My home has a circuit for several electric baseboard heaters.

I removed two of the baseboard heaters because I got a new gas stove for heating. I also removed the thermostat connected to these baseboard heaters. All of the resulting exposed hot and neutral wire ends were trimmed and tightly capped with twist-on wire caps as shown:

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I have the circuit turned off at the breaker panel but in the bathroom, a separate small heater with its own thermostat is on the same circuit. I would like to keep that one working.

My question is: what is the best way to deal with the existing wires so ultimately the bathroom heater can stay working also?

2 Answers 2


There doesn't appear to be an electrical junction box in there so no, it's not safe. You will need to add junction boxes and use appropriate connectors for the cables into the boxes and then cover with cover plates. The boxes will have to remain accessible.

Or You can work backwards from here and find the connection points for these cables and disconnect the ones not being used. Hopefully the bathroom is the first heater on the circuit and at that point, you can disconnect the rest of the wires. If not, then you'll need to add junction boxes like above.

  • 2
    keeping it simple, the safety risk is the same as why you capped the ends of the wire knowing the wire is live. Code (everywhere?) says you cannot hide live wires in walls such that all endpoints are accessible and servicable. If you leave this out, and dont cover it, a younging might play with live wires, a contractor or you yourself, or a future owner might treat it like an abandoned wire. If it's in a box that is seen, and covered, safety will be observed by most.
    – noybman
    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:15
  • Yep, ok that makes sense.
    – user95248
    Jan 3, 2020 at 2:08

Aside from what Jack says, and even if this was inside a junction box, those wire nuts are wholly inadequate to insulate the wires. Wire nuts are not listed to cap a single wire, and will easily fall off. Ordinarily I would say you need to double them back over and tape them firmly to the (individual) wire so they can't fall off, but you have left yourself too little length to do that. Never cut wires, it is never a solution to anything.

The proper, Code legal way to deal with this is to remove all of the cables from the walls entirely.

The other proper, Code legal way to resolve this is to fit slimline junction boxes ther, and install dual NEMA 6-15 receptacles. These look just like normal receptacles except have horizontal blades instead of vertical. They allow plugging in 240V things like tanning beds, European expresso machines, server-grade PCs (gaming PCs are reaching the point where this will be the only way to power them), big power tools, and the like. Now if the breaker happens to be 30A, change it to 20A.

However, to do that plan now, you'd need to pull about 4" more cable out of the wall somehow. As you statutorially need 6". If you can do that, by all means do it! 240V outlets is a fine upgrade to any home.

  • Oh, and in the meantime, fear not, the circuit is off. I can live without the bathroom heater being active.
    – user95248
    Jan 3, 2020 at 14:38
  • @robbpriestley Oh! I thought it was worse than it was. Well if at all possible then, fit the slimline surface mount junction boxes over the hole, and fit those NEMA 6-15 receptacles. It's dirt cheap, it's elegant, and it adds value to your home to boot. Jan 3, 2020 at 16:26

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