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UPDATE: Resolved. The ground wire was located behind the box, in the wall. It's a bit short (??) but it will do once I put the subpanel in. Thanks for everyone who responded.

I am tracing the somewhat old wiring network in my house... and I found one blind box on the patio (outside), with 3 8AWG wires inside, two hot and one neutral, that is connected, via a 50-60' wall run, to my main panel and a pair of 60AMP breakers.

I am guessing that was for an AC, since that would justify using 8AWG wire on such large breakers. Now, I don't have an AC there, or a need for it, but I could use a couple of patio outlets.

I was first thinking about putting a small sub-panel there, to have some space for future expansion, but digging into the wall is out of question, so I cannot put the 4th wire (ground) in to make it code-legal.

So, in fact, with 3 wires only I seem to be limited to doing a 120V setup? Can I just install a smaller single breaker at the main panel, say 20A, and then use the 3 existing wires as hot/neutral/ground (re-wiring them at the panel, obviously). Do I need to mark them, e.g. "turn red into green"? Or is there a more interesting way to use the existing wiring? What would you do? ;)

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    Can you post photos of the inside of the existing box please? That'll help guide us as to what precisely can be done with the existing wiring – ThreePhaseEel Sep 8 '20 at 3:42
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    Thanks so much for your response(s), guys! The box is in a somewhat hard to access place, so it took some time to figure out how to access it fully... no metal conduit, but... as I cut the old stucco around and wiggled the box... I found the ground wire jammed far back behind the box in the wall!! Yaaay! – Misha0001 Sep 8 '20 at 16:57
  • Make that an answer and I'll give you a +1 for it (photos of your situation with the ground wire would be good, too :) – ThreePhaseEel Sep 9 '20 at 0:19
  • @ThreePhaseEel, I don't seem to have the option of "accepting an answer," perhaps because I am a new user... I thought maybe an option will appear after 48 hrs, but no, I don't see any "checkboxes" or other options... Sorry if I am missing something, went to Help files, but cannot figure it out so far :) – Misha0001 Sep 12 '20 at 4:41
  • No, I mean "post your comment as an answer, along with photos, and I'll give you an upvote for it" – ThreePhaseEel Sep 12 '20 at 19:45
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Thanks so much for your response(s), guys! The box is in a somewhat hard to access place, so it took some time to figure out how to access it fully... no metal conduit, but... as I cut the old stucco around and wiggled the box... I found the ground wire jammed far back behind the box in the wall!! Yaaay!

Box_Inside

Difficult Location behind new AC

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