What to do with Unused Electrical Circuit Wiring
How do I disconnect the electrical wires and leave them in the panel for future use? 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 them 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.
Thanks for your electric wiring question Corine.
Disconnecting Unused 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.
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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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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