or are apprenticed and are surely licenced... so generally, yes. Of course this is not to say that some electricians don't bend the rules sometimes, but a good one will not.

If he says it's safe and it's disconnected, I would believe him.

The fact that the wire is still in the wall is not a problem.

I'm not sure what you would have rather had him do? Are you saying you want him to rip off all your drywall to actually remove all the old wires? I don't think you would want that. Its unnecessary.

The box that your switches are in is merely a junction box of sorts. Live wires must always end in an accessible receptacle. Wires that are abandoned and disconnected do not. If the wire has been disconnected, then no power is running through those wires... they are simply abandoned. Sometimes it is not practical to remove abandoned wires. Since you have thoughts of putting new lights up, the wire might possibly be reused someday. Which is a good reason to leave it in place.
Old 01-23-14, 02:06 AM
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Placing the cables in junction boxes with exposed covers would have been the correct way of doing it based on your answer to the question about future use. He should not have stuffed them in the wall where there is a remote chance someone can physically connect them to the switch. Cutting the cable in the switchbox too short to use or reconnect would make the stuffing OK.
Old 01-23-14, 03:35 AM
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Cutting the cable in the switchbox too short to use or reconnect would make the stuffing OK.
Thereby rendering the wire useless for future use as requested by the customer. The exact same thing happened to my daughter's remodel in her house. The electricians assumed she wanted under counter lights. When she protested they just stuffed the wires back in the wall and disconnected the switch, but did not cut the wires.
Old 01-23-14, 04:39 PM
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I agree that this was not the best way to handle the cables knowing that there were plans for lights in the future.

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