just need a confirmation on testing for HOT wire...

Old 07-06-15, 02:33 AM
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just need a confirmation on testing for HOT wire...

I have a question which really just need a confirmation.

Does a Non-Contact Voltage Tester tests against the Black wire (HOT), not the White wire (NEUTRAL) right?

I removed an old outdoor lamp today, to replace with a new one. Both wires' outer were coated with stucco and therefore, I could not tell which is black and which is white.

I usually use my Non-Contact Voltage Tester to test if there is power so that I don't electrocute myself:NO NO NO:. However, I got smart and realized that I could probably use it to identify and differentiate the color.
Old 07-06-15, 03:48 AM
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I've done that, used the "squeaker" to determine the hot lead, but I won't go so far as to state it is an absolute test. Ideally you should use a test light and extension cord, connecting the test light from the neutral conductor in the extension cord and the suspected hot conductor of the unknown source.

Maybe the electricians will have a better test.
Old 07-06-15, 04:18 AM
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Non contact testers have their place. Basically they will detect the presence of electricity in a wire. Close proximity to other wires can lead to false readings, so once you have determined the wires in a box are hot, refer to an analog multimeter to determine the rest of your testing. You should test from suspected hot to ground and neutral to ground to determine which is hot. More tests are available, but you get the idea.

For instance, you may truly have a hot wire in your box. However if the neutral has been compromised prior to entering the box, nothing will work in that box. Testing for continuity between the confirmed neutral and ground will tell you that.

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