I'm replacing my flooring, when I removed one of the baseboards it revealed a electrical wire nailed to the floor. What really has me worried now is there WAS 1 area where the previous owner has a nail going through the electrical wire. "WAS" is because they had the baseboard caulked to the floor and some must have gotten on to the electrical wire as I was trying to removed the baseboard by pulling it up I guess I pulled the wire through the nail. Now there is a hole in the wire. This wire is attached to a electrical outlet for my fridge and it is working fine. I only lived in this house for 5 years and it's been like this until I discovered it. Do I have to be worried about it? I was planning on just taping up the damaged area. enter image description hereenter image description here

I opened it up, good news the nail went in between the ground and hot wire, insulation on hot wire has a little scratch, but wire not exposed. But the ground wire where the nail touched turned green. Is it safe?

  • Since you don't know if the conductors have been damaged or not, you are at risk here. If this were my problem I would remove the damaged section of the wire and replace it taking care to replace it such that it can't be nailed through again.
    – jwh20
    Sep 6, 2019 at 15:34
  • It's been like this for 5 years and if it doesn't trip the breaker is it fine?
    – oliveoil10
    Sep 6, 2019 at 15:52
  • 1
    Can you include a picture ?
    – JACK
    Sep 6, 2019 at 15:55
  • Depends. Are you a wizard or muggle? Muggle breakers are NOT every-problem-detectors. They now have AFCI+GFCI multi breakers, which are better but not magic obviously. Sep 6, 2019 at 18:07
  • Now you have found it, you have to sort it - the answer is good.
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 6, 2019 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


Known damaged wires in a hidden location? Not a good idea. It could be "just on the edge" such that movement over time will eventually cause arcing and a fire.

The best thing to do is to replace the cable. The problem is that you can't simply wire-nut in a section of cable. The connections need to (a) be in proper junction boxes and (b) accessible for maintenance. Inside a floor or under a baseboard is not considered accessible. Your options are:

  • Replace the entire cable from the receptacle back to the next junction box (which could be another receptacle or the main panel or sometimes something else). The problem is that it can sometimes be quite hard to do this.
  • Splice using connectors certified for hidden use. See [Is there a way to simply splice in an additional length of 12/2 NM-B cable? for an answer that is one possible solution.
  • Replace the cable with a cable going a different, easier, route, such as connecting in to another nearby circuit. The catch is that if your refrigerator is on a circuit by itself, you may want to keep it that way to avoid a number of possible problems.

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