12:04PM | 04/13/05
Member Since: 04/12/05
2 lifetime posts
I have a live/work warehouse space in California. For most of my construction, I've enjoyed the help of a friends father who was a career electrician. He is gone now, and I need a little help.

I have quite a few ceiling boxes and outlets in this place. I'm trying to wire in an outlet in one of my rooms using the junction box that resides in the ceiling. I opened the box expecting a 2-wire set (black/white/ground), or possibly a 3-wire set (there is a light switch nearby that I can't figure might be to the box).

Instead, I found one cable supplying 5 wires: black/black/yellow/yellow/red. No exposed copper for ground, no green.

Not sure if this is a 240v circuit, or something else I don't recognize. Maybe a 3-phase?

Anyone out there know what this might be? Anyone know how/if I can safely install an outlet on here?

Any help would be much appreciated!



Viva Bob Vila!

Tom O

02:21PM | 04/13/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts

Unless someone here is clairvoyant, there is no way to tell you what those wires do based on color alone.

There are only a few instances where specific colors are required (or allowed), such as green for ground, white or grey for neutrals. After that, almost anything goes.

For instance, yellow is usually used as one phase of a 480 volt system. But, it could also be used for any other hot wire at any other voltage.

Your best bet is to cultivate the friendship of another electrician. In the meantime, consider hiring one.

Good Luck



03:15PM | 04/13/05
Member Since: 04/12/05
2 lifetime posts
I guess it would be safe to assume at the very least that since there is no ground (green or bare copper), it's probably not safe to wire into...right?



07:01AM | 04/14/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
I think that is a good plan. It could be anything, 277V, most likly. I'd stay away from it and call an electrician.
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