I moved into a friends house and I noticed the room I’m in had a blank wall plate and when I removed it I noticed capped off 12 gauge solid wires and a gang box. I’d like to add a duplex receptacle to put a standing lamp on that side of the room.

I tested the wires and it’s on the same 20A breaker as the rest of the room. I put a multimeter on each of the wires and checked them against the other outlets. No potential across respective grounds, neutral or hot. And the proper potential at 122V across opposing hot and neutrals and hot and grounds.

Seems to me that these wires are properly in line with the other duplexes in the room. I’m just curious why someone would remove the outlet from before and cap it off.

Are there any dangers if I wire a duplex in?

  • Maybe their dog used it in the wrong way(with leg up). It seems to be safe to use, but would ask friend first, before installing an outlet. Rules for rentals are much more picky on what people can do(electrician needed) than owners.
    – crip659
    May 13, 2022 at 22:37
  • 1
    Could also be that they decided to extend a circuit and didn't have enough wire in a single length to go the distance without making a connection, and so they put in a junction box to have the connection accessible (per code).
    – Milwrdfan
    May 14, 2022 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


I would measure the distance to the next outlet if there is more than 12’ between outlets someone removed it (code states 6’ max distance so they are spaced 12’)

I see this on home inspections all the time where for some reason a receptacle was removed in the past.

You have checked the circuit as well as I would so I would go ahead and replace the receptacle.

With approval from your friend I would install it as it may even be a required receptacle.

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