I have an electrical box in my basement that I want to wire an outlet into. There are three sets of wires (2 each) -- the usual black and white, and red (and ground). I've tried to wire the outlet with black and white (ignoring red), but I don't get any power from it (receptacle tester indicates "open hot").
I've also tried using the red wires instead of the black. Then I get power (but no ground even though it is connected), but the kitchen light (on the same circuit) flickers when switched off.
My understanding is that the red wire is a hot wire for a switched outlet. But in that case I should be fine just ignoring it, which doesn't work.
What I've tried and checked:
- Verified that all the wires are attached correctly to the outlet.
- Different outlet. Same result.
- Checked that the wires are hot with a non-contact AC tester. Not connecting the two black or two red wires causes other stuff on the same circuit not to work, so they're clearly carrying current.
- Tried all switches on the same circuit to see if any of them would switch on power with the black connected. None did.
Any ideas on how to solve this? Should this work, but something else is broken somewhere?
- The cables are in a round ceiling box, with one set of wires coming in in a metal sheathing and the other one NM sheathing.
- Pairs of cables were originally pigtailed together (white - white, black - black, red - red) with a twist-on cap. Ground was just loose in the box.
- The installer(?) labeled the box "3-way Sw".
- The circuit has a 15A breaker.
- On the same circuit are 4 lights and one receptacle which is switched with one of the lights.
- Solid Copper wires.
- Voltage between black and white is negligible, about 2.5V.
- Voltage between red and white and red and black is 117V.
- Voltage between ground and everything else is 47V.