Help?

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  #1  
Old 08-07-14, 06:01 PM
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Help?

hey everyone!

Not sure if this is the right section to post this but if moderators have to move it,please do!

Anyways, I've been renovating my home lately and one of the rooms had this like 50 year old heater (was there before with the previous owner of the house) that nobody ever touched and had been collecting dust and just looked ugly. I decided to unscrew it and remove it. Now I removed 3 wires coming out of the wall from the heater and taped them up with electrical tape and gently tucked them back inside the wall so that I can cover up the hole where the wires were coming out of. Before I cover up the big whole, I just want to make sure I am safe and that my house isn't going to burn down. I wrapped all 3 wires very well with electrical tape (1 wire was a solid copper wire, the other one was a black wire with exposed end, and finally a white wire with exposed end). I taped up all 3 of them with electrical tape and just want to make sure that nothing will happen!

Thanks

UPDATE!
Here are 2 pictures I took just to give people an idea.
http://imgur.com/a/00lNr
 
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  #2  
Old 08-07-14, 06:05 PM
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You need to disconnect them at the breaker box. Label both ends as "abandoned" using tape and a marker. Electrical tape isn't the best choice, you should use a large wire nut and twist them all together at both ends.
 
  #3  
Old 08-07-14, 06:12 PM
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here are the pictures:
imgur: the simple image sharer

Also, wrap them together?? Isn't that going to cause a short? I'm not even sure if they are connected to the breaker box :/ not sure where the other ends are to be honest.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 06:13 PM
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I use white electrical tape. That would make the marking clearer.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 06:19 PM
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An electric heater should be on a specific separate circuit. If not, thats an indication of how bad the prior owners work was.

At a minimum, if you don't do as I said previously, you need to cap each wire and leave it in an electrical box with a blank cover.

You can't just take a hot cable and tape the ends and stick it in the wall.

Twisting them together in a wire nut AT BOTH ENDS alerts anyone that they are old and unused. No, don't just do it at the load end, though that will tell you quickly what circuit they are on.
 
  #6  
Old 08-07-14, 06:20 PM
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Ok so i went to my fuse box and did see the that it certainley is connected to my fuse box... problem is... I dont know which one it is. The labelling on the fuse box isn't clear. Is there any sort of test i can do to see which one of the fuses it is? I have a multimeter if this helps in anyway. I dont even know if it was a heater. It was just this big thing stuck to the wall. I'm just guessing its a heater
 
  #7  
Old 08-07-14, 06:24 PM
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I just dont know which breaker it is on my breaker box. There are tons and the labeling isn't too clear.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 08-07-14 at 07:47 PM. Reason: breaker was fuse
  #8  
Old 08-07-14, 06:27 PM
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Well, they make tools to trace what cable goes to what circuit...but (and don't yell at me Pro's!!!) you can carefully short the white to the black...and after the spark and arc...you'll know which breaker its on.

If you don't feel comfortable with that, call a handyman/electrician.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 06:35 PM
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Do you have fuses or breakers. It is very odd to see a fuse box even if the home is 50 years old. Weather a fuse box or breaker box can influence our advice.
 
  #10  
Old 08-07-14, 06:47 PM
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Ok so I did quickly short it and the circuit breaker did trip in my basement. However, I'm a little scared to open my circuit breaker box. Is it hard? What do I have to do to be totally safe of all electricity? I just dont want to burn my house down or kill myself :P What if I just leave the breaker off and mark it Abandoned without disconnecting the wires from the breaker? I just want to be totally safe of all electricity.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 08-07-14 at 07:49 PM.
  #11  
Old 08-07-14, 06:50 PM
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Sorry not fuse, its a circuit breaker. Not a fuse!! I keep mixing the terms up! its a circuit breaker box (where the circuit breaker trips and i have to turn on the circuit breaker again). It was labeled "Dashboard Heater" and it is now turned off after shoring the two wires together.
 
  #12  
Old 08-07-14, 07:05 PM
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Once the cover is removed from the panel the wire or wires would be unscrewed from the breaker terminals and capped and tucked out of the way or removed entirely from the panel. Only make changes with the power off.

Creating a dead short to identify a breaker or fuse is not a safe procedure.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 07:06 PM
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If you feel up to it, it's nothing more than turning off the main breaker...normally labeled as such... unscrewing the hot wire from the tripped breaker and the ground and neutral in the same cable from their respective bars, then capping and labeling.
 
