old kitchen light wiring

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  #1  
Old 07-12-04, 10:53 AM
lcandie
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Question old kitchen light wiring

i'm replacing a hanging light fixture in my kitchen. the light is on a dimmer switch. i've taken off the old fixture succesfully but can not determine which is the hot wire and which is the neutral.

there are 3 wires (all aluminum) coming into the box. 2 are twisted together and were not connect to the old fixture's wiring (i left it that way). 2 other wires are twisted and were wired to the fixture. and there was 1 single wire also wired to the old fixture.

i've tried using a meter to touch each of the wires individually to the outlet box to determine which is hot but this doesn't work. when i test the twisted pair and the single wire i get a live reading.

does anyone have a way for me to determine which wire is hot so i can attach my new light fixture appropriately?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-12-04, 11:08 AM
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Location: United States
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Spend $15 at your local home center on a voltage "tick" tester. It will make quick work of this job. While you are there, be sure to pick up some (expensive) wire nuts rated for aluminum to copper connections.
 
  #3  
Old 07-12-04, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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You can buy a tester at the store that will tell you which is the hot wire. It is often referred to as a tick tester, as it emits a ticking sound when it is near the hot wire.

You can test the wires using your tester if you pout the other wire to a good ground source. Ground sources include a water pipe or the ground wire on a properly grounded oreceptacle outlet. Note: Do not perform this test when other people in the house are likely to be running water.

Since you stated aluminum wiring is present, I will caution you to make sure that you properly connect this aluminum wiring to whatever fixture you will be using.
 
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