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Old 10-17-2013, 11:06 PM   #1
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


I recently inherited a dining room chandelier from my grandparents. It was nicer then the one I had so I took it. If I had to guess, I would say it's from early / mid 90s.

When I unhooked it from his place I checked and there was a sticker that marked the neutral wire.

When I got home and started installing, the sticker fell off while my head was turned.

Both wires are gold all the way to the base. One has writing on it but it's just the brand name. The other side I found a small amount of tape residue from what looks like the old sticker but I'm no way sure.

Any suggestions so I can hook it up correctly? I don't want to cross the wires although from what I read somewhere it should still light regardless.

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Old 10-17-2013, 11:12 PM   #2
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


Is one wire "ribbed"? If so, that should be the neutral.

You can also check with a meter. The outside base of the bulb, the threads, should be the neutral side.

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Old 10-17-2013, 11:17 PM   #3
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


One side of the wire should be ribbed. That's your neutral. To be sure, check continuity between socket shell and wire.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


Thanks for the reply - I looked and couldn't find a ribbed side. I will check with a multi-meter this afternoon. I assume red to hot, black to neutral - correct?

If the wiring is incorrect I will get a negative reading I assume - right?
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


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Originally Posted by adgjqetuo View Post
Thanks for the reply - I looked and couldn't find a ribbed side. I will check with a multi-meter this afternoon. I assume red to hot, black to neutral - correct?

If the wiring is incorrect I will get a negative reading I assume - right?
Where did you come up with red and black?
If you do not have a rib, then the side with the writing.

To test for the correct wire, connect an ohm meter to one lead, and check the tab inside the light socket.

I should have clarified, the tab will be the hot and the shell will be the neutral.
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Last edited by jbfan; 10-18-2013 at 11:18 AM. Reason: more info.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


No white wire up there?
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:18 AM   #7
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Sorry - should have clarified. My multi-meter had red and black (positive / negative) prongs. When I connect the prongs to the socket and turn it to the ohm setting - does t matter which prong is on which part of the socket?

When the meter is on the Ohm setting, what should I be reading that would indicate correct or incorrect wiring?
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


Use the ohm feature of your multimeter, red black makes no difference.

One lead (say red) to the shell of the lamp holder and then the other lead (black but makes no difference) to one wire then the other. Needle of MM goes to "0" zero you have it, if it is digital then a "0" reading.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:37 AM   #9
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


Thanks !

It is digital, I will give it a shot tonight and see what happens.

Hopefully I won't have to take it apart again

Just out of curiosity, what is the danger in having them switched? I know the older non-polarized plugs can be switched and they still operate.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:59 AM   #10
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


if you happen to have the hot wire attached to the screw shell & you touch the shell , it want be nice i might say. that why it needs to be correct as others have said.you may look like this smile when you touch it.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:37 AM   #11
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


Do NOT use the ohm meter on a live circuit. Use AC volt setting.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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Do NOT use the ohm meter on a live circuit. Use AC volt setting.
My initial thought was, WELL DUH......But on second thought, many of us have made that mistake at least once.
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:34 PM   #13
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


LOL i use an AUTOMATIC Fluke model .......
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:57 PM   #14
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LOL i use an AUTOMATIC Fluke model .......
40 some years ago I blew the fuse in an amp-probe clamp on doing just that. Having no fuse I took the foil from the pack of Marlboros and made a FUSE (?) turned around and did the exact same thing.

As hard as I tried I could not get the smoke back in that thing.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:41 AM   #15
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Hot vs. Neutral on chandelier


I didn't know the circuit couldn't be live. I put the meter on ohm and hit the switch and used the prongs on the lamp contacts. It read 0 from what I could tell. Should I redo this test now with the switch off?

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