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Old 08-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #1
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How can I tell which hot wire is from source?


Here's the scenario:

3 outlets daisy chained along the kitchen counter. (actually 4, but I'm not working with the one for the garbage disposal)

Each of the outlets were backwired to run to an under cabinet light fixture. I removed the old fixtures and was attempting to install new ones...but they were so difficult to work with, especially with the old wiring that's really stiff, that I decided to just get rid of them. I never used them anyway. :-)

I couldn't just cap the wires to the lights, they would have been popped back into a wall without a box. Capped and taped, but still not the right thing to do.

So I removed the wiring from the back of two of the outlets. All done. But the third is different.

I think it's the end of the daisy chain and instead of using back wiring for the light, they used the other screws.

Here's my problem. The wires to the light on this one are secured in the bottom of the box so I can't pull on the wires to see which ones to disconnect.

Can I assume that the source wires come in on the left and the wires the right are to the light? OR do I just need to experiment?

My guess is I can't rely on standards anyway. After all they used masking tape over the screws instead of electrical tape.

Thanks!

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Old 08-25-2011, 06:38 PM   #2
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How can I tell which hot wire is from source?


do you have a meter to read 115V to the neutral/white or grounding screws?

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Old 08-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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How can I tell which hot wire is from source?


Unfortunately not. I'm going to guess. Can I remove just the hot wire and test the outlet, or do I need to remove both the hot and neutral, then test. Hope not.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:28 PM   #4
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How can I tell which hot wire is from source?


BLACK wire is usually 115V HOT,and the White wire is the neutral according to the codes... boy with out a meter
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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How can I tell which hot wire is from source?


I gave it guess that the group of wires from the left (where the other outlets were) was coming in and I was correct. Yeah! I don't usually do electric. I'll be sure to pick up a meter if I think I'll be doing more in the future. Thanks for your quick response!
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:46 PM   #6
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How can I tell which hot wire is from source?


Another quick question all together. I noticed that in two of the three boxes the ground wires weren't capped, do they need to be? They are wrapped around each other.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:47 PM   #7
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How can I tell which hot wire is from source?


if there raw copper no just twisted with maybe a wire nut just to keep the twist tight BUT if you have a GREEN screw on the wall sockets they need to be connected per outlet...but they need to be pushed into the back so they don't hit the BLACK 115 when you mount the switch or doing the lights next time...check out HD /LOWES next time and check the digital meter get the cheapest just so you don't get hit when digging around mystery wires.....

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