05:06AM | 03/07/05
Member Since: 12/01/03
30 lifetime posts
I know some things about home repair but when it comes to electrical I am a total novice.

Question - If I have a junction box with a porcelain lightbulb outlet that I do not wish to use can I just cover that over with my drop ceiling or is there a plug of some sort that you would put into that outlet. I guess what I am asking is if I don not have a bulb in that outlet is it dangereous to leave it "hot" and open like that ??

Additional Details - I am semi-finsihing my basement and building a very small 8 x 10 office which I will finish with drywall and a drop ceiling.

Thanks - jg1234


05:29AM | 03/07/05
Member Since: 02/28/05
11 lifetime posts
I would take the fixture out, use twist locks on the wires and get a blank faceplate for the junction box. Keep the circuit and your home safe.



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05:43AM | 03/07/05
Member Since: 12/01/03
30 lifetime posts
Jerry - thanks for the quick reply. Two quick follow up questions.

1. When I go to work on that fixture will it be safe for me if I simply remove the fuse that controls that outlet or do I need to shut the whole panel down ??

2. Are twist locks those red and yellow type mini nuts that have a threaded piece inside - sort of the same things I see in a lot of the outlets around my house when I take the plate off ??

Thanks again - jg1234

Jim D

11:52PM | 03/07/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
JG1234 - hi, if you read through this portion of the BBS, you'll find guidance provided by licensed electricians. I've worked with electronics - a big difference from being a electrician - so I don't profess to be an expert. What I recall seeing is this - if the wiring inside the junction box will hold live wires (even if not in use), then you have to not only cap the box with a cover plate but the box has to remain accessible. So, if your drop ceiling tiles are "permanently" installed so they can't be pushed up, the box isn't accessible. If the tiles can be pushed up, that's considered accessible.

To answer your other questions - yes, to safely work on that circuit all you'd have to do is remove the fuse that controls it. The easy way to tell is to turn the light on and then pull the fuse - if the light goes off, you've got it! Now - I hope you're actually dealing with circuit breakers and not the old screw-in style fuses...I think some of the pros would cringe at pulling a fuse out of a live circuit. If you do have fuses - you'd want to shut down the whole panel long enough to remove the fuse, and then you can turn the panel back on.

The twist-locks are indeed wire nuts (those are the colored mini nuts you described). You'd cap each wire separately and you'd want to use a little electrician's tape to help keep them on the end of the wire. Then, tuck the capped wires inside the junction box and secure the cover plate to the box with screws.

Again - I'm not an electrician, so I'm hoping the pros will jump in here and correct us if I've incorrectly advised you on anything. Regards! Jim D/West Point, VA


03:56AM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 12/01/03
30 lifetime posts
Jim D,

Hi and thanks for your reply.

The ceiling will in fact be accessible so I am good there and lickily I do have the breakers and not the old screw in type.

I feel a little better about doing this now.

regards - jg1234
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