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Old 08-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
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electrical connections question


I have a new lakefront home that has a wire stubbed into a junction box for "future dock lighting" in the crawl space. I am now connecting this to a GFI plug on the shore near the dock. My issue is that the wire stubbed into the box has 4 wires in it....red, black, white and plain copper. The wire heading out to the lake has three wires in it...black, white and plain copper. The wire in the box has "red to switch" and "black hot" written on it by the electrician who installed it. It is a weekend and I cannot get ahold of the electrician to ask him. Can you help me. I am thinking the dock lighting is supposed to be operated by two switches...one in the garage and one in the house. (3-way??) Thank you.

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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You would know more about this than any of us, but black is probably constant hot, and red is fed from a switch

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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That or it was possible that the run was originally meant for a 240vac sub panel, then someone changed their mind along the way.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by scottbu View Post
I have a new lakefront home that has a wire stubbed into a junction box for "future dock lighting" in the crawl space. I am now connecting this to a GFI plug on the shore near the dock. My issue is that the wire stubbed into the box has 4 wires in it....red, black, white and plain copper. The wire heading out to the lake has three wires in it...black, white and plain copper. The wire in the box has "red to switch" and "black hot" written on it by the electrician who installed it. It is a weekend and I cannot get ahold of the electrician to ask him. Can you help me. I am thinking the dock lighting is supposed to be operated by two switches...one in the garage and one in the house. (3-way??) Thank you.
I'm thinking black and white = constant hot. Red and white = switched controlled. Easily checked with a voltage tester.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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From the labels, it certainly sounds like the red wire is switched power for a light. You'd have to figure out where the switch is in your house! A three-way switch would be good, but you do not have enough wires to do that. You would need another wire to go between the switch in the house and the switch at the dock. There is a way you could still achieve the same result by using a relay, though.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by scottbu View Post
I have a new lakefront home that has a wire stubbed into a junction box for "future dock lighting" in the crawl space. I am now connecting this to a GFI plug on the shore near the dock. My issue is that the wire stubbed into the box has 4 wires in it....red, black, white and plain copper. The wire heading out to the lake has three wires in it...black, white and plain copper. The wire in the box has "red to switch" and "black hot" written on it by the electrician who installed it. It is a weekend and I cannot get ahold of the electrician to ask him. Can you help me. I am thinking the dock lighting is supposed to be operated by two switches...one in the garage and one in the house. (3-way??) Thank you.
I have done this before so therefore what the electrician did have two type of source one is switched ( the red wire that is controlled by a switch inside or outside of the house ) while second choice is constant hot which that mean unswitched source.

The reason why that electrician did that in first place in case you want unswitched at first but change the mind to switched verison or the otherway around so easy to do this real quick without tearing into the switch box inside the house.

But only sticky issue what the electrician done that part I do not know why but due he ran XX-2 conductor ( is this in the conduit or direct burial UF cable that will make the differnce ) if that was moi I just run in the conduit so can have it both way.

Merci,
Marc

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