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Background: We live in a co-op. Each unit has it's own electrical box to shut off electricity.

We have a corner under-cabinet light that is hardwired into the box I THINK (I'd have to tear up the wall to really be sure). The wires route into the same wall as the box. Not that it tells you anything but the light is literally about 4 inches away from the box.

I want to get rid of the cabinet (to put hanging pot rack instead) altogether so the light will not have a mount.

Should I have an electrical inspector around when I hire an electrician to close it off? How easy is it DIY? I figure splitting the wires and capping them or can it be more complicated than that - would that close the circuit? I guess I'm paranoid to DIY and tucking the wires inside the wall and some electrical fire happening.

I'm at a cusp where I'd rather just put another shelf up just so the light has something to mount to and not deal with this if it's complicated.

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You should check the voltage of the light, many times under cabinet lights are low-voltage (eg, 12V) and run by a transformer. If there's only one, I doubt someone would have gone through the effort, but it's possible.

You can't just close wires off inside the wall. You must terminate them properly in a junction box, and that box must be accessible. This means if you don't want the wires to power anything, you need to at least have a blank faceplate.

The junction box needs to be securely mounted, the wire needs to be connected into the box properly (how this is done depends on the box used), and it must be grounded, and the wires capped with wire nuts. If you are considering doing this job yourself, I highly recommend you make sure you 100% understood everything I just said, and also go buy a non-contact voltage detector.

If you hire an electrician to come in, no, you don't need to worry about inspectors - the electrician will do that, if required. Mostly, around here anyways, the inspectors only come and inspect something like 1 in 10 installs done by electricians they know (selected basically at random). Only if they find faults, will they start coming more often, and the reputation of the electrician/company will go down. Likely after a couple problems, the electrician is out of a job. It's in the electricians best interests to always do the job properly.

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Thanks for the tips! –  Rhea Mar 25 '11 at 20:09
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