Reversed wires


Old 05-02-04, 09:54 AM
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Reversed wires

I am installing a new overhead lighting fixture and I can't tell which lead should be hot and which neutral. Is there any danger in connecting the lamp incorrectly?
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Old 05-02-04, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
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It will function just fine. There will be a safety issue though. The hot should be connected to the bottom at the bottom of the lamp socket. If it is reversed then the shell of the bulb will be hot until it is completely removed from the socket.
Old 05-02-04, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
If both wires in the ceiling look identical, I recommend you spend $15 at your home center on a voltage "tick" tester which will easily allow you to tell the hot from the neutral.

If instead you're referring to the wires from your lighting fixture, I think you'll notice that they are not identical. Look very closely at these wires in good light. One of the two will have a small (sometimes very small) rib or stripe. This ribbed wire should be connected to the white wire (neutral) from your ceiling. The non-ribbed wire should be connected to the black wire (hot) from your ceiling.

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