Finding a hot wire

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Old 09-01-11, 10:58 PM
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Finding a hot wire

I'm repairing a wall switch and want to find the hot wire. I have a tester with a light at one end and 2 wires on the other end. However I fogot where to connect the wires. Does one wire from the tester connect to the metal outlet box (ground) and the other wire to one of the wires I think is hot? Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 09-02-11, 04:32 AM
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If you have metallic flex/conduits for wiring in your home, then yes, the metal box can be used for trouble shooting. Otherwise you can just use a neutral if you have one available in the box.
 
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Old 09-02-11, 12:02 PM
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Thanks. It's been a awhile since I did some wiring and just wanted to be sure. I thought I could use the Neutral wire but I wanted to be safe. In NYC we us BX cable so I know the metal box is grounded.
 
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Old 09-02-11, 05:11 PM
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In NYC we us BX cable so I know the metal box is grounded.
Not recently you haven't. BX cable has been gone for many years and replaced with AC and MC cables.
 
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Old 09-03-11, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
Not recently you haven't. BX cable has been gone for many years and replaced with AC and MC cables.
I use the term BX cable to distinguish from Romex which cannot be used in NYC per code.

Had no idea what AC or MC cable was, but now.....

google is great:

BX is an old manufacturer's name, not the name of the product.
Basic armored cable was developed in the early 1900s by Edwin Greenfield and Gus Johnson, who called their product BX cable. It has become a generic term for all armored cable like Kleenex is used for facial tissue and all refrigerators used to be called Frigidaires, regardless of the manufacturer.
 
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Old 09-03-11, 08:39 AM
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And Romex is the name of a company now owned by South Wire but several companies make NM (non metallic) cable so the more proper term is NM or in mist cases now NM-b.
 
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Old 09-03-11, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I fixed the problem and didn't get shocked or worse.
 
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