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What to do with Unused Electrical Circuit Wiring


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Disconnecting Unused Electrical Wires: How to Keep Spare Electrical Wiring Safe for Future Use.


Safe Keeping for Unused Electrical Wires

Electrical Question: How do I disconnect the electrical wires and leave it in the panel for future use?

  • I installed a gas furnace and want to use the old furnace circuit.
  • How do I correctly disconnect the electrical wire to the furnace to leave it in the panel for future use?

This home electrical question came from: Corine, a Homeowner from Auburn, Washington.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electric wiring question Corine.

Disconnecting Unused Electrical Wires

electrical-wires

Application: Disconnecting Electrical Circuit Wiring.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: The existing furnace circuit should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

How to Keep Electrical Wiring Safe for Future Use

The process of disconnecting and safe keeping of unused electrical wires to be available for future use.

  • Identify the old furnace circuit at the electrical panel.
  • Turn the circuit breaker into the OFF position.
  • At the old furnace location, the circuit wiring should be completely disconnected and removed from the old furnace.
  • Install the circuit cable into a junction box where each insulated wire is capped off using wire nuts or insulated wire connectors, then place a blank cover over the junction box.
  • A surface mounted junction box is typically installed for this procedure when the box is sized appropriately for the size of the circuit wires.
  • The exact type of junction box will depend on the location and available access to the circuit cable.
  • The junction box should have a clamp or fastener for the cable, and the cable should be secured using a cable strap or staple where the cable is exposed before entering the junction box.
  • The circuit breaker should now be relabeled as the old furnace circuit and that it is unused or spare.

IMPORTANT:
Electrical panels have exposed wiring and components that are energized with electricity. It is not recommended that homeowners perform work in electrical panels but rather contact a qualified electrician who has experience working in home electrical panels.

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2 Responses to “What to do with Unused Electrical Circuit Wiring”
  1. Jason says:

    Where in the code does it say I have to use industrial inuse covers?


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