10-2 to 12-3 to lampwire


  #1  
Old 03-23-14, 01:07 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 258
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
10-2 to 12-3 to lampwire

I was doing some gyprock work today and stuck my hand in between the ceiling joists and got a shock!

I stuck my iPhone in the small hole and started to take pictures 360 degrees to see what was in there and found a live lamp wire extension cord, cut off flush with a joist.

A few more pictures, and I decided to drill a 4 inch hole in the gyprock and found a former ceiling light with 2 lamp wire extension cords plugged in to the light sockets. In the 8 months or so I have been in the house, this brings to 5 extension cords I have found in the walls/ceilings.

I shut the power to the line, removed the 2 lamp wire runs (one went to an unused plug that once had a dehumidifier on it). In doing so I found another extension cord wired directly in to the light box, I removed the extension wire and traced it back to the side wall where it runs up into the wall, I have no clue where it leads. It seems to be abandon in place (live) somewhere in my daughter's bedroom wall. None of her plugs or lights are "down" now that is has been pulled from the circuit.

Bigger part of the mystery is, this line is 30 amps on 10-2 to a feeder panel.
There are 2 15 amp breakers in the feeder panel.
Then it splits on 12-2 to the front half and rear half respectively.
Once it hits a light switch it seems to go down to 14-2 from the switch to the actual ceiling light.

But this ceiling light in the basement clearly has 12-3.
Where in &%$$ does the second hot line come in on a circuit that leaves the feeder panel on 12-2 NMD-1?
This is the first original wire I have found that is three wire.

At one point, before I installed a new feeder panel, the old 30 amp line was spliced directly to the 2 12g lines behind the face plate, which means they had 30 amps running down to lamp wire. I don't know how this house did not burn down.
 
  #2  
Old 03-23-14, 01:48 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 64,593
Received 3,881 Upvotes on 3,478 Posts
Lamp wire or extension cord wiring is #18 not #10. I don't see any #10 in your pictures. The wiring in that 4" round box looks like #14.

Name:  Extension in ceiling 8525x.jpg
Views: 328
Size:  35.7 KB

It's pretty hard for us to offer a lot of help with so much wrong and hidden in the walls.
 
  #3  
Old 03-23-14, 02:10 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 258
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Hi PjMax,

Sorry for the old, a terrible cell phone pix.

The 10-2 is new to the feeder panel.
The wire leaving the feeder panel is (or measures on my wire cutters anyway) as 12-2.

How can turn in to a 3 wire circuit after leaving a feeder panel as a 2 wire circuit?

In the ceiling light box there is a red/black/neutral.The red brings power to that light fixture and it ends there, only the black and white continue on.
 
  #4  
Old 03-23-14, 02:17 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 64,593
Received 3,881 Upvotes on 3,478 Posts
I understand a little more now.

In your ceiling box you have a three wire cable and a two wire cable. I'm not counting that hacked cable on the left.

Your circuit COULD run this way...... power from that disconnect to the light on the two wire..... out of the light to the switch on the three wire cable. The red is the switched leg and the black is always live. Now from the switch another two wire cable could carry the circuit to the next location. Your circuit could also run the other way around. Either way it's not uncommon to find three wire cabling mixed in.

Name:  cc.jpg
Views: 365
Size:  13.0 KB
 
  #5  
Old 03-23-14, 03:24 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 258
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Your circuit COULD run this way......
The red is not a traveler, it is always hot.
But in reading your reply, I wonder if it was once a traveler and was hijacked at some point.
The light switch that controls the basement lights is on another breaker and wired with modern 12-2.

Until I can open a wall at the other end and explore (I have a lot on the go now, it will be a good while before I can attempt opening the wall) I guess my plan at this point is to replace the box, cap the red inside the box, lower it to the drywall level, place a proper access cover on the box and patch the hole I made in the drywall.

All the extension wire has been removed.

Sound reasonable at this point?


I'm not counting that hacked cable on the left.
The old 10-2 in the feeder panel pic, it is abandon in place, labeled dead line, capped and covered by drywall now.

The butchered wire in the ceiling box is extension wire that has been removed.

Thank you PJmax.
 
  #6  
Old 03-23-14, 05:34 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 64,593
Received 3,881 Upvotes on 3,478 Posts
You're welcome

If the red wire is always live then possibly the black was used as a switch leg.
 
  #7  
Old 03-23-14, 07:51 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13,970
Received 194 Upvotes on 170 Posts
The red sheath makes me think that this was a 240 volt circuit possibly.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: