I am planning to replace a in-wall forced air heater in my bedroom with electric radiant floor of comparable wattage. I want, however, to err on the side of caution and leave the possibility to switch back to the forced air heater if radiant floor proves inadequate for being the primary heat source in the room.

Current setup is as follows: there are wires going from the breaker to a thermostat in the bedroom, and wires going from the thermostat to the heater.

The plan is to disconnect the wires going from thermostat to the heater and leave them in the wall, keep the heater in place for now. Replace the thermostat with the one appropriate for the radiant floors and install additional wiring from the floor to thermostat (and replace the breaker for that circuit with GFCI, while I am at it). The new setup will reuse wires from the breaker to the thermostat.

Is anything that prevents me from simply disconnecting the heater and leaving all the wiring in the walls unconnected? Radiant floor will use its own wiring.

2 Answers 2


Disconnect the wires at the thermostat, wire nut, tape and mark for future use and tuck them back into the box. There's no problem just leaving the old heater in place with the wires connected. I don't think a GFCI breaker is required at that location.

  • 1
    I would pull the wires out of the breaker and label them so they are not considered abandoned this would be code compliant for possible future use.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 21:01
  • Sorry, I didn't provide full details. The wiring from the breaker to thermostat is going to be reused. The wiring from thermostat to the heater is the one I was asking about. I will update the question in a moment.
    – n0rd
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 21:04

The best plan is to install a flush junction box where the wire exits the wall (or nearby), and terminate the cable inside the junction box.

I completely agree that you are likely to want to reinstall the heater someday. Not least, electric heating is dirt cheap. (to buy, not to run, but you know that).

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