Attic Wiring, Junction Boxes and Electrical Safety
By Dave Rongey - Summary:|
How to Store Unused Electrical Wires: Is it safe to leave live wires capped in switch box covered by flat plate?
Electrical Safety and Unused Attic Wiring
- Having disconnected a 3-wire wall switch to an attic-mounted whole house fan, is it safe to leave live wires capped in the switch box covered by flat plate?
- The wires don’t touch each other or the box; they are capped.
- Is it safe to leave the fan hard-wired to the attic junction box?
This electrical question came from: John, a Homeowner from Naperville, Illinois.
Thanks for your electrical question John.
How to Store Unused Electrical Wires
Application: Storing Electrical Wiring in a Junction Box.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Certified Electrician or Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Important: Burnt or damaged wiring and circuit components should be replaced with new electrical materials of the same voltage and amperage rating.
Notice: Repairs or changes to Home Electrical Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes and installing new or replacement electrical parts or equipment may require to have a permit and be inspected.
What to do with Unused Electrical Wiring
- Placing a fold of electrical tape over the end of a unused wire is fine in a temporary situation, but not as a long term solution.
- It is best to screw a wire connector over the end of the wires and cover the box with a blank plate as you have mentioned.
- I don’t know if there is a problem with the whole house fan, but as long as the power source will not be connected to it then you can leave the wiring in the attic junction box and cap off the wires and covering the junction box as mentioned.
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.