abandoning 3 circuits - removing wires?

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Old 03-02-14, 05:01 PM
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abandoning 3 circuits - removing wires?

Someone wired up 3 useless circuits.

All three in one 1/2" conduit. 5 #14's.
circuit A and B are a multiwire branch circuit (each only controls 1 outlet!!?)
circuit C (controls 3 can lights and 2 outlets).

I need the space in my panel. I would like to completely remove the multiwire circuits. I would like to remove the wires from the panel and conduit....

can I safely pull 3 of the 5 wires out of the pipe or are they likely tangled? And how do I know I am yanking the correct neutral wire?
 
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Old 03-02-14, 05:23 PM
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I would like to completely remove the multiwire circuits. I would like to remove the wires from the panel and conduit....

can I safely pull 3 of the 5 wires out of the pipe or are they likely tangled?
Yes you can safely remove 3 of the 5 wires and keep2. And yes, they may be overlapped or interwoven enough that it will be easier to pull all 5 out and pull 2 back in.

And how do I know I am yanking the correct neutral wire?
The one you keep or reinstall will be the correct one.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 03:20 AM
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More hackery... all three had to come out. No trying to pull out just two.

Whoever wired this put these on 20A circuits. They had 12 at the breakers but put #14 on the lights... don't think theres a valid reason for that? One 1900 box where all 3 circuits spliced was overfilled. I removed a union or two and they were not deburred either so I didn't feel comfortable trying to abandon only two of the 3.....
 
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Old 03-04-14, 06:10 AM
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They had 12 at the breakers but put #14 on the lights... don't think theres a valid reason for that?
Sure, there was at one time. That used to be allowed by the NEC just like using a 15 amp switch on a 20 amp lighting circuit.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 09:59 AM
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all three had to come out. No trying to pull out just two.
Did you tie a pull string onto the wires and pull that into the conduit as the wires came out?

I removed a union or two and they were not deburred either so I didn't feel comfortable trying to abandon only two of the 3.....
When pulling abandoned wires out, does it really matter if the insulation gets nicked in the process?
 
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Old 03-04-14, 05:21 PM
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Sure, there was at one time. That used to be allowed by the NEC just like using a 15 amp switch on a 20 amp lighting circuit.
When was this allowed?

I have a few other circuits where I found #14 on the switch legs and switched the breakers from 20 to 15 because of this....
 
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Old 03-04-14, 06:17 PM
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When was this allowed?
I believe through the '70s and '80s this was allowed. I am not exactly sure when the NEC changed to disallow it, but I have seen it many many times in past years, it was really common. If your lighting circuits are wired that way I really wouldn't worry about it, but if it bothers you that bad, change the breakers to 15 amps.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 07:07 PM
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if it bothers you that bad, change the breakers to 15 amps.
Or replace all of the 14AWG conductors with 12AWG, depending on the load.
 
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