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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

marked as duplicate by isherwood, JPhi1618, Daniel Griscom, ThreePhaseEel electrical Mar 6 at 3:35

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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.

  • 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 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 Mar 5 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 at 16:18
  • 2
    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 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 at 16:56

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