I recently put in a forced-air whole house HVAC system in my old house. I'll be yanking the old electrical baseboard heaters from everywhere in the house soon.

I'm wondering what all would be required by code in terms of removing the old wiring? What I would like to do is just disconnect the wires from the breakers and tidy them up inside the box and label them well so future workers would know what they are. Then at the other end just dike off the ends of the unconnected wires and shove them in the wall.

I'm guessing there might be some other code requirements beyond this approach?

  • 1
    Is the connection at the old baseboard over a standard in-wall electrical box, or is the cable directly hooked into a built-in box or cable clamp on the fixture?
    – bib
    Aug 25, 2015 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


The code is more concerned with wires you can access and remove. A good example would be a drop ceiling grid.

In your case if you do not have that ability then yes just snipping off the wires will suffice. As an extra precaution stager the cut ends and tape off the ends with electrical tape.

Then remove them completely from the panel as to prevent any unforeseen reconnects. If you are uncomfortable with working in your panel this way I would suggest hiring a licensed electrician.


I don't know about code requirements, but what I have seen done with disconnected electrical wiring abandoned in the wall is:

  • Disconnect and remove from the electrical panel. Label it.
  • At the other end where the baseboards were, connect the hot and neutral with a wie nut, tape it on, and shove it in the wall.

Shorting it like that prevents someone from reenergizing it - it would instantly blow a breaker if someone hooked it back up to the electrical panel without first fixing the wires in the wall. Which might come in handy if someone decides to reinstall just one baseboard heater one day, and accidentally hooks up the wrong cable.

Alternatively, copper is expensive - so if you can easily remove it you may get a bit of money for scrap value.

  • It is an old house...actually has aluminum for lots of stuff. Aug 25, 2015 at 20:24
  • 2
    The panel in question is a sub panel inside the house...and it is drywalled in. No practical way to pull the wires out of there. Don't want to rip out drywall and repair it just to pull the wires out. I reckon I'll just disconnect and stager-cut-and-tape them, tie them all together in the back of the box and label them. Aug 25, 2015 at 20:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.