Hidden Electrical Issues

One of the things we run into on a regular basis are illegal or “boot-legged” electrical splices. Below are some photos of some we found on a recent job. None of the splices were in wire nutted, they just took electrical tape and taped them together. There were other spices made in the ceiling that no one knew were there. What happens if you have a short or the splice comes apart? How do you find a hidden splice point if you weren’t the one who did it? Answer: you really cant without tracking the wire all the way back to the splice point, which could be a major endeavor, depending on where you start and where you have to go to find it. Here’s the deal; if you HAVE to splice in the middle of a circuit (1) it has to be in a box, (2) you need to use WIRE NUTS, then tape them up, and (3) you HAVE to leave them accessible (in other words you have to put them in a box and have a plate on the finished wall so that you can get in there and work on them if need be). Ideally you dont splice into the middle of a line, if the circuit can carry the extra load you can jump off of an existing terminal point or if at all possible have a new circuit run from the main box, by a professional.  Bottom line: If you DON’T know what your doing, hire a professional. If not (especially in a case like this) you could be putting the lives of yourself and your loved ones at risk, not to mention the next owner.