In redoing my main level I have misplaced my electrical diagram showing what was there before I started (so annoying!). Now I am unsure if my new solution is safe or not. I have seen diagrams which confirm, but would greatly appreciate an expert helping me out. So here's what was there before (see my horrible diagram attached): - power to the fixture - three wire to a switch (not a two way or three way switch)enter image description here - power continues to an outlet I want to remove the outlet part. But this makes the three wire neutral "stranded". I have tested the wire and there is nothing there (perhaps that is obvious to most!). The second picture attached shows the current setup. So the question is: Is this safe?enter image description here

3 Answers 3


Yes. If you're getting rid of the receptacle, you should cap off the grounded (neutral) conductor in the switch box.

Just make sure there's no exposed wire sticking out of the connector, and you use a twist-on wire connector rated for a single wire.


Yes, Just cap off the neutral wire aka "grounded conductor". Like the other Chris said, do not connect to the bare ground just leave as is with a wire nut on the end to keep it insulated.


If the neutral was for an outlet that you're removing from the system, then so long as other outlets in the circuit have a properly grounded neutral wire, everything should be all set. Be sure to cap off the stranded neutral wire.

Keep in mind that wiring isn't always what you expect, so verify that each wire is indeed hot or neutral as expected. Code in the US dictates that black is hot, white is neutral and bare copper is ground.

Neutral: The white wire is called the neutral wire. It provides the return path for the current provided by the hot wire. The neutral wire is connected to an earth ground.

See this guide for more info http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/alternating-current-in-electronics-

  • 4
    You should think about editing your answer so that it is more accurate and less misleading. As it stands now there is the direct implication that the neutral wire should be connected to the earth ground wire in the switch or outlet electrical box. This implication is wrong and would be completely against the electrical code requirements.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 17:22
  • Updated. I can see how that might have been misleading. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 0:01

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