When wiring an outlet in the middle of a run, what do you do with the red wire?

I cut a wire to add an outlet, but the wire has a black, white, red, and green. What should I do with the red wire at each cable (incoming and outgoing). I already have the blacks pigtailed to brass screw and whites pigtailed to silver screw and ground to green screw.


note: this is a 110v circuit

6 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am assuming that you cut into this cable to add an outlet circuit to it. It is either a 220 volt circuit or you have cut into a "shared common" circuit. If I am correct, you should find 220 volts across the black and red wire. Although it is not a good idea to infiltrate a circuit that is sharing a common return wire, The red wire must be reconnected as a pass through wire. So you got your 2 blacks connected to the outlet, the 2 whites connected to the outlet, the green ground connected and passing on through. Since the red was going through, you need to reconnect them together using a wire nut. NOT individually, but together. IF this was a dedicated 220 circuit, like going to a wall AC or something, then you should NOT use it for an "outlet" source! At any rate, you must restore the red wire connections by reconnecting them together.

    Source(s): retired electrician
  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    You are doing something that you clearly don't understand.  So we have no clue.  We need to understand the existing circuit and the wiring before we can give advice.

    Did you mean a 120 volt circuit?  In USA?

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 weeks ago

    YOU should hire someone with a CLUE. If you CAN ask, you shouldn't be USING an outlet, much less adding one.

    Note: The colors you describe are an old style TELEPHONE wire. They have NEVER been standard for electrical power.

    • ...Show all comments
    • M.
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      You did NOT clearly state that it was a circuit with lights and receptacles.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • GTB
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    You cut into a 3 way switch wiring; this is a disaster for you; return things to their original configuration and learn what you are doing first.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 3 weeks ago

    the reds go together and have no connection to a 110v outlet. they're the power lead for a different circuit

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 weeks ago

    I would put a cap on both ends of the red wire . 

       Not sure why you bought such a wiring with a red wire.

       It’s going to confuse someone in the future. 

       If you can buy and replace the wiring with just the black white and ground . 

    Here is a picture of a cap


    Attachment image
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.