We are trying to remove an electrical outlet. We turned the power off and disconnected the wires from the outlet. Then we twisted the + wires and tapped them and did the same with the - wires. Then we covered up the hole. When we turned the power back on the other outlets on the circuit they failed to work. Did we do something wrong?

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    How many wires were attached to the receptacle that you removed? Did the breaker trip when you restored power? – Tester101 Jan 3 '13 at 21:34

It sounds you caused a short circuit by wiring the hot and neutral together. You created a circuit with no electrical resistance so the breaker pops to prevent you from melting the wires and burning down your house.

Cap each wire that you removed separately unless they were already joined together. Once the outlet is removed and everything is safely capped and covered, remember that the cover plate must remain exposed and you cannot patch over the box.

If you are unsure of how to rectify this, you are best to call an electrician.

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    Once the outlet is removed and everything is safely capped and covered, remember the coverplate must remain exposed. – mikes Jan 3 '13 at 22:45

You simply need to convert the outlet into a junction box:

  1. Flip the circuit breaker off
  2. Unscrew the hots, neutrals, and ground from the outlet and remove the outlet
  3. Splice the hot, neutral, and ground from both sides (charge and load) and put wire nuts on
  4. Cover the box with a junction box lid
  5. Flip the circuit back on

That way the receptacle continues transmitting the current without actually acting as a power outlet


Amphibient's solution is perfect. However a couple of pointers. It is both illegal and unsafe to permanently cover up a junction box by, for instance, sheet rocking over it. This can cause endless problems if a wiring problem requires troubleshooting and if something should go wrong you might end up with a fire.

Also the code requires a receptacle every 12 feet and within 6' of a door in a residence (not in commercial offices). This is to discourage the use of extension cords and has been a code requirement for decades.

Although not illegal the same applies if you put a heavy piece of furniture such as a loaded book case in front of it.

Make sure the wirenuts are very tight to avoid future problems and do not clip the wires short.

  • What code requires receptacles every 12 feet? Remember, this is an international site. Laws and codes vary from location to location, so it's best to be specific in which codes you're using. Also, if you'd simply like to add a bit more information to an existing answer. You could always suggest an edit to the existing post, or post a comment on the post so the original author might edit it in themselves. – Tester101 Jan 6 '14 at 15:17
  • The NEC 210-52(a) "Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlet Requirements" has this requirement. – auujay Jan 6 '14 at 16:02

Use a junction box but make it flush with the outside wall and use a blank 4 inch cover plate in that area so it can be located . No big deal.

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    I don't believe you answered the OP - it sounds to me like it was a pass-through and they have severed the connection. That will need to be addressed. Feel free to edit your answer. – SDsolar Apr 17 '17 at 4:12

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