Which one of these is the neutral wire ?


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Old 06-10-15, 06:23 PM
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Which one of these is the neutral wire ?

Hello

Recently got a ceiling light fixture. Upon opening I couldn't tell which wire is neutral and which one is hot. Both are black, both are smooth, both are copper however one has some words written on it. Can someone tell me which one is the neutral one ?

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Old 06-10-15, 06:26 PM
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Do you have any kind of test/ohmmeter ?

Check from the shell of the lamp socket to each wire..... continuity would mean the neutral.
The other wire would show continuity when checking to center pin of the socket.


One side will have ribs on it and the other side will be smooth and will probably have markings on it. Usually the smooth side is the hot and the ribbed side is the neutral.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 06:59 PM
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Use a test screwdriver the one which doesn't make it light up is neutral. Or use a metal detector. Or do what pjmax suggested
 
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Old 06-11-15, 05:38 AM
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If the Lord had intended that only one of those wires be permitted to be connected to the neutral wire of the power feed then He would have colored it white.

Is this a non-incandescent fixture with a transformer inside? I am led to believe that it does not matter which wire is connected to the neutral. The transformer would have a primary neither of whose leads or terminals were connected to any other terminals or components of the light.

While the do-it-yourselfer is expected to know the meaning of a white wire in electrical work, he is not expected to know the meaning of the rib on one edge of lamp cord or zip cord while the fixture is still intended to be installed by DIYers. If the rib were significant then the instructions should point it out.

A test screwdriver would do nothing when touched to the leads or other parts of the light fixture sitting unconnected on a workbench.
 
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Old 06-11-15, 11:41 AM
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Thanks everyone. I'll try checking connectivity with a multi-meter first just to be safe.
 
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Old 06-11-15, 02:11 PM
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AllanJ is right, I didn't really read closely enough the first time and thought that was what you found in a ceiling fixture already connected. If that is from a new fixture the wires are indistinct.
 
 

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