I paid a guy to come in and put a gfci receptacle using the electric wire that goes to a super old (lighted but non-working) medicine cabinet. The medicine cabinet is ugly and I planned to replace it when I found something (unlighted) I liked. I asked him to disconnect the ugly thing. Well, today I removed the screws and pulled and the damn thing still has a connection going to it. Can I just cut that (after flipping the circuit breaker) and then make sure the wires won't short out? I'm assuming that it's the last thing on the circuit, or was, as it only has the wires going in, not out. The lights didn't operate by a wall switch, but by a button on the side of it. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Chances are the electricity is still fed from the switch box. Just because the switches don’t toggle the power doesn’t mean the power isn’t coming from there. Nov 16 '21 at 20:44

You can cut it if you disconnect the next hop on that circuit that feeds it. Perfectly legal to leave "dead wire" in walls. You would find the outlet or fixture that feeds it, disconnect that side of the wiring from the fixture. Cap it or push it out of the box (I would cap it in case you change your mind). That's it.

  • If one end is capped in the box for future use, can the other be floating free in the wall? Logically, it would make sense to put the other end in a box for future use, too, but as a minimum work step, is that code approved?
    – FreeMan
    Nov 16 '21 at 22:02
  • @FreeMan - my assumption is that they would replace cabinet and see wire. And I also know a lot of people hate seeing blanks especially next to something like a vanity.
    – DMoore
    Nov 16 '21 at 23:04
  • One would assume that. My (not very clear) question was is it code approved to do so?
    – FreeMan
    Nov 17 '21 at 12:29
  • @FreeMan - yes it is code. Dead wire is completely fine. It has to be capped if it stays in the box though.
    – DMoore
    Nov 18 '21 at 0:37

No, you cannot. Ends of wires cannot be hidden in a wall. They must be accessible. If you don’t want to use the wires and don’t want to remove them entirely, get a device box and run the wires to the device box. Terminate them properly in the box and get a blank cover plate.

  • If it's disconnected from the supply, then it's just "dead wire" and is fine to be left as is unless you have a local Code amendment saying otherwise... Nov 17 '21 at 3:14
  • Sure but that's not really what the OP was asking... Nov 17 '21 at 3:46

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