Old wiring question--3 wires wrapped in same cord

eks6426November 23, 2009

My husband and I are both pretty handy when it comes to electrical stuff. We are remodeling our kitchen and found something that just doesn't make sense to us.

Our house was built in 1940 and most of the wiring is the black cloth covered stuff. We had cloth wrapped wire that had 3 wires in it. One black, one white and one red. The wire is thick enough that we though it was a 220 line but it is not...each individual wire is only 12 gauge.

The black and white wires were hooked to a switch leg for that controls the electricity to my garage. The red wire was hooked to a outlet box. The outlet box also had black and white wires coming into it from the ceiling. These were the live wires.

At the box that contains the switch for the garage is another switch that controls lights outside the house. There is a jumper from the garage switch to the house switch.

We redid the wiring with new Romex. Added a junction box that connect the live wires from above with the switch leg and then continues on to the outlet box. This eliminated the red wire going back to the outlet box from the switch leg and now the garage is without electricity but the house lights still work.

We're not sure what that red wire going from the garage switch leg to the outleg box is for. Any ideas?

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"we though it was a 220 line but it is not...each individual wire is only 12 gauge." That part of your statement makes no sense... 220V can use 14, 12, 10 or higher gauge wire.

The three wire cable would typically be hot (black), neutral (white), switched hot (red).

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 5:12PM
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We figured it out. It was pretty much what you suggested with the hot black, white neutral and red hot switched. We moved things around and it works now. Most of the 220 line I have seen has been 10 or 8 gauge wire.

Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 8:49AM
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