I have a little bit of a conundrum. I've inherited a cabin that was 90% complete, but there a few little jobs left, one being a light junction box in my pantry that I need to hook a light up to. It's already drywalled so I can't see where wires are going, and there is no obvious light switch. I have 3 sets of wires coming into the junction that are capped together, plus the ground wire. It looks like this:

Image of Junction box wiring

Image with wiring shown

I'm assuming white is neutral, black is hot, and red is usually another hot? I've used a multimeter and when checking the black and white wires I get a voltage reading, when I check the white and red together I get no reading.

There's a working/functional 3-way light switch on the outside of the pantry for lights located on a staircase nearby but I don't think that would be the switch for this as it would just be an odd set up.

I'm guessing it could just be wired to have a light with a pull chord or turn switch on the light to turn things on and off. Is that possible? Meaning the power is always on to this junction and the light fixture will have to control the on/off?

Anyway, looking for some advice, I can check things with a multimeter etc. to help diagnose what is wired up here, but all I really want to do is hook up a light here without frying myself or burning the cabin down.

Thanks for any advice, appreciate it!

  • Welcome to StackExchange. While this is well-drawn, your stylization has elided some important information. It matters how the wires are grouped into cables or conduit ports, so it would help if you could illustrate that. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 17 '18 at 16:02
  • Of course, sorry about that. I've edited the post and added an image to illustrate that. – Cabin DIY Jun 17 '18 at 16:09
  • Can you look in the two boxes directly connected to this one and see what the red wire does there? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 17 '18 at 16:29
  • I am not sure where these two wires go. There is a wall socket below it near the floor (this is a wall fixture) I'll pull that apart and report back. – Cabin DIY Jun 17 '18 at 16:40
  • 1
    @Harper, okay I see, so contact each colored wire with the ground wire using a meter and see what gives back a voltage reading? – Cabin DIY Jun 18 '18 at 17:01

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