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4-wire Romex Query

Hello all,

I’m doing somewhat outlet shifting/including in my laundry room and I got here throughout a wierd (to me) sight.

After I eliminated an outlet from a junction field, I noticed that the incoming romex had 4 wires: black, yellow/white, naked, and purple.

The purple wire was merely coiled up and un-capped, as proven within the connected photograph.



This feels… mistaken to me, by some means? On the very least, it seems like this wire ought to have a cap on it so it is not uncovered, proper?

I’ve performed some web searches, and it seems to be like this can be a 220v romex, or that the purple wire is there to be related to a change. However that is simply a normal 110v circuit, with no switches (that I am conscious of).

Is that this something I must be involved about? Or, after I level this romex in a distinct route, ought to I simply maintain the purple wire coiled up like this? Possibly that is all to code, and I am apprehensive over nothing?

Any help could be appreciated. Thanks!

Comments ( 7 )

  1. Thatsa 14/3. Usually used in households for multiple switches hooked up to one light or for fans.

    If you don’t know these basic facts you shouldn’t be messing around with electrical – ur gonna hurt yourself and I am not talking a paper cut.

  2. They might have used Romex with one more wire than necessary (because that same Romex IS necessary somewhere else).

    I’d bet money the red wire is similarly coiled at the other end, and just extra copper.

  3. Likely originally had a light wired with 2 switches to it, so you can turn on and off at two different locations (like top and bottom of stairs). The wire is 14/3 romex and is very common. 14/2 romex is what’s used on almost all of the standard 15amp electrical circuit in the rest of the house. 14/2 means 14 gauge, 2 conductors plus ground (white and black usually. Bare ground). 14/3 is 14 gauge 3 conductors, with the 3rd being red and is usually used as a “traveler” which is a shared conductor between the two switches.

    Find the other end of this wire, and find your answer

  4. Whoever installed that probably just wanted to use up his 4-wire Romex he had to buy for other 3 way switches. You can and probably should put a wire nut on that (after turning off breaker to the circuit this wire is part of).

  5. Nothing to be worried about here. Previously this could have been a ‘split receptacle’. You can break the tab on a plug between the two gold screws and have two separate circuits going to that plug. This was common on kitchens some years ago. Also they could have needed to plug in two high wattage devices in that area and wanted them on separate circuits.

    Chances are back at the panel the red wire is disconnected. But you are right best practice is to put a marrette on the red wire or atleast tape it.

  6. Also unsure where you are located but that could be a 12 gauge wire. 12 romex here in Canada is usually has a yellow colored sheathing.

  7. do you have a non contact voltage tester?

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