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djgrant 06-14-2011 12:21 AM

Lots of wires in mystery box
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There are 2 two-wire cables coming into this one box and one three-wire. I have no idea why. It is near the floor so there must have been outlet here before. There is a light fixture on the ceiling and a switch nearby. Can anyone make any guess as to what is going on here? All the other outlets in the house are straightforward with 1 pair coming in and 1 pair coming out.

sirsparksalot 06-14-2011 12:26 AM

It feeds other receptacles, or lights, I'd say. Was there a receptacle in this box?

The three wire indicates a possible 3-way switch

djgrant 06-14-2011 12:30 AM

I'm not sure, probably was a receptacle.

Oh I there is one coming in and two going out.

So the one that confuses me now is the 3 wire. It's red wire has a cap in the end and it is not connected to any other wire in this box.

sirsparksalot 06-14-2011 12:36 AM


Originally Posted by djgrant (Post 667002)
I'm not sure, probably was a receptacle.

Well, I mean, was anything there, or has it always been like this (opened; no cover on it)?

Why are you looking into this? It could simply be a junction box, or a receptacle was there at one time, and someone covered it.

The RED wire may have been for a ceiling fan/light at one time, or it could be part of the travelers for a pair of 3-way switches.

sirsparksalot 06-14-2011 12:39 AM

Are you wanting to add a receptacle to it? If so, you'd need to check with a voltmeter if there's 120v between the group of White wires and the group of Black.

ALSO, I see a wire (looks like a bare wire with white paint on it) coming out the right side of the box; what is this?

djgrant 06-14-2011 12:43 AM

I'm really not sure the history of it. There was an electrician in that room and another room doing electrical stuff for the new furnace and heat pump. He also added a couple outlets that I wanted and I gave him free reign to fix up anything he saw. We were on vacation while this was all going on. I suspect he added the outlet because it looks like his work.

djgrant 06-14-2011 12:45 AM

The three wires coming out towards us are pigtails for hot, neutral, and bare (with some paint in it)

psuryan 06-14-2011 06:22 PM

I would say there was a outlet there, and one of the outlets was on a switch. See if there is a red wire in your switch, or just see if it is hot when the light is on only.

AndyinAtl 06-15-2011 03:38 AM

the other possibility is that the dude simply ran out of 14/2 or 12/2 and had to use 14/3 or 12/3.

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