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Old 03-28-2011, 01:46 PM   #1
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How to identify ground when all wires are the same


Hello All,

Ok, feel like a big dummy, but i need some help. My wife bought a new pendant light fixture. As i was prepping it to be hung, i measured the amount of slack i needed in the wire and cut it. When i stripped the wire, it became clear that all 3 wires are exactly the same in apearance. They have no markings at all to identify hot neutral and ground. When i realized this (in a panic) i noticed little tags on the tip of the wire that identified them, that's it.

So with that back ground, is there an easy way to identify which are which? I'm installed dozens of fixtures over the years, but i'm no "real" electrician. I'm assuming that i would melt the fixture down, or start a fire if i wire the ground in wrong.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Paul

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Old 03-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #2
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How to identify ground when all wires are the same


do you own a multi-meter?? if so, set it to the Ohms/resistance setting. Touch the black lead to the body of the light and then the red lead to each of the 3 wires (one at a time). only one should allow the meter to go to 0 ohms. that is your ground wire.

rod

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Old 03-28-2011, 02:01 PM   #3
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How to identify ground when all wires are the same


Rod, you may have just saved my marriage! Thanks a lot!
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
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How to identify ground when all wires are the same


I could not function without some of the simple tools that I have, like a multi-meter, pencil tester and the plug-in tester...

good luck.

rod
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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How to identify ground when all wires are the same


While you have your meter out be sure to check for the neutral and hot connections of the fixture.The side of the light socket goes to the neutral and the base of the light socket is the hot.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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How to identify ground when all wires are the same


Check the wires really closely, one should have a rib on it or something to identify it. If you find this, that wire will be your neutral.

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