remove wiring

Old 05-22-01, 06:59 AM
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I am tearing down a wall, which has an outlet on it. What is the best thing to do with the wire, which is contained within the wall? Example, Do I terminate the wire somehow? or do I pull the wire out all the way to the circuit breaker?

I haven't looked yet, but I'm assuming the wire was run through other walls to get to the wall I'm tearing down.

Old 05-22-01, 09:43 AM
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Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
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I will assume you will not replace that wall, so the wire and everything else on that wall will have to go in any case. First of all, never, ever under any circumstances leave a termination concealed in a wall. NEC required that ALL terminations of any kind be accessible.

Like the postman, wire runs make numerous stops along the way to their destination. I would suggest removing the wire back to the last place it has stopped. It is unusual for a cable to hot up one receptacle only, so removing the wire all the way back to the breaker is probably not the answer. Kill the breaker and take an inventory of what other receptacles became de-energized. Try to imagine where the wire you removed heads back to. A recep on the end of a run usually comes from a recep that is upstream. When you find which recep that is, remove the wires that go from it to the recep you're removing. Now the line in the wall you're removing should be dead.

If it will be unreasonably difficult to totally remove that cable from the walls through which it travels, you may cut it off flush AT BOTH ENDS and stuff it into the walls out of reach, then you can close up the walls and forget about it. But before you do, separate the wires at both ends so they cannot touch anything, and with the children safely supervised and far from the area turn the breaker back on and test the wires at both ends for voltage, to make absolutely certain that they are not connected to anything whatsoever. Abandoning a piece of dead, fully disconnected wire in the walls is acceptable, as it becomes nothing more than a harmless piece of scrap metal. It's always a nice touch for future owners if you are able to label it at both ends as "disconnected & abandoned".

Hope that helps.


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