I'm renovating a bathroom, and there is one light fixture that I'd like to permanently remove. I know that I can't leave the junction box in the wall once the fixture is gone, but I have two related questions:

1) What is the best way to make it safe to drywall over the hole once the junction box is out?

2) How do I deal with the wires that are no longer needed for that fixture? Unfortunately, there is another light fixture that turns on with the same switch.

I'd really like to avoid having a cover since this is right at eye level.

Edit to include photos of what's currently in the wall. enter image description here

  • 2
    "I know that I can't leave the junction box in the wall once the fixture is gone" Do you mean, can't bury it in the wall. If you have a live wire you must have it in an accessible junction box, with a cover, to house the wire.
    – Alaska Man
    Jun 11, 2020 at 17:15
  • 1
    Can you post photos of the inside of the box you want to remove? Jun 11, 2020 at 17:33
  • 2
    You cannot have a wire splice buried in the wall where it can't be accessed. Some sort of removable panel will be necessary. Some jurisdictions do allow for certain types of in-wall splices to be closed up, though, so let us know where you live so you can get an appropriate code-compliant answer.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 11, 2020 at 17:50
  • @AlaskaMan, right -- I know I can't bury it, but I'm hoping to find a way to take it out entirely.
    – Elaine
    Jun 12, 2020 at 0:44
  • @ThreePhaseEel, yep, added photos.
    – Elaine
    Jun 12, 2020 at 0:44

2 Answers 2


The cable in the wall have to be physically removed all the way to the other end, or if that is impracticable, as much as possible of both ends of the cables must be removed. It must be beyond any possibility of anyone ever energizing those wires again.

If there are multiple cables in the wall, then I mean both ends of each cable, including the far ends that are in other boxes.

If there are 2 cables and they need to remain in service, you can evaluate whether you have enough intact cable sheath to install a Tyco in-wall Romex splice. Those can be covered up.

Otherwise that through-cable run needs to be entirely replaced end-to-end.


You could decide to disconnect all the wiring into & out of the unused box and run fresh wire directly to the active light fixture from the existing switch. Expensive(r), but then no need to retain either the box or access to it.

In fact, if you're lucky, the fixture you're removing will be at the end of the run, so simply disconnecting the wires from the other light fixture which go to the removed fixture will suffice.

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