unused wiring left in conduit

malachi constant

Senior Member
Location
Minneapolis
Is this a code violation?

Demolished Generator 1.jpg

They took out the generator, left the room looking like this. The wires are not intended for future use. Which of the following is legal?:
1. Push wires back into conduit, cap conduit, call it a day.
2. Install enclosure(s) at conduit openings as required to provide area to terminate wires within.
3. Remove conductors back to nearest enclosure. Cap conduit.
4. No problems. Leave as is.

For the record, I'm pretty sure #4 is illegal, I would recommend #2 or #3 as I know those are legal, and I would like to recommend #1 but am not certain that it is legal.

Also: I assume duct tape would be an effective, but not legal, conduit cap.

FYI, I'm an engineer in the building for an unrelated project. I would like to suggest to the Owner they take a couple minutes and clean this up, but want to make sure I know the options before doing so.

Thanks!
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Is this a code violation?

View attachment 8762

They took out the generator, left the room looking like this. The wires are not intended for future use. Which of the following is legal?:
1. Push wires back into conduit, cap conduit, call it a day.
2. Install enclosure(s) at conduit openings as required to provide area to terminate wires within.
3. Remove conductors back to nearest enclosure. Cap conduit.
4. No problems. Leave as is.

For the record, I'm pretty sure #4 is illegal, I would recommend #2 or #3 as I know those are legal, and I would like to recommend #1 but am not certain that it is legal.

Also: I assume duct tape would be an effective, but not legal, conduit cap.

FYI, I'm an engineer in the building for an unrelated project. I would like to suggest to the Owner they take a couple minutes and clean this up, but want to make sure I know the options before doing so.

Thanks!
Not even sure of the "legality of it, but here is my two cents. The way it is, is a trip hazard, even if it is currently covered by a table. Also, you don't mention what the state of the wires are on the other end. If they are capable of being hooked up in a panel or some other means to voltage it means a whole different set of parameters than if it is cut off. If abandoning, cut it off at floor level, cut off or pull the wire out at the panel end. fill conduit with concrete, caulking, duct seal etc. If the wires are to remain at the panel, then you must terminate it in a box with the wire ends "safed off".
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I think that from a code perspective there is no violation, and that all four of your options would be legal. I think the only code sections that require the removal of wires that are no longer in use (or at least attaching labels if you intend to abandon them in place) are the ones that discuss communication-related and similar cables. 800.25 and 820.25 are two examples.
 

JDBrown

Senior Member
Location
California
Check out NEC 390.7:
When an outlet is abandoned, discontinued, or removed, the sections of circuit conductors supplying the outlet shall be removed from the raceway. No splices or reinsulated conductors, such as would be the case with abandoned outlets on loop wiring, shall be allowed in raceways.
I could be missing something here, but I believe the conduit in the photo qualifies as an "Underfloor Raceway" (Article 390). If that's the case, then options #1 and #4 are both illegal. Option #2 should be fine, since the "splices or reinsulated conductors" would be in a box, not in the raceway. Option #3 is exactly what is outlined in the Code section. There's my 2 cents' worth. :cool:
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
Check out NEC 390.7:

I could be missing something here, but I believe the conduit in the photo qualifies as an "Underfloor Raceway" (Article 390). If that's the case, then options #1 and #4 are both illegal. Option #2 should be fine, since the "splices or reinsulated conductors" would be in a box, not in the raceway. Option #3 is exactly what is outlined in the Code section. There's my 2 cents' worth. :cool:
I don't think the OP's setup is an underfloor raceway. That wasn't it's intended use anyway.
By your way of thinking, all conduit under all floors would be an underfloor raceway. That's not what they are.:happyno: Read the full 390 article.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Article 390 does not apply to any conduit system. It only applies to a raceway specifically designed to be installed underfloor. Conduit raceways are not specifically designed for that purpose. Article 390 applies to this type of product.
 

JDBrown

Senior Member
Location
California
I don't think the OP's setup is an underfloor raceway. That wasn't it's intended use anyway.
By your way of thinking, all conduit under all floors would be an underfloor raceway. That's not what they are.:happyno: Read the full 390 article.
Learn something new every day, I suppose. I thought I might be missing something as far as what Article 390 applies to, but I couldn't find any definition for "underfloor raceway" in the Code. Naturally, I assumed (maybe that was the problem :slaphead:) that this meant it applied to any raceway installed under a floor. I also may have been thrown off by the commentary at the beginning of 390.2:
Underfloor raceways are permitted beneath the surface of concrete, wood, or other flooring material. The wiring method between cabinets, raceway junction boxes, and outlet boxes may be rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid PVC conduit, liquidtight flexible nonmetallic conduit, electrical nonmetallic tubing, or electrical metallic tubing. Flexible metal conduit may be used where not installed in concrete.
There go those rascally commentators, confusing me again. I suppose they must have been referring to connections from the underfloor raceway to cabinets, boxes, etc., although that wasn't really clear to me.