  #14  
Old 08-07-14, 07:31 PM
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Just wondering, when I used my multimeter and connected one end to ground and another to black and then white wire, it would read 1.5 volts? Why is that? I mean the breaker is off so shouldn't there techincally be no electricity running through?
 

Last edited by pcboss; 08-07-14 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 08-07-14, 07:36 PM
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Because you are using a digital meter that can not reject induced (ghost voltage) due to its high impedance. We often recommend an analog multimeter. That would probably show 0 volts. Note some expensive digital meters do handle induced voltages with special circuits but even a cheap analog will do it because of its much lower impedance.
 
  #16  
Old 08-07-14, 08:32 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys! So I decided to call an electrician as im afraid of doing it myself. Sounds very easy and doable , it's just that I'd rather pay the $100 for someone certified to do it than pay thousands for fire damage to my home.
 
  #17  
Old 08-07-14, 08:36 PM
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It is good to know your comfort level. While there you may want them to explain how the panel works if they are willing and you stay out of the way so you do not cause them to lose time.
 
  #18  
Old 08-08-14, 12:55 PM
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Hey guys,

Just to update the thread and get everyones opinion, I contacted 5 different electricians and they all quoted me $100+ and one even said $200 just for simply removing the wires from my circuit breaker box and capping it. It was unbelievable how they charged such outrageous numbers for a small task that i didn't think would cost me more than $50-$60. I went ahead and googled circuit breaker basics and how to safely remove it and etc. After a few hours of reading and researching, I went ahead and did what many of you recommended.

I went to my local hardware store and bought the caps and some white tape for labeling. I used a red cap and capped the ground,white,and black wire in my room and tucked it in to the wall. I then turned off the main breaker (i tested to make sure all electricity and everything had been turned off) and opened the main panel of my main breaker. I located the breaker that tripped and turned the screws and took out the black and white wires out of it and capped it with a yellow wire nut. I tucked it in a corner and did the labeling. screwed everything back in and everything seems to be perfect.

I just took pictures of my work to show to everyone so i can get opinions of my work. I tried pulling the wires out of the wire nut after capping just for extra safety that they were safely capped and they were not going to go loose. I just want everyone to give me their opinion and tell me if everything looks ok. Thanks!

Images are here:
http://imgur.com/a/D4lOO
 
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Old 08-08-14, 01:03 PM
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Sounds like you did everything right.

Oops, the pic just showed up. Well, not quite right. The wire itself should be marked with a tape flag saying abandoned. No reason to put a label on the panel, just clean off any markings on it and turn the breaker off.
 
  #20  
Old 08-08-14, 01:03 PM
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The only thing i left and did not want to touch was the ground wire in my circuit breaker box only because I know the ground isn't harmful so I left it as such and it was a little confusing since there was a lot of other grounds and i didn't want to unscrew the wrong ground wire.
 
  #21  
Old 08-08-14, 01:06 PM
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Thanks a lot gunguy45. You were a huge help for me and helped me save a lot of money! I just want to reassure myself because you said to remove ground/neutral wire and I didn't touch that in my circuit breaker box just because it was a little confusing and i didn't want to remove the wrong ground/neutral wire. From my knowledge, I google it and the ground wire produces no electricity and that it isn't a big deal. Is this ok?

Also, if someone in the future does accidently turn the circuit breaker to on position (future homeowners,someone dumb, etc.) Will anything happen? I mean it is just a circuit breaker and considering no wires are connected,nothing should happen but just want to make sure!
 
  #22  
Old 08-08-14, 01:19 PM
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Turning on a breaker with nothing connected to it is not an issue.
 
  #23  
Old 08-08-14, 01:24 PM
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Ok thanks for the answer. Finally, not removing the ground wire (it was screwed in with a screw to a metal bar) is ok, right? I know its a dumb question, i just want to double check and make sure. Other than that, thank you everyone for the help! Helped me a lot
 
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Old 08-08-14, 01:33 PM
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Encouraging someone to trace a circuit by creating an intentional short is very poor advice.

Lucky the gentlemen didn't get hurt by a number of different things posted in this thread.
 
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Old 08-08-14, 01:33 PM
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See my addition to my last post about labeling. No, there shouldn't be any issue with leaving the ground and no nothing will happen if the breaker is turned on.
 
