Uhh What's The Blue Wire For? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-09-2011, 11:44 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


:o)


New homeowner, changed switches in the basement with no issue, when I got upstairs for the light the wires changed colors on me. I'm not sure which one is which. I'd really like the help. Thank you so much, I tried to take a photo, but it didn't load right.

I have a tan wire, a brown wire, a blue wire. The tan wire is capped by itself,
the brown and blue wire are capped together, the cap has a black sharpie mark on it.


tan positive, brown neg, blue neutral?

thanks for any help, I can try to take another photo if needed.
-mike

Advertisement

MooseGundr is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MooseGundr For This Useful Post:
yorkyork (11-11-2011)
Old 11-10-2011, 12:24 AM   #2
liscenced electrician
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon coast
Posts: 997
Rewards Points: 514
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


Not enough info to tell anything.

Advertisement

jimmy21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WV
Posts: 3,026
Rewards Points: 2,232
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


Residential 120 volt electricity is AC (alternating current). There is no positive and negative, only hot (black wire), neutral (white wire), and ground (bare wire). Also occasionally a red wire for multiwire branch circuits or fixtures operated from more than one switch.

What you describe is totally strange. If the wires are "capped" as you describe, what is connected to the switch?
md2lgyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 08:32 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 284
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


Usually a black marking means it's the hot wire. So could be the brown and blue together are your hot and the tan is your neutral. Did you try hooking a volt meter up to them to see? You could also get a really long wire and use the continuity test on a multi-meter to check continuity.

Where are these wires you're looking at? Are they in the switch box, or the ceiling? And what kind of wiring do you have to have those colors?
autx790 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 08:59 AM   #5
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,386
Rewards Points: 3,566
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


Add your location to your profile. Colours are indicating you are in UK possibly. Was there a fixture there before? How was it connected?
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to joed For This Useful Post:
SD515 (11-10-2011)
Old 11-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


i've been trying for 40 minutes to get a picture on this site. Won't take more than 100kb, and it doesn't seem to want to do it when I uploaded to photobucket. This is the link for the photo, I live in the US, and it's for a fixture on the ceiling. The house was built in 69.

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...r/P1012378.jpg
MooseGundr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 10:06 AM   #7
Electrician
 
SD515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Near Jackson Michigan Area
Posts: 1,451
Rewards Points: 502
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


Re-sized using MS Paint
Attached Images
 
__________________
Kyle

Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should
SD515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


Thanks
MooseGundr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #9
Electrician
 
SD515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Near Jackson Michigan Area
Posts: 1,451
Rewards Points: 502
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


The tan is (probably) the neutral, the brown and blue are ‘hots’…maybe a