loose neutral potential

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Old 03-01-19, 05:15 PM
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Exclamation loose neutral potential

installed a new light fixture over vanity in bathroom. the wiring has a switch loop. all wires connected correctly and light fixture is responsive to wall switch and working fine. my question is this. needless to say the fixture wires are fairly flimsy twisted strands and connecting each to the larger hot and neutral was a bit frustrating however i got everything snug up in the wire nuts and put a little tape around the wires and the base of each nut just to hold everything in place and like i said no problems. the neutral connection didn't go as well as the hot connection but it appears to be good and snug but i am concerned that the fixture neutral may work its way out of the wire nut....just being overly cautious i guess. so if that happens, if the fixture neutral comes loose and is out of the nut what will happen since their is a possibility that it would be touching the metal base of the fixture. will the breaker throw if it comes loose. just concerned.
 
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Old 03-01-19, 05:51 PM
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Did you use yellow wire nuts? Did you use real wire nuts with springs inside not the fake one that sometimes are included with new fixturers. You shouldn't need tape.
 
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Old 03-01-19, 06:01 PM
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the fixture neutral is connected to the power neutral with one of the wire nuts that came with the fixture....appears to be orange. same with the fixture hot and power hot....orange that came with the fixture.
 
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Old 03-01-19, 06:16 PM
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wanted to use port connectors but aluminum wire on fixture seemed a no go to me with the port connector as well as not being stiff enough to go in the port. no problem everything seems ok. just wondering what the signs of a loose neutral might be
 
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Old 03-01-19, 06:25 PM
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Fixture wires are likely not aluminum but are tinned copper, but push in connectors are not rated for fine stranded. I rarely use the wires nuts provided by the fixture and use either yellow or red wire nuts.

A loose neutral (or hot for that matter) would cause the fixture to flicker or not work at all.
 
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Old 03-01-19, 06:44 PM
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Many fixtures now come with orange wirenuts with the metal insert. They should be ok.
If there is no insert..... toss them out.
 
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Old 03-02-19, 06:04 AM
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I still find the orange wire nuts too small for making a splice other than to a single #14 wire. I still use yellows or reds.
 
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Old 03-02-19, 06:13 AM
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yes, that's the problem i think with the included orange wire nuts....they are too small to allow for the 14 and the fixture wire to get up in and get a good twist. well the light is working and no flicker so i am going to leave it alone for now and when i get to the painting stage of the remodel i will take it down and use the yellow wire nuts. the power 2 wire looks like it actually may be a 12 and the switch wire a 14. either one along with fixture wire just too big for smaller orange.
 
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Old 03-02-19, 06:16 AM
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yes pj they did have the metal insert. they just see a bit small.
 
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Old 03-02-19, 06:27 AM
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Along with the suggestion of using better quality wire nuts, I also tend to strip a about another 1/4" or so from most fixture wires. The 3/8" that they provide pre-stripped I don't find is enough to catch the wire nut well. By stripping it a little further, it can get deeper into the wire nut and actually twist around the solid wire and provide a much stronger connection.

To answer your other question, you don't have a lot of safety risk with a loose wire like that. The light could start flickering, and if it came out completely, the grounded box or the grounded fixture would trip the breaker. Still - worth fixing and making sure you don't have to touch it again!
 
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Old 03-02-19, 01:38 PM
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When attaching a stranded wire to a sold wire with wirenut, leave stranded wire sticking out a little longer than solid wire. This ensures you get a good splice.
 
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