I have an unwanted 240v outlet in my hallway, on the same circuit as my sewer pump.

I pulled the cover and the box is an old work type. I noticed a junction box in this area of my crawlspace, so I suspect this breaker is controlling both.

Now, to my question: How can I safely remove this plug from service, while keeping the sewer pump active?

They don't make child safety stuff for 240v receptacles that I've seen, so I'd like to just get rid of it. Is it safe to remove the plug, cap the wires and put a blank plate over it?

  • 1
    There's some data that suggests that plastic plugs in receptacles have minimal effect reducing child electrocutions, while creating a choking hazard. In the case of 220V receps, remember that each hot leg is only 110V (just like the other receps in your home) and so may not present an increased risk. However, you have to make your own call on this.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Oct 29, 2012 at 4:06
  • 2
    Add to that my personal anecdotal data that plastic plugs are either terribly obnoxious to take out when you as an adult want to use the receptacle, or far too easy for anyone and anything to remove. Tamper-resistant receptacles are the correct solution to the problem for 15/20A receptacles. Higher ampacity receptacles expect to be hidden behind heavy appliances, which effectively prevents tampering. If they're not, disabling them seems a good move. Oct 29, 2012 at 22:11
  • @JeremyW.Sherman Yep, I just replaced the nasty almond colored outlets in my son's room with white and went with the TR receptacles in place of the plastic plugs. Good advice!
    – Josh Bush
    Oct 29, 2012 at 23:33

2 Answers 2


There should be no problem with opening the box, removing the outlet fixture and then putting wire nuts on the ends of the wires. It may be necessary to straighten the wire ends and trimming slightly if the bare wire ends are too long to be nicely covered by the wire nut. Some folks go the extra step of wrapping the wire nut and the end of the wire with electrical tape.

After the wires are appropriately prepared fold them down into the electrical box and cover the box with an appropriately sized cover plate. The key here is to keep the electrical box cover accessible by not trying to cover it over with permanent building materials and finishing.


Just turn the breaker off. Then it's available if you ever need it, while still being safe.

You can also breaker lockout, just to make sure someone doesn't turn it on by mistake: http://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-Circuit-Breaker-Lockout/dp/B001HWK1CM/

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  • 1
    The problem is that this circuit also controls my septic pump.
    – Josh Bush
    Oct 29, 2012 at 2:31
  • Ahh, I didn't fully understand that. I have edited your question to clarify - please review my edits.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Oct 29, 2012 at 4:03

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