How to identify neutral vs. hot lead?


Old 11-28-04, 10:25 AM
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How to identify neutral vs. hot lead?


Is there a way to confirm in a light fixture box in my ceiling which lead is HOT and which is NEUTRAL using a multimeter? I'm adding a chandelier to an existing, unused ceiling box where the previous owner wasn't using.

I identified a Green ground lead in the box, and two leads which are both covered in white overspray, so I can't quite tell what color they were, even after scraping the paint/texture off. I think one may be yellow (which would imply that's the HOT one).

But in any case, I'd like to confirm which is which.

So to summarize I've got one ground, and two unidentified leads (one I suspect to be HOT), and a multimeter...and I'd like to tell which lead is which. Any advice is appreciated. TIA.
Old 11-28-04, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
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Measure voltage from the 2 wires to ground. One of them should be 120 volts AC. The other should be 0. If there is a switch contoling this fixture the voltage should go on/off with the switch.
Old 11-28-04, 04:42 PM
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Thanks much. They were as you described. Successfully installed the new chandelier. Wife is happy. Thanks!

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