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Old 06-14-2011, 01:21 AM   #1
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Lots of wires in mystery box


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.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:26 AM   #2
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Lots of wires in mystery box


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


Last edited by sirsparksalot; 06-14-2011 at 01:28 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:30 AM   #3
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Lots of wires in mystery box


I'm not sure, probably was a receptacle.

Oh I see...like 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.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:36 AM   #4
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Lots of wires in mystery box


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Originally Posted by djgrant View Post
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.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:39 AM   #5
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Lots of wires in mystery box


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?
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:43 AM   #6
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Lots of wires in mystery box


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.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:45 AM   #7
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Lots of wires in mystery box


The three wires coming out towards us are pigtails for hot, neutral, and bare (with some paint in it)
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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Lots of wires in mystery box


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.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:38 AM   #9
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Lots of wires in mystery box


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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