Anyway, thanks for enlightening me about this Article.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
I think that from a code perspective there is no violation, and that all four of your options would be legal. I think the only code sections that require the removal of wires that are no longer in use (or at least attaching labels if you intend to abandon them in place) are the ones that discuss communication-related and similar cables. 800.25 and 820.25 are two examples.
I agree.
Although I would not have left it like that.
 

malachi constant

Senior Member
Location
Minneapolis
Really, legal as-is? You can get flagged for leaving a coverplate off a j-box with a couple #12s in it, but a conduit in the middle of the floor with wires connected to who-knows-what practically laying on the ground? I'm not completely shocked as I couldn't think of a place in the code that would disallow it, and have never heard it discussed before...but I'm still surprised.

Would pushing the wire back in the conduit and covering it with duct tape (my option #1) also be legal? It would be cleaner, and (imo) be less of a safety and electrical hazard.

Thanks all!
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Engineer
... wires connected to who-knows-what...
This is the critical point.

Extremely simplified explanation:
If the wires are connected to a source, then they are part of a branch circuit, and the installation would not be code compliant.
If the wires are truly abandonded (e.g. physically isolated on both ends) then they are not covered by the NEC.

There is a lot of untold information about your installation that is needed to really pass judgement.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Really, legal as-is? You can get flagged for leaving a coverplate off a j-box with a couple #12s in it, but a conduit in the middle of the floor with wires connected to who-knows-what practically laying on the ground? I'm not completely shocked as I couldn't think of a place in the code that would disallow it, and have never heard it discussed before...but I'm still surprised.

Would pushing the wire back in the conduit and covering it with duct tape (my option #1) also be legal? It would be cleaner, and (imo) be less of a safety and electrical hazard.

Thanks all!
If the wires are connected to a power source, then there would be NEC issues. I was assuming that they are disconnected at the other end.
 

eHunter

Senior Member
Is this a code violation?

View attachment 8762

They took out the generator, left the room looking like this. The wires are not intended for future use. Which of the following is legal?:
1. Push wires back into conduit, cap conduit, call it a day.
2. Install enclosure(s) at conduit openings as required to provide area to terminate wires within.
3. Remove conductors back to nearest enclosure. Cap conduit.
4. No problems. Leave as is.

For the record, I'm pretty sure #4 is illegal, I would recommend #2 or #3 as I know those are legal, and I would like to recommend #1 but am not certain that it is legal.

Also: I assume duct tape would be an effective, but not legal, conduit cap.

FYI, I'm an engineer in the building for an unrelated project. I would like to suggest to the Owner they take a couple minutes and clean this up, but want to make sure I know the options before doing so.

Thanks!
Exercise caution.
You may want to consult the building owner first before touching any of this wiring.
A simialr incident happened to us about a year ago. We removed an older genset and left the conduit and cables neatly coiled around the stub ups and labeled.
The new genset took about 4 months to arrive and when we returned to the jobsite to install the new genset our cables were gone, the conduit cutoff flush with the floor and filled with cement.
Come to find out the building engineer and the GC doing a new tenant buildout decided to take it upon themselves to "cleanup" the remants of the generator left behind by the EC without consulting anyone else.
It was an expensive repair costing over $20K, the GC is now on the property owners Do Not Call List and that building engineer is working somewhere else.
 

sparkyrick

Senior Member
Location
Appleton, Wi
Exercise caution.
You may want to consult the building owner first before touching any of this wiring.
A simialr incident happened to us about a year ago. We removed an older genset and left the conduit and cables neatly coiled around the stub ups and labeled.
The new genset took about 4 months to arrive and when we returned to the jobsite to install the new genset our cables were gone, the conduit cutoff flush with the floor and filled with cement.
Come to find out the building engineer and the GC doing a new tenant buildout decided to take it upon themselves to "cleanup" the remants of the generator left behind by the EC without consulting anyone else.
It was an expensive repair costing over $20K, the GC is now on the property owners Do Not Call List and that building engineer is working somewhere else.
$20K? How big of a genny was this?
 
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