There's an outlet above my stove inside a cabinet that provides
electricity for my microwave. Unfortunately, the circuit it is on is
overloaded with other items at times so I am in the process of running
a dedicated line from my circuit breaker box to the microwave outlet.
Ideally, I could just remove the overloaded circuit wires from outlet
and connect the wires from the new dedicated circuit to the outlet.
However, what do I do with the leftover hot wires from the old
overloaded circuit? I can get to the ends of the wire (obviously
because they were attached to the outlet) but I can't get to the rest
of the wire because it's inside the wall...
Note: the wires from the overloaded circuit outlet are at the end of
the run (no outlets after it so just terminating it is OK).
Thanks for any feedback...
1. If you can find the next outlet, light fixture, or junction box upstream,
disconnect it there, loosen the clamps, and push the abandoned run back into
the wall. As long as the wire is disconnected on both ends, abandoning it in
place is perfectly legal. Clipping off the stripped ends will be a good clue
to the guy finding it 20 years from now. Do the same thing in the outlet
above the stove. Fish the 12-3 for the dedicated run, and you are good to
2. (probably easier) just cap the end of the wires, and put a blank cover on
the outlet, and use an old-work box for the new outlet. Or just leave
existing outlet as is, add the dedicated outlet, and label both with a
Sharpie so the next owner knows not to use the overloaded outlet for the
micro. Overloaded outlet would probably still be okay for powering a
transformer to run low-voltage puck lights for under-cabinet accent lights
Thanks for your feedback guys. My plan was/is to terminate the circuit
inside an upstream outlet box just before the outlet in question if at
all possible. That seems like the cleanest solution. However, I have
a sinking feeling that the outlet in question may be branched off from
a breakout box I can't access.
I guess option two is to install ANOTHER outlet next to the existing
one and label accordingly but I kind of didn't want to do that.
What if I cap the wires off inside the outlet box with wirenuts &
electrical tape, put a cover on the box, and just push it back inside
the wall. Is that a big no-no? I guess if I have to ask it probably
is, but any additional feedback would be appreciated. :-)
That's what I did.
I was just concerned about leaving the wires capped off inside the
wall to do whatever they may or to suprise some future owner. I've
decided that, since this outlet is inside unused cabinet space above my
stove, I will take the old unused wires and terminate them inside a
surface mounting electrical/junction box.
Thanks for the feedback..
I'm no code expert (one will be along shortly), but I was always taught 2
hots in one box was a no-no, other than for a split outlet, even if one was
capped. Sure, OP would know what is going on, but the next guy in there 20
years later might not. And split outlets were supposed to be fed by a 3-wire
This is exactly what I did when I needed to disconnect an outlet that was
not needed. I took it one step further and tied a small tag on each end of
the wire with a small note explaining where the OTHER end was so if someone
ever comes across them 100 years from now they'll have a clue where the
other end is.
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