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Old 03-02-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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electrical current


Hi- I have a cable (Black,red and earth) going into loft which use to be the power of the emersion heater. i would like to use this wire for sockets. I have used a voltage screwdriver and the live lit up well. Also the the neutral lit up ,quite dim though. should the neutral light up??? Thanks

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Old 03-02-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
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This is a cable but there is no white wire? Where do you live? The conductor you refer to as earth, is this bare copper? What is the size of the wire in the cable?

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Old 03-02-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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Sounds like a european system when they talk about earthing.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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High impedance testers like volt sticks can give false readings,
Retest it with an low impedance anologue volt meter,
Then if you still get a significant reading,
You can test further.
Yes volt sticks can give false positive readings !
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:15 PM   #5
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These are typical colors for the United Kingdoms single phase 250 volt branch circuits for residences. Red is the pre 2005 color for the ungrounded conductor , black is neutral and green/yellow is their equipment ground.

Im not certain of your tester but if it is rated for the voltage your testing and your testing the neutral to your earth wire it typically would not light the voltage tester.

Go to your consumer unit and turn off the mcb ( miniature circuit breaker) or the rcd (residual current device) which ever is applicable protecting that branch circuit and test again to make sure there is no voltage on any wire of that cable. Do not use a non-contact tester if that is what you mean by a screwdriver tester.

Based on the wire colors you have you likely have a ring circuit for your other sockets so duplicate what was done with those.

Be very careful if any upgrades have been done to the wiring, your new colors after 2005 would be Brown is hot, blue is neutral and earth is still green/yellow. So if you come across those colors be heads up to that so you do not connect to them incorrectly and of course test them to be sure.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:55 PM   #6
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Red and black only conductors in Romex cable are sometimes seen in the U.S. also and that cable may not be used for a 120 volt circuit. In the U.S., small (I think 8 guage and smaller) colored wires may not be marked with white tape for use as a neutral. Wherever you are, if the cable does not have the proper color(s) for hot, neutral, etc. you may not use it for that circuit.

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