Electrical

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  #1  
Old 08-21-04, 08:04 AM
lmay
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Electrical

I have an older home, and I am wanting to install a new outdoor light.
My problem is-I have two black wires and don't know which one is the hot wire-I also don't have a ground wire. Any info is appreciated!
Lmay
 
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  #2  
Old 08-21-04, 09:00 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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To properly install the light will require you to determine which is the hot and which is the return. To do this either purchase a tick tester, or use a regular neon light type tester and a good ground source.
 
  #3  
Old 08-21-04, 10:34 AM
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Location: port chester n y
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Arrow

One of the conductors is the "Grounded circuit-conductor" and also the "Identified circuit-conductor". This conductor is required to be "Indentified" by a White covering and NO OTHER color.

Connect a wire of sufficent lenth to one lead of a test-lamp socket, and the other end of the wire to a Grounded metal surface, such as a metal cold-water line.The most reliable Grounded point would be at the water-meter.

Touch the other test-lamp lead in sucession to each of the 2 wires at the outlet. The Un-grounded conductor will illuminate the lamp- this is the "Black" conductor. Because there is Zero-voltage Ground-to-Ground, testing to the Grounded circuit conductor has no effect on the lamp. Identify this wire with White marking-tape.

I do not advise you to exend any wiring from this point to any exterior outlets until the 2 wires are connected at some point to the "Load" side of a GFI receptacle.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!
 
  #4  
Old 08-21-04, 03:11 PM
RemoteControl
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Talking

Touch the other test-lamp lead in sucession to each of the 2 wires at the outlet. The Un-grounded conductor will illuminate the lamp- this is the "Black" conductor. Because there is Zero-voltage Ground-to-Ground, testing to the Grounded circuit conductor has no effect on the lamp. Identify this wire with White marking-tape.
This is a scary statement, assuming there is power at these wires means the breaker is still on and wires are hot. Better to go with the ground portion of the test. just my 2 cents

Rich
 
  #5  
Old 08-24-04, 06:27 PM
clay01
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
I have an older home, and I am wanting to install a new outdoor light.
My problem is-I have two black wires and don't know which one is the hot wire-I also don't have a ground wire. Any info is appreciated!
Lmay
Why couldn't it be done this way:
1) turn breaker off
2) hook-up new fixture with wire-nuts and leave dangling
3) turn power on and see if light comes on
4) if it works, turn power off and attach
5) if it doesn't, trade wires. ?????????

Just a thought ... I don't have all that testing stuff either. Just try what works. Not like it will blow up, eh?

Now, if only I could find the hole in my outdoor electrical wire-tape (direct-burial 10-4) that keeps tripping my GFCI breaker when it rains ... Suggestions? Can't afford new direct-burial cable.
 
  #6  
Old 08-24-04, 07:36 PM
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Clay, the problem with your approach is that everything that works isn't safe. In fact, both ways will work but only one way is safe.
 
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