Frustrated with screwball wiring.

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Old 01-25-16, 07:03 PM
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Frustrated with screwball wiring.

A few years ago I bought a house... the first year I corrected and upgraded lots of electrical. I found lots of screwball wiring. I thought I had gotten most of it.... until today my frustrations came to a head again when in my attic I find a flex metal conduit coiled up in the blown in insulation.

It seemed kind of long so I brushed off the insulation and find one end connected to an electrical box and the other end with two wires just dangling with wire nuts in the inusulation. Someone took the time to snip off the bare copper under the nuts too... so it was intentional.

I couldn't believe my eyes and sure enough, after crawling down to get my tester, the damn thing was live. I think it once fed a stove and someone a-hole just tossed it into the insulation I suppose when removing it for some reason.


I disconnected the wires in the box and removed the whip from it. I really have no idea where the other end was supposed to go and I am kinda freaked out by my lack of knowing.

So my reason for posting, besides venting my frustrations....

so how much of a safety issue was this?
should I route around in my attic insulation to find any other issues now? Or just cross my fingers?


Any advice or anything is appreciated.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 07:22 PM
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It is a code violation so therefore it is a safety issue. Somebody was just being lazy and not caring. IF the live wires were to come in contact with each other, a critter starts chewing them, or start arcing they could start a fire. Now the chances of that happening are fairly remote, but if they were terminated properly that chance would be zero.

IDK if I would go swimming in itch to see what else I could find. Only you will know if it is worth it.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 07:35 PM
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I really have no idea where the other end was supposed to go and I am kinda freaked out by my lack of knowing
You didn't say what size the flex was. With only 2 wires I'm assuming it's small and not for an oven.

Small abandoned (wrongly abandoned) flex might have went to some type of old ceiling vent fan, a kitchen vent hood, or a gable roof vent fan. Those would be my guesses.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 07:50 PM
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handyone- it was 2x#12 (in 3/8 or 1/2" flex) and it was indeed in the area of the vent hood exaust. (in fact, I had to fix that a few years ago too because of another flying splice I found in the wall behind it when someone hacked in a GFCI outlet for a over the range microwave. )

Its likely related but I am paranoid like it pulled out of some hidden box somewhere. However, since the wire were snipped and the caps were on them when I found it coiled and dangling today, I don't think that's possible.
 
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Old 01-26-16, 05:44 AM
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I have high confidence this cable was for the vent hood, I've torn out hundreds over the years.

The flex would have come down inside the hood cabinet, not in the wall behind it. This exposed cable needed to be protected and that's why you had flex.
So everything was done correctly until it was improperly abandoned, and you took care of that.
Good job.
 
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Old 01-26-16, 05:08 PM
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It is not really any more dangerous than extending wire or installing fixture without junction box.
Which I see all the time in old apartments remodeled by cheap labor. Lights are mounted straight onto drywall with wire nut inside drywall.

It is not 100% safe, but I'd say chance of something happening is very rare as long as wires were capped off and wasn't buried in highly flammable material.


But then, if I were you, I will make sure there are no other live wires left dangling.
 
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