Red Black and White wires at outlet

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Old 09-12-19, 09:34 AM
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Question Red Black and White wires at outlet

EDIT: I figured it out, was written on junction box cover. RED is Hot wired to breaker #3, BLACK is Hot wired to breaker #1... (still no ground wire)
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I had an regular 15 A outlet wired. I had to temporary remove wire from it and unfortunately I didn't take pictures. Now that I"m trying to wire it back I'm confused because junction box has RED, WHITE and BLACK wires. I tested wires and I get 120V between RED and WHITE. But nothing between BLACK and RED or BLACK and WHITE (well I get about 20V there). So black wire is not a ground, but what could it be?
There doesn't seem to be a switch controlling this so I'm confused... I think I'll just wire RED and WHITE to outlet, but I would really like to have ground...
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Last edited by bratan; 09-12-19 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 09-12-19, 09:43 AM
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I tested between know GROUND and all 3 wires and it appears that RED is HOT and WHITE is neutral. Still not sure what is black for...
 
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Old 09-12-19, 09:59 AM
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Never mind I figured it out There was writing on the junction box cover that I forgot about. It said "#1 is BLACK, #3 is RED". I deciphered that BLACK is HOT connected to breaker #1 in Electric Panel and RED is #3 breaker. Checked and indeed that's the case. Too bad there's still no ground wire
I couldn't get correct multimeter reading because I shut off breaker 1 and 3 at the same time (unintentionally)...
I decided not to remove the post, in case someone has similar issue...
 
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Old 09-12-19, 10:15 AM
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That is for a split wired receptacle. Cut the tab between the gold screws and connect the black and red wires one each to the gold screws and the white to one of the silver screws. This gives the ability to use two high current devices without tripping a breaker. Each socket can supply up to 15 amps.
 
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Old 09-12-19, 10:28 AM
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Thanks Joed! That makes total sense. I guess this can take double the load (i.e. 30 AMP)?
 
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Old 09-12-19, 12:03 PM
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No it doesn't double the load to 30A. You have two separate circuits on two different 15A breakers, so the load on each circuit can still only be 15A. The circuits are 180deg out of phase to each other so the neutral will only ever be maxed at 15A. In other words the neutral will only be carrying the imbalanced amperage between the two circuits.
 
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Old 09-12-19, 12:41 PM
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Not sure I understand. Can I plug in two device, each 15 AMP into each socket of the outlet?
 
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Old 09-12-19, 01:39 PM
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Yes.... that duplex receptacle will now deliver 30A of 120v power. 15A on each side of the receptacle.

That looks like older style BX cable which to a certain extent is your ground.
Make sure the clamp holding it to the box is tight.
 
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