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This space for lease
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If you're leaving live "dead ends" in the wall, you're doing 3 things:

1) leaving a run of wire in a wall, that's not hooked to anything to have the next guy "bite" with his sawzall blade.
I wouldn't leave wires dangling, if the can is left in place that seems like a decent enough home for the wires. If a guy is going to sawzall into drywall without check for voltage I don't see how having it in a box is going to help him. My $17 stud finder picks up electrical juice from a good ways away. anyone doing any type of that kind of work should have one.
 

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Remodeler
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Under most circumstances I would trace back and remove the wire, this is not always feasible/ possible.

This situation is about a light can, so it's in a ceiling , not a wall. If it's not possible to pull the wire, I would cap it, and probably tape it too. Then tack or wrap it around the closest truss ( attic)/ floor joist ( 2 story).

Then this "dangerous" end is not going to kill you ( or trip the breaker!) when cutting in the ceiling in the future, the rest of the run wire should be no different than it was before. If you cut it on a demo, you should have done your due diligence in locating MEP's runs before making the cut.


This is why most of my drywall only cuts are done with a keyhole saw, you can feel what's happening behind the wall. Plus you can hold the saw at such an angle that it doesn't really penetrate that deep.
 

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But it's not a connection, and a wise man once told me "assume nothing"
How do you know it's not a connection? No where do I see that the OP said it was at the end of the run.

Don't assume if you're told something that it's wise advice. I won't assume and say it's definitely against code to leave live wires, connection or end of run not in an accessible box.

If it's against code or not only a hack would leave unboxed connections or live ends in a wall or attic.
 

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hack of all trades
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tenon0774 said:
It was early on, and knob and tube. After that I got a voltage detector. ...but on another occasion, it failed to detect a specific wiring technique no longer used today. ( and No, I'm not talking about a switch leg. ) So much for those dikes. Maybe I'm just drawn to the smell of Ozone.
Are you talking about carter style switching? That's when the polarity changes and sometimes you are switching the neutral. It allows only 2 wires to be run between multiple switches controlling a lighting outlet.
 

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stacker of sticks
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avenge said:
If it's against code or not only a hack would leave unboxed connections or live ends in a wall or attic.
Why? Does a plastic box somehow make it so it's not going to burst into flames, and it not being in a plastic box makes it so it will explode?
 

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hack of all trades
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... Where the wiring method is conduit, tubing, type ac, mc, mi, nm, or other cables, a box or conduit body shall be installed at each conductor splice point, outlet point, switch point, junction point, termination point or pull point unless otherwise permitted in 300.15(a)-(L)".
I agree that what's the difference when you basically have plastic boxes and glorified extension cords (nm) in most homes. Sawzall will take those out just as fast!
 

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Why? Does a plastic box somehow make it so it's not going to burst into flames, and it not being in a plastic box makes it so it will explode?
It's pretty simple the boxes are there to protect the wiring and if something were to happen the box will attempt to contain a spark and heat. If you have a spark inside a box it won't catch anything on fire.

Wires contain heat and they can break or become loose. Wire nuts can become brittle and break. All connections or ends must be in a box period.

The OP's can light has a box or the can itself serves as a box.

And if you can't cut out drywall with a sawsall without damaging wires or plastic boxes then you shouldn't be using a sawsall.
 

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Livin the dream...
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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Wow. Came home from a hard days work to find this thread has taken off.

Ironically, I terminated two can lights today. I traced both wires back to the switch and removed the now unneccesary wire. It is just the right thing to do. Even an HO would think it looks hackish to just cap wires and leave them and I don't want my name getting tainted down the road because someone found buried wires in an attic or wall. It only took an additional 45 min and now they won't be there to confuse the next guy.

#1 reason for me to remove the wiring is simply this. Troubleshooting. You have no idea where that wire is coming from or going. When a wire is in a box you can get into it and get a better idea of whats what.

Laziness on a home builders part cost me a couple hours of my time today fixing stupid crap that would have only taken another 60 seconds to do right to begin with 15 years earlier. And just like the buried wires topic, it was stuff that you couldn't see from the outside. Wasn't until after I tore into things that the issues presented themselves.

Tore out one of those one piece shower units that has the ceiling built into it. I'm tearing it out and opening it up where the ceiling was soffited. Turns out these guys ran wires up stud cavity and around the top plate instead of through it. Had to unhook and reroute all the wires. They did the same thing with a 2" vent pipe. Just to much work to drill holes through wood...
 

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It took you 45 minutes to disconnect from the switch? Lemme guess it took 40 min to find the slotted screwdriver.
 
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