question about removing a circuit that shares a neutral


Old 12-22-14, 07:08 AM
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question about removing a circuit that shares a neutral

I'm currently working on remodeling my office, and putting all the outlets in that office on a new circuit. I have found one existing outlet that is currently fed by a shared-neutral circuit. That is, there is 12-3 leaving the breaker box. The black wire of that 12-3 is connected to one breaker, the red wire is connected to another breaker. The two circuits share the white neutral.

The outlet that I want to remove is fed by the red wire. I have found a junction box where the 12-3 from the breaker box comes out, and the red goes to this outlet while the black carries on. I could simply unhook my outlet in this j-box, and then cap off the live red coming from the breaker box, correct?

However, it looks like this outlet is the only thing that is on this circuit! I can find nothing else. Therefore, I would like to remove this circuit completely, and free up one new spot in the breaker box. What is the proper way to remove the red wire from the breaker box? Note that I can't remove the entire piece of romex, as the black wire and the neutral will still be in service.

Do I just remove the red wire from its breaker? Do I trim it flush somewhere?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-22-14, 07:13 AM
pcboss's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
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I am not sure why you would want to abandon one circuit to add another. An extra circuit in an office setting is always a good thing.

If you wish to abandon the circuit turn the power off and remove the wire from the breaker and cap.
Old 12-22-14, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,099
Yes, unhook both ends of the red wire (at the junction box and at the panel), curl them up, cap them off, and leave these ends in the respective boxes. Don't cut them.

Where is the feed for the group of receptacles in that office where you want them to be on a new circuit?

You may find that it is easier to feed that group from the junction box where the red wire was just curled up or from the outlet box where the receptacle you want to remove used to be.. Then you could resurrect that red wire and hook it up again and share the neutral back to the panel again as the feed for that group of receptacles.

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