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Thread: wire has been shorted - is it okay to reuse?

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    wire has been shorted - is it okay to reuse?

    I tried to cut through a live wire today. It was incredibly stupid and scary, but I'm okay. I dropped my wire cutters immediately and jumped back. There was a loud bang and a flash of bright light, and the circuit breaker flipped.

    After pacing around for a while and regaining my composure, then checking again and again (as I should have the first time) that the wire was not live I finished the cut, stripped the wires, and reconnected them with wire nuts. Is there any danger to using a wire after this has happened to it? Has it been compromised in any way during the accident? I didn't see anything wrong with the ends where it had been cut, but I want to be safe. Replacing it would be a huge ordeal because it's stapled down in the wall behind some kitchen cabinets that there's no way to get behind now that the counter top is installed.

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    As long as you have it wire nutted safely you should be good to go.
    Glad to hear your okay,
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.

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    I have to disagree with pushkins. Once you've cut the wire it compromises a splice in a cable and must be dealt with as such. While it seems ok to just wire nut it together, it really should be made up within a box, wire nutted together and have a cover plate affixed to the box. It should be made accessible from the outside of the wall, that is the coverplate should be showing. All splices should [must] be accessible, not hidden within a wall space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HayZee518 View Post
    I have to disagree with pushkins. Once you've cut the wire it compromises a splice in a cable and must be dealt with as such. While it seems ok to just wire nut it together, it really should be made up within a box, wire nutted together and have a cover plate affixed to the box. It should be made accessible from the outside of the wall, that is the coverplate should be showing. All splices should [must] be accessible, not hidden within a wall space.
    All good points and I did do it that way. I was making the cut inside of a chase that contains some plumbing and a bunch of other junction boxes that will have an access panel on it. The wire nuts are inside of a box with a cover on it. Having done all these precautions though do you agree that the wire is safe to reuse? I guess in theory since the breaker flipped it did not have more than 15 amps running though it, which it is rated for.

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    no problem. when you cut through the wire you created a direct short to ground and the protective "earth" ground. other than it scared the hell out of you no damage to the wires inside. must've taken a good chunk of steel out of your cutters. I did something similar when I was wiring up a windmill battery system. I forgot I had the positive and negative connected to a series wired system putting out 120 volts on a number 6 aluminum cable. yeah, I cut through the cable - one heck of a spark! my fingers got all blackened and I was blinded for a few seconds. my pliers were destroyed and I was shaking for about an hour after that. but I had to finish the job so I did - one wire at a time!

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    Ooops, I have to apologize, not sure where I got it from but I assumed (and we all know what "ass u me ing means) that the wire was in a box and was cut for some reason.
    Disregard my very inappropriate answer.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.

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