Originally Posted by glennjanie
Typically the red wire is the 'common' or 'traveler' wire for a 3 way switch. I definitely would not use the red wire for a ground. You can put a yellow wire nut on the end of it and terminate it but don't use it for a ground.
The 'stab-lok' switches and receptacles are not uncommon and are approved by Underwriter's Laboratory. However, if you feel safer using the screws it will be O K.
Remember, a switch only breaks the line of power. So, the black wire could be the power coming into the switch and the red wire could be the return wire to the fixture, called the 'switch leg'.
Firstly, I know very little about electricity, but enough to probably start a fire, so thanks for the help. What little I do know comes from following my grandpa around when he was working at our local stores fixing their electrical issues.
I've read that the "red" wire is often for switches, which makes sense. What if I said that some recepiticles, not connected to any switches, still had only a red, black and white wire and my socket circuit tester says they are wired correctly. If red was not the ground, wouldn't the socket circuit tester say that I had an open ground? And why would there be a red wire in a recepticle not connected to a switch?
Well, either way, the circuit breakers are off until I either figure this out or get an electrician to come out. I figured this would be a good way to learn a thing or two for the future.
Thanks again for the help.