I have a two pole breaker with three black wires and one white wire. The breaker is 50 amps. The three black wires are labeled "Load Power", and the white wire is labeled "Neutral".

Two pole breaker

Where an outlet used to be, there are three black wires and one green wire. This circuit used to power a hot tub.

Edit: Added photo of outlet box.

Outlet box

I no longer have the hot tub, and I would like to power regular 120 V (two or three prong outlets). Is it possible? How would I do the wiring?

If I cannot install regular 120 V outlets, what sort of outlet can I install? If it makes a difference, the outlet box is outdoors.

  • Are you replacing the wiring to the outlet in question? Can you post a photo of the inside of the box for that outlet? Jul 14, 2019 at 3:42
  • @ThreePhaseEel I have added a photo of the outlet box. My hope is that I would not have to replace the wiring, since it runs underground and under concrete.. Jul 14, 2019 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


One of your three black wires is actually connected to the LOAD NEUTRAL terminal so you have two hots and one neutral. Unfortunately, whoever installed this used three black wires and apparently did not mark the neutral.

The wires can be used but you must replace the breaker. Putting a standard 15 or 20 amp outlet on a 50 amp breaker is highly dangerous and against code. You can use either a 240 volt (dual) 15 or 20 amp breaker with all three wires or cap off one of the hots and use a 120 volt (single) 15 or 20 amp breaker.

Two caveats: first, you need to identify the neutral wire and color the ends white, probably with white electrical tape. Second, the wire you have is too large diameter to connect to either the breaker or outlets. You’ll have to make pigtails using 12 AWG wire.

BTW, you currently have a GFCI breaker. You need GFCI protection on outdoor outlets. In my opinion, you’re better continuing to use a GFCI breaker since the outlet will be exposed to the weather and a GFCI outlet will have a short lifespan.

  • 1
    This looks like THWN in conduit. You can't re-mark loose wires in conduit. The black was wrong when installed. Jul 14, 2019 at 7:36

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