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· Rack em :)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm putting a new bathroom in an unfinished basement. With the help of an electrician who was visiting we found a junction box, that was it's own circut, nothing else on it.

So now I've run my 12/2 to this junction box. A quick look last night I saw the pic below. One black, one white and one red wire.

I have one black one white and a ground wire to hook up. How should I hook this up so that the bathroom lighting and outlet on this circut is grounded properly?

Here's the pic.
 

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· Licensed Electrical Cont.
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Sorry, both your description and the pic are not helping at all.

We have NO idea how the 12/2 is hooked up in your bathroom.
We have NO idea how the 3-wire is hooked up in the panel (or where ever), or even that it is also #12.

We really need better pics and a MUCH better description of what's going on. I will say from the question you are asking I get the impression that your electrician friend should really be doing this for you.
 

· Rack em :)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have run the 12/2 to the light fixtures in the bathroom. Grounding as I was shown how and told here how.

I have not hooked up either end of the 12/2 either at the junction box where power comes to the bathroom nor at the other end which has the additional red wire.

Sounds like I have to look behind my panel and see how that empty circuit is wired in.
 

· Registered
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37,499 Posts
A red wire could be part of a switch loop, or the traveler to a three way switch. No way to tell from here.
 

· Registered
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5,468 Posts
I'm putting a new bathroom in an unfinished basement. With the help of an electrician who was visiting we found a junction box, that was it's own circut, nothing else on it.

So now I've run my 12/2 to this junction box. A quick look last night I saw the pic below. One black, one white and one red wire.

I have one black one white and a ground wire to hook up. How should I hook this up so that the bathroom lighting and outlet on this circut is grounded properly?

Here's the pic.
When a black wire is used with a red wire,
The most likely scenario is
RED - Hot.
Black - Neutral.
Bare - Earth.

To be sure, go to your panel
look inside check the relevent breaker
is there a red wire on the load side ?
and does the black wire go to the neutral bar ?

But to be sure you should test it.
Put a volt meter tetween red and black.
Should read 120v.

If it reads less, then you could
have a switch loop.
If it is indead a switch loop
then it will have to be reconfigured .

If it reads more than 120,
say 220 to 240v
then it will have to be also reconfigered.

If both tests are positive,
then try this -
Red wire to black wire
Black wire white wire
Bare to bare.

Test with a simple load like a lamp!

If you do not feel 100% confident that you
can do it safely, THEN DONT,
instead call an electricain.
 

· flipping slumlord
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5,124 Posts
With the help of an electrician who was visiting we found a junction box, that was it's own circuit, nothing else on it.
Good for you. If that box is located somewhere OUTSIDE the finished area of the new bathroom... then you can extend this 20A circuit to the new receptacle(s) you'll have in/near the bathroom.

Then you'll only have to add the 14ga (15A) circuit...
the one you'll use for lights and exhaust fan
 

· Registered
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5,468 Posts
DMX, the neutral should never be black in the US wiring conventions.
So what do you have to do, if you come across an old color code
piece of wire, where the black was neutral ?
Are you required to replace it ?

The old color code was
RED = HOT
BLACK = NEUTRAL

I understand the possable confusion
with the use of the black wire.
cause someone not knowing, could think
it is hot when it is neutral.

It could also be a 240 line with out neutral.
thats why he needs to test to be sure !
 

· Licensed Electrician
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4,352 Posts
If there isn't a neutral visible in romex cable, I would assume that the white has been cut off and this was once used as a 240V circuit. Black was never used as a neutral.
 

· UAW SKILLED TRADES
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4,975 Posts
I'm putting a new bathroom in an unfinished basement. With the help of an electrician who was visiting we found a junction box, that was it's own circut, nothing else on it.

So now I've run my 12/2 to this junction box. A quick look last night I saw the pic below. One black, one white and one red wire.

I have one black one white and a ground wire to hook up. How should I hook this up so that the bathroom lighting and outlet on this circut is grounded properly?

Here's the pic.
Make sure the bare ground hasn't been cut off where you can't see it. Maybe strip back the outer sheath a bit. It would be unusual for modern nm cable 10 awg or smaller to be absent of the grounding conductor.

In the USA black is always a hot wire and so is red when operating 120/240 single phase. Black or red is never neutral. White or gray is generally neutral but for 120 volt branch circuits in the USA using nm cable (romex) pretty much its always white. Ground is bare or green in cables for 120 volt systems.

If things were done properly and the red is not being used as a switched hot wire and the black not being switched both red and black wires should be hot. A simple voltage check will verify. Or go to the panel and find the breakers that this 3 conductor cable is connected two and tell us how it is wired ....pictures are always nice ...:thumbsup:

Most important thing is that you need a grounding conductor in the cable with black and red or you cannot connect 12/2 with ground to that cable.
 

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If there isn't a neutral visible in romex cable, I would assume that the white has been cut off and this was once used as a 240V circuit. Black was never used as a neutral.
Then its different in the USA,
but in Australia the old color code was
red and black, its now brown and blue.
I think some parts of europe used to use black and red
in the past also.
So now I know something new.


Could the cable be a 240v feed with no neutral ?
 

· Registered
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133 Posts
NTT: you definitely need to test that circuit out my simply using a continuity tester with power off to trace that conductor. Once confirming the circuit then identifying what size conductor it is, for its hook up could be a 220 vs 120 using #12, #10... possibly even a #14 conductor, apparently being it is a preexisting install.

Then go from there, turn the theory into a solution. If need consult with a qualified electrician to help put you on that right track. For what sometime seems simple isn't always the scenario.
 

· " Euro " electrician
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5,369 Posts
So what do you have to do, if you come across an old color code
piece of wire, where the black was neutral ?
Are you required to replace it ?

The old color code was
RED = HOT
BLACK = NEUTRAL

I understand the possable confusion
with the use of the black wire.
cause someone not knowing, could think
it is hot when it is neutral.

It could also be a 240 line with out neutral.
thats why he needs to test to be sure !
See below for my comment.,

Then its different in the USA,
but in Australia the old color code was
red and black, its now brown and blue.
I think some parts of europe used to use black and red
in the past also.
So now I know something new.


Could the cable be a 240v feed with no neutral ?
Look down .,

I have read somewhere, in the past in older posts
that you used to use red and black in the past.

But apparanttly thats not true !

It was true for Australia and parts of europe
before they introduced the new brown and blue.
In fact I know in USA side history wise they never use black as netural on AC system but possiblty for the DC side but that is not relaive now and in France and majorty of our European area the old colour format for monophase was used to be red for phase conductor while black is used for netural which that is true but not anymore they changed that about 10 years back.

So with modern European colour for monophase side :

Brown - Phase ( line or hot )
Bleu - Neutal

But don't go there with triphase colour it still not really standardized yet but getting there. ( I am allready used to 2 differnt verison which it is legit in my area < France > )

Merci,
Marc
 

· Rack em :)
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for your thoughts on this guys. Sorry for the blurry pic and my poor wording of the situation. both have caused confusion.

The box does have black and white. I have tested these and have 120 with the black and white wires. I have not tested the red for ground and do not see a bare wire ....but I have not stripped more sheathing off the cable to see if a bare wire is available.

I talked with the electrician who helped me to start with and he believes the red went to ground but asked that I check by removing the panel and tracing the wire. I plan do just that, plus if there is a way to test ground with the multimeter I would like to do that to double check my work. But I don't know how. Any thoughts on that? TIA.
 

· Super Moderator
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18,347 Posts
Red should never be ground.

Unless the cable has a ground it is useless, except for scrap. Your wiring method needs a grounding means.
 
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