I would like to eliminate an electrical outlet. When I removed it I was expecting to find blackk, white and green wires. However, I found there were 2 white wires and a green but no black.

My question is, do I splice the 2 white wires together after removing the outlet?

Some facts that might be useful

  • home was built in 2008
  • this is an outdoor outlet
  • this is a GFCI outlet
  • Were there any markings on the white wires? – JACK Sep 21 '19 at 11:27
  • Can you post photos of the inside of the outlet? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 21 '19 at 15:10

Assuming that the outlet was working, then no, do not splice them together. One of the white wires must be the hot and the other neutral, despite them both being white.

Find that would make me very nervous about the house wiring in general. Do you know if the house was previously owned by a tinkerer who might have added that outlet? Any idea who wired the house?

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  • This was added a couple years after the house was built by the GC who built the swimming pool. I want to make sure I'm not preventing any other outlets in the circuit from working by doing this, however I don't know if there are any others – Joe Gold Sep 21 '19 at 11:10
  • 1
    @JoeGold Then I’d say that said GC either has no idea about electrical code or didn’t care. If it were my house, I’d get a professional electrician in to check the pool wiring. That kind of s##t can kill you quick! – DoxyLover Sep 21 '19 at 11:15

In response to your question: DO NOT connect the two conductors together.

Two things you need to pay attention to. First make sure that the conductors have not been painted over. In many cases the conductors appear to be the same color, but by scratching and scrapping the true color will become apparent.

Second, because general house wiring is in NM and it's usually a black and white conductor, it is not against the NEC to have white conductors as current carrying conductors. It should be marked as a non-neutral. For example it is wrapped with black tape which may have fallen off or just not done. The only problem I see is if it has two white conductors, it generally indicates that that receptacle is on a switch or the branch circuit is tapped somewhere.

If you need to find which white wire is hot. You can do this by using a multi-meter and find which conductor has nominal voltage between that conductor and the ground (the bare or green wire). You might be able to use a non-contact voltage detector, but they can be a little unreliable. If you do find the hot conductor then you can mark it, then reconnect it and it wouldn't be a bad idea to find the tap and see what the "tinker" was up to.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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