Why connect black and red together

edo222February 22, 2014

I'm renovating upstairs bedroom in a old house and came across a wire in the attic coming from a pony panel in the kitchen through a medal conduit. It is three wires tightly twisted together and going in to a fake roof line. can not find it again in the old attic. In the pony panel the red and black have been twisted in to one and connected to a black from the main panel and white to white. after disconnecting the black wire from the panel only one outlet in the house stopped working ( kitchen outside wall]. what purpose does it possible have beside feeding one outlet only. Our house is from the early 1910 kitchen build on around 1950 and why twist red and black in to one. I posted this on home repair forum as well

This post was edited by edo222 on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 13:24

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Ron Natalie

The reserved colors in wiring are white (grounded conductors) and green (equipment grounding conductor). Any other color (black, red, blue, ...) is presumed to be a current carrying-nongrounded conductor. (of course, in a sufficiently old house you'll find everything the uniform shade of off-black).

Loosely twisted is an issue. That is never permitted even in an old house.

This post was edited by ronnatalie on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 14:00

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:59PM
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petey_racer

I don't understand your description of things, but I will tell you that there is absolutely no prohibition anywhere of twisting dissimilar wire colors together. With the exception of green or bare wires twisted with other colors.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:39AM
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edo222

the black from main panel was connected to black and faded red that has the blue marrett or wire nut on it right now. white to white

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:54PM
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edo222

and this is where it goes in to the roof line. can not find a junction box and only the one outlet quit by dicconneting the wire in the pony panel. I would like to know what function marretting those two together would have had

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:59PM
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bcarlson78248

I don't know why the wire is red, but considering its location at the roofline could it be left over from a power antenna rotator? Before cable TV it was fairly common to have a powered rotator to move the antenna to the right position for various channels, and they were often mounted at the top of the antenna mast.

Bruce

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Ron Natalie

Doesn't look anything like antenna rotator cabling. The rotator typically was powered from the control unit (set on the TV) which fed the antenna mast part with 4 or 5 conductor typically flat cable.

Again, there's no reason to not join red and black together. As stated there is nothing special about those two colors.

But this is Canada I see now, so anything is possible :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:20PM
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edo222

Beside having to run your furnace for eight month of the year there are also strange ways to wire up old houses here in the north.
Thanks for all the input in to my mystery wires. After disconnecting the power I will try to find out where this wire is ending its run, even if it means to cut in to the fake roof line to find a junction box or any other clue. I don't like loose ends.
Well its time again to stoke the wood stove Thanks again

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:05PM
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weedmeister

A 3-wire cable like 14/3 will have a white, red and black. The red can be used to power something else, like a lamp for a ceiling fan.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:44PM
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pharkus

... pull the cover plate off that one outlet that stopped working. See if all three wires end up behind it. No sense digging into the whole thing if both ends are identified.

My best guess? "kitchen outside outlet" originally had an a/c window unit plugged into it, which required 240. A 120/240 circuit was run. Years later, someone replaces the 240V outlet with a 120V duplex... either they split-wired it (requiring both ends to be hot) or just couldn't decide what to do with the extra wire.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 9:29PM
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