The house I just bought has three different outlets in the walk in closet!! I want to remove a couple of the plugs and just put a solid plate on them. The outlet has 2 black wires and 2 white ones. It also has a ground. Do I wire the black wires together and the white ones? What do I do with the ground?

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    May I ask why you would bother to do this? Why not just leave them? It's a walk-in closet. It's not like they will be a visual deterrent. – Speedy Petey Oct 13 '14 at 1:03
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    There's no point in doing this. However, if you really don't want them, you could make a secret hiding place in them. Store valuables/money in there. Google it. – user24242 Oct 13 '14 at 1:06
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    Actually, outlets in a walk-in closet might be useful if you wanted to hook up an ironing board or clothes steamer in there... or if you wanted to hide your home entertainment system in the closet. Unless you need to childproof things, I'd leave them -- and even then I'd consider covering them but leaving them intact for the future. – keshlam Oct 16 '14 at 2:10
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    I guarantee you that if you just bought a house, there are approximately one thousand broken things you could be discovering that are higher priority than fixing this non-broken thing that you're not sure how to modify safely. Are you sure you want to do this? – Eric Lippert Oct 16 '14 at 5:12
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    @Mazura The reason you would run power to the unused, capped outlet boxes is for the next person who owns the house and wants to put the outlets back in. There is no need to make him or her hunt for the other end of the cables to figure out why there is no power. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 16 '14 at 6:57

Yes, if you have your heart set on removing them, then after you remove the outlet, tie the two black wires together with a wirenut, and tie the two white wires together. That way, you will still have power going to wherever the next electrical box is.

For the ground, you can either screw it to the box, if it is a metal box and you can find a place to do that, or just leave it unconnected in the box. If you have two ground wires (one entering the box and one leaving), tie these two ground wires together.

Don't forget: before you remove the faceplate and start removing wires, disconnect the circuit by turning off the appropriate circuit breaker, and then test to make sure that the outlet is dead.


The OP is probably fine with Ben's answer, HOWEVER, you should only nut the wires together if you are sure that they were previously connected, E.g, had taped-off the same outlet (that still had its linking bar intact).

Two blacks and two whites could mean there is multiple circuits present. If turning off one single pole breaker killed all the power in that box, you're good to go; nut them. (Assuming it's not a switch leg, and no other breakers are off in the main panel or any sub panels.)

Back-feeding across two breakers on the same phase is bad (effectively circumventing the protection), crossing the two phases of your incoming is (burn your house down) worse.

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    +1 Good point. I don't know why you'd have a separated outlet on two different circuits inside a closet, but it is certainly possible. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 16 '14 at 5:34
  • I split outlets on MWBC for kitchens all the time and have done this in other rooms so it is a good thing to check. – Ed Beal Mar 23 '18 at 19:05


Extra outlets that aren't unsightly only add value to your place, and adding a switch box cover to your current hole isn't really going to do much to change the aesthetic.

If you are worried about a coat hanger or something accidentally getting stuck in one, just add a childproof outlet cover and call it a day.

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