I'm adding a receptacle on the exterior wall and I'd like to power it from a very conveniently located gang box which on the interior side of the wall. The existing box is covered with a blank plate, and since it is 5 1/2 feet off the floor, it must have been for a wall sconce. Inside the box are three pieces of Romex: two are three wire, but the third has a red traveler. Everything is connected with wire nuts: NUT 1 - all white. NUT 2 - black from one romex, and red from the 4 wire. NUT 3 - black from the last piece of romex, black from the 4 wire, and then a black wire that connects NUTS 2 and 3.

It seems to me that I can add my new romex to NUT 1 and NUT 3, and I should be ok. I highly doubt this is to code, so I anticipate that any advice will come with the caveat that this isn't to code. I'm in New Jersey, and thanks.

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  • Can you post photos of the insides of the switch box(es) that control power to this junction? It'd also help if you pulled the nuts out more and got us a square-on shot of the inside of the box you're tapping from... May 14, 2017 at 17:35
  • 1
    Looks like a former traveler / 3-way that was retired. Essentially all the hots in the entire box are nutted together. The jumper is superflouous but may reveal previous intent, perhaps the red was once switched-hot while the black was once always-hot (i.e. not necessarily travelers). May 14, 2017 at 20:51
  • Thanks, I agree 100%. I switched off the circuit at the box, and the everything went dead as expected (no 2nd circuit on the traveler). So I connected ground to ground, white to white, black to black, and all worked out. After working on it, I think this must have been a switch leg to an outdoor light that was removed.
    – Matthew
    May 15, 2017 at 11:32

1 Answer 1


So if this is on a traveler circuit

  • Do you have two switches somewhere that controls that circuit ?

I think your logic about what you intend to do is fine. You will have a hot a neutral and a ground.

One of the things that looks off to me is that normally your switches have the traveler between them and not your luminary box. You would see here Two 4 wire romex's [red to red ]and then your 3 way power romex - perhaps you had two sconce lamp receptacles..

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