What are these yellow wires???

griff11May 9, 2014

Can someone tell me what these yellow wires are in the junction box? This box is outside and i have two of them on opposite sides of the covered patio. I'm trying to figure out what they run to but it is going under the concrete. I tested for power and there doesn't seem to be any. There also doesn't seem to be any ground wire at all.

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Yellow wires are typically used in conduit so this does not imply they are fulfilling any special purpose.

You tested for power by doing what exactly? I'm assuming you mean there is no voltage reading from the yellows. If the blacks show voltage, they are the source of power, and the yellows would only be energized when wire-nutted to the blacks. It appears that all the whites (neutrals) are wire-nutted together, which is correct. If neither the blacks nor whites show voltage, then something is disconnected somewhere, or a switch or breaker is off.

If you are going to be messing with these circuits, I suggest you get an electrician or a friend who is knowledgeable about electricity to help you. I'm all for do-it-yourself, but you seem to have limited knowledge about wiring and that can be dangerous.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 5:04AM
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Is/was there a water well on the premises?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 5:50AM
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The ground is provided by the conduit.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:44PM
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"The ground is provided by the conduit."

Not safely or legally from that flex I'd bet.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 1:50PM
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griff11 , there is no way for anyone to tell what they do just from the color.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 1:51PM
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Ron Natalie

But someone has some wishful thinking connecting a ground clamp to the outside of the unused rigid conduit to the right (or bottom depending on which orientation you have). If that's coming from the feed side, it's quite possible it is providing a ground.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Although the information isn't really provided, I would surmise from the photo that power comes in from the flex and exits via the rigid. Two big issues I would have here: First, the apparent change in the wire gage (size) from the black to the yellow. If the yellow is hardwired to an appliance and run through the rigid for convenience (a third minor issue) then the branch may not be properly protected by the over-current protective device (breaker). Second, there is no apparent ground wire for the branch...there is no ground running with the conductors at all. If the power is sourced via the black wires and the flex is too long or not of an approved type it will not provide an effective bond. The shady looking "bond" on the rigid is not legal or effective since it is made up. Depending on how the box is mounted may provide a bond through building steel, but I highly doubt it since this is likely residential. Going into the concrete may provide a nice Ufer ground, but that may not be intentional and would need to meet other bonding requirements as well. I have big questions here as to the proper bonding of the branch. It may work for whatever you are using it for right now, but in the event of a mishap I don't think you would be properly protected, especially since you mentioned a patio, which may be a wet location.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:04PM
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