  #26  
Old 08-08-14, 02:04 PM
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Ok thanks! Just wanted to make sure my wiring and such was done correctly. The labeling isn't that big of a deal for me since I know what is what and I just dont want to re open my breaker box and such. It is the only wire that is capped so it should make sense to anyone in the future that it is related to the abandoned breaker. If I ever need to open the box in the future, ill do it , however for the time being, I'm ok with it. Thanks for all the help!
 
  #27  
Old 08-08-14, 09:02 PM
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Sorry for posting in the thread again, but i had a small question...

Why is it that people recommend using wire nuts over electrical tape in home wiring and wiring done on a bigger scale. Even a previous electrician told me this and said electrical tape is not a good idea to use in homes and on a bigger scale. Why is this? Why are wire nuts recommended over electrical tape?
 
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Old 08-08-14, 09:11 PM
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If you are going to use tape then the correct procedure is
  • Twist the wires together.
  • Solder the wires.
  • Wrap with rubber tape.
  • Wrap with friction tape.
Now doesn't putting a wire nut on seem a lot easier.
 
  #29  
Old 08-08-14, 09:25 PM
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Wire nuts don't make a mess like sticky tape residue. Measurements can also be taken with a wire but in place and they are more secure.
 
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Old 08-08-14, 09:51 PM
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Thanks for the info.

If they use wire nuts in home wiring, why dont they use it in on smaller pcb? I work a lot with cell phone/video game console repair and we never use wire nuts. We always use electrical tape to insulate the wire from touching the metal casing of the console/phone if we are ever required to do any wiring inside the console/phone.
 
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Old 08-08-14, 09:54 PM
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Tape also eventually dries out and loses adhesion. Maybe not in 1 yr or even 5...but eventually. Self vulcanizing rubber tape is better...but expensive and not commonly available.
 
  #32  
Old 08-09-14, 07:51 AM
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Why are wire nuts recommended over electrical tape?
Mechanical pressure securing the splice is also a code requirement, a wire nut is the easiest way to meet the requirement.

I contacted 5 different electricians and they all quoted me $100+ and one even said $200 just for simply removing the wires from my circuit breaker box and capping it. It was unbelievable how they charged such outrageous numbers for a small task that i didn't think would cost me more than $50-$60.
First of all, a telephone quote for something unseen will always be high. Those quotes include a man's time driving to and from your home, the time to do the small job (may be a 1 hour minimum charge), the cost of the service truck with tools, fuel, insurance on the truck/tools, liability and worker's comp insurance, licensing costs, the man's benefits and wages and profit. All of these things can easily equal $100/hour.
 
  #33  
Old 08-09-14, 12:18 PM
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Ya i understand. Makes sense. Anyways, I just wanted to update the thread because i did go back and label the wires and put ABANDON around the wire nut to indicate the wires have been abandoned. I left the marking on the panel just incase anyone in the future knows the breaker is related to the wires. Here is a picture imgur: the simple image sharer so if anybody could verify that it looks good

Here is a quote from another site a user made
"It is not clear from the pictures but have you included the ground wire (bare copper) with the black and white in the panel. If not then if the cable is still connected to ground then in the case of a fault elsewhere that whole cable could be come live (for a very short time)."
and I went and looked if i could unscrew the ground wire however the ground was twisted with a bunch of other ground wires and hidden behind all the other breaker wires that it was next to impossible to locate which ground corresponded with the one I was trying to unscrew so I left it as it was. If the cable does become live for a very short time, could this cause a serious damage?
 
  #34  
Old 08-09-14, 12:42 PM
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If the cable does become live for a very short time, could this cause a serious damage?
I wouldn't worry about it. If it was a hazard then so would all your grounded appliances in your kitchen, basement and garage be hazards. Anything that is grounded would be of equal hazard. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
 
  #35  
Old 08-09-14, 12:51 PM
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I'm not sure if it would be better to leave as is or to maybe cut the ground where you CAN see it and then cap both cut ends??

I'm not sure about that other persons comment either. It was a dedicated circuit to a single device. You abandoned the other end correctly and did the best you felt capable of in the box. How exactly would a fault elsewhere cause that ground to become live? It would have to be a serious issue that would quickly trip the breaker associated with the circuit with the problem. Sounds like a non issue to me, maybe a Pro will have better insight?
 
  #36  
Old 08-09-14, 12:59 PM
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Any fault current is trying to get back to the source. It is not going upstream to other devices in the house.
 
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Old 08-09-14, 01:28 PM
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thank you everyone for your input!
 
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