Which is hot/neutral in a light fixture with same color wires

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Old 06-05-11, 12:58 PM
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Which is hot/neutral in a light fixture with same color wires

I am installing a hanging pot rack fixture. The wire is lamp cord style (2 wires with insulation joined together by sheathing). They are both clear sheathing and both silver wire. One sheath does have printing on it and also a tag on the end of the wire. Is that the neutral or the hot?

Thanks,

Mike
 
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Old 06-05-11, 01:41 PM
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The wire with ribs on it will be your neutral. Feel the outer casing of the wires. What does the tag on the end of the wire say?
 
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Old 06-05-11, 01:43 PM
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The National Electrical Code refers to the "neutral" as the "grounded conductor" and also as the "identified conductor". That normally means that in a lamp cord situation the conductor that has any kind of identifying means, printing, ribs or the like, will be the neutral conductor. You can check with a multimeter set to ohms by connecting one test lead to the shell of a lamp holder and then finding the lead that shows continuity. The shell of the lamp holder needs be connected to neutral.
 
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Old 06-24-11, 08:05 AM
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First, I am NOT an electrician so construe this as a comment rather than valid advice! I would think that with the power on you would measure voltage from the hot conductor to ground & nothing from the neutral. Without any identifying marks on the wire how else could you tell? It sounds like someone stretched some non-code wiring to get the job done, leaving the next person to try & figure it out...
Good luck!

TexasFire
 
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Old 06-24-11, 09:16 AM
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It sounds like someone stretched some non-code wiring to get the job done
It is quite common on chandeliers with visible wiring. The O/P wrote:
One sheath does have printing on it
So that would be a code compliant marking for the neutral.
 
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