How many times have you run across this situation? The question that always comes to mind is whether or not the circuit is still energized.

If it is, then we can cite 110.3 Examination, Identification, Installation, and Use of Equipment. More specifically, 110.3(A)(8) says that when judging equipment, you must evaluate the factors that contribute to the practical safeguarding of persons using or likely to come in contact with the equipment.

If the circuit is dead, because it’s been abandoned in place, this raises a separate question. Although the NEC doesn’t specifically address abandoned wiring, the electrical fire safety section 3-2.4 in NFPA 1, Fire Prevention Code does. It calls for the tagging of permanent wiring abandoned in place at its termination and junction points or removal from all accessible areas and insulated from contact with other live electrical wiring or devices. If the NEC adopted this requirement, just think of the extra cash you could pocket when you sold the material to the scrap yard.

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