This double outlet is connected to a switch. Both outlets depend on the switch. If the switch is on then both have power. If it's off the both don't.
The picture shows the wiring involved. The outlet is connected to one hot and two neutral wires. The other hot screw and the grounding screw both have nothing attached to them. My non-contact voltage tester shows that the two white wires are neutrals, the red is hot, and the black ones that are twisted together with the black wire nut are also hot. The green ground screw is in the lower left corner and is not connected to anything (old house).
Ultimately, the goal is to have this be a permanent hot outlet. Right now, though, I'm trying to figure out what is going on with the wiring.
By looking at the switch wiring (elsewhere on the wall) I was able to determine that the red wire is connected directly to that switch.
What else is going on here? Does the double neutral mean that the red wire is likely carrying 240V rather than 120V? Does the wire nut with the blacks mean that the whole thing is connected to another outlet or fixture somewhere else (even though the second hot screw is not being used)?
Update: I know that the ground is not attached in the outlet (or the switch for that matter). There exists no metal conduit piping for the wires to protect them on their way to the circuit box. Hence, even though the outlet (and switch) boxes are metal they can't be used for grounding. I've been informed that a feasible solution is to install GFCI breakers in the main box. It is probably not the greatest solution but should mitigate the problem without tearing apart the walls and structure of the house to rewire everything.
I know that adding all those black hot wires to the one terminal screw is considered the wrong thing to do. I didn't wire the house 70 years ago. And yes, I did re-cover everything with electrical tape after i put it all back together. I know it's not an ideal solution. It's worked ok so far and I didn't want to leave everything exposed while I asked my question.
The switch is one switch out of 4 in that one box. You can clearly see the red hot and the three black hots coming off of that switch. Of those four switches - one controls the overhead light, one controls the outside porch light, the one we are worried about controls the outlet inside the house, and I'm not sure about the fourth one.
I don't know what else is on the circuit controlled by the switch that controls the outlet.
Have I just (unintentionally) informed everyone that this project is significantly complicated/technical? Do I need to figure out the wiring of those other three switches before I commit to having anything done (by me or a professional)? What's the right next step here?