I have an unused wire that used to be hooked up to the dryer breaker that is "hanging" in the breaker box. What is the correct way to terminate this wire? I don't want to cut it in case we want to use it in the future and I cant pull it out of the box because its ground wire is wrapped around all the other ground wires making it a pain to extract.

Thanks! terminated wires in breaker box not attached to any breakers


Leave the wire in place and Mark it for future use. The wire nuts are ok but I usually tape them on as a single wire can sometimes fall off.

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  • 1
    Please label the wire as Ed says. I have 3-4 unused circuits in my breaker box and it was not fun figuring out what they were all for... – JPhi1618 Mar 5 '19 at 15:58
  • Yup, normally 2+ wires on a wirenut should be solid (if you need to use tape, that's a bad sign). But a single wire on a wire nut is unstable and needs to be taped. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 5 '19 at 15:59
  • While you're labeling it "Unused" do future electricians (which might be you) a huge favor and indicate what it was for and where it runs to so someone (you) don't have to spend 1/2 a day figuring that out 3 years from now – FreeMan Mar 5 '19 at 16:18
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    Believe it or not some wirenuts have ratings for single wires and I have found these to be on the money, the tiny gray 72B wire nuts are listed for a single #14, the yellow 74B are listed for a single #8 or #10 and the small blue seem to hold a single #12 but doesn't appear to be listed for it. – batsplatsterson Mar 5 '19 at 16:30
  • I have seen to many cases where a single wire under the nut has fallen off but they were usually yellow, red on 14 & 12 wire so I always think it is a good idea for singles. – Ed Beal Mar 5 '19 at 16:56

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