We had an electrician move an outlet from one location to another, and he left a big outlet-shaped hole in our drywall. The hole is 2.75" wide and 4.5" high. When I looked inside, I noticed these two wires in there that seem like they're exposed (pic below). Are these dangerous? Should I do something about them?

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    The big question is what's on the other end, which could be nothing at all (disconnected) == safe, or a circuit breaker or another outlet (not safe). I'd start with a non-contact tester amzn.to/2WTJ3fW Mar 30, 2020 at 2:18
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact: I see - thanks for the feedback.
    – David
    Mar 30, 2020 at 2:25
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    Can you find where the cable jacket that should be sheathing those wires stops? Mar 30, 2020 at 2:35
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    why are you not asking the electrician that did the work?
    – jsotola
    Mar 30, 2020 at 5:16
  • Very good suggestions, thanks all!
    – David
    Mar 30, 2020 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


Those wires that fed the old receptacle were likely disconnected in the junction box on the other end of the piece of cable you see. The electrician may have even cut the other end back so that he was able to push it out of the junction box completely, so you may not even be able to see the other end. It's pretty hard to take the old wire out, it should be stapled in place, including 6" up the wall above that hole.

Some could argue it would have been better form to trim that wire further out of sight, but the upside is you can see the electrician didn't feed the new location by hiding an illegal flying splice without a junction box at the old outlet location.

A non-contact tester might help confirm if it has been disconnected, but you might get a false positive if the other end was just disconnected and insulated but us still in the junction box near hot conductors, so a voltmeter might be needed if you get indefinite results.

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    Oops. I read it too quickly. You are correct. Mar 30, 2020 at 17:35
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    Even better - if you can find the far end of those wires, verifying by using the ohmmeter setting -- after verifying no live voltage on the line! Then personally I would put a wire nut on every end & label with a number or some such so the next person to come along knows what the matching ends are. Mar 30, 2020 at 19:10

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