Dangerous wiring, hidden behind the walls, is a common find for a service electrician and can result in anything from a circuit power failure to a residential house fire. This problem is a ticking time bomb as the danger can sometimes lay hidden for years before a failure occurs.
A fire requires three things to burn: an ignition source or spark, a fuel source and oxygen.
This was clearly emphasized at a local Fire Department’s training session that our crews attended many years ago. So our electricians explain this to homeowners whenever they come across open splices buried inside walls like this one found today. Everything about this unpleasant find is WRONG and DANGEROUS!
When wiring is properly terminated inside a correctly rated and installed electrical box, it is isolated from nearby combustible materials (wooden studs, beams, etc.) and although an electrical box is not airtight, the amount of oxygen inside the enclosure is quickly depleted should any arcing occur. The spark is also contained and can not reach a fuel source, so it is quickly starved of both fuel and oxygen, and the potential fire dies out.
We’d like to say that this type of find is unusual, but it’s not. Our electricians come across this problem much too often, and in homes of almost any age. If you suspect there may be unauthorized, amateur wiring somewhere in your home, please call us and we can investigate and correct the issue before it becomes a serious problem. We can not emphasize enough the importance of hiring a licensed electrician to complete all regulated electrical work.