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When I was checking my unfinished basement I found two very long wires being folded/tied and left between joists by the builder/electrician. What are they and how to find what are they for? Each wire is (both are white 14 gauge) at least 15 feet long. They do not have power on to them, so not connected anywhere. Wires are closer to the walls and going into the walls towards the first floor. Any one has any idea?enter image description here

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    Given the unfinished duct-work, I'd guess HVAC controls of one sort or another (motorized damper, temperature sensor, etc) but the simplest thing would be to ask the builder.... – Ecnerwal Jan 23 at 3:21
  • Construction temporary lighting? – Kris Jan 23 at 3:49
  • Maybe it's a good idea to contact whoever did the work and ask him. Regardless, if its on a live circuit it needs to be dealt with and made safe. – Retired Master Electrician Jan 23 at 14:50
  • Presumably they are for when one chooses to turn the UN-finished basement into a finished basement with switches, fixtures and outlets. – Alaska Man Jan 23 at 21:32
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I put in extra circuits quite often. They could have been for an option on the home that was not purchased with a speculation /track home (homes being built prior to purchased) it is cheaper when you hire a roping crew (they just pull wire based on the generic blueprints) then the electrician goes in and connects everything. If you don’t buy the upgrades they are not connected in the service panel. So they may be spares for additional lighting and or receptacles. Ask your builder to be sure but this will be the most likely answer. Don’t cut them off if you decide to use them in the future having them can save hundreds dollars for each circuit.

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  • Thanks Ed. The house is about 10 years old. Discovered them about 5 years ago and did not give a second thought to it. Now I'm just finished framing the basement, and want to start the wiring. I'm wondering if I could use them. All I know is its going to the main/second floor some where and not connected. – Nick Jan 24 at 3:28
  • I would look inside your service panel if there are unused cables in there they can be checked for continuity then in the service panel connect them together and see if any of the other ends show shorted. Repeat this procedure until you have identified all the cables. A voltage check is always a good idea prior to shorting any wires together but if in the service panel they should not be energized. (On my current home I found a circuit that was jumped together in another room back-feeding to the panel). – Ed Beal Jan 24 at 6:07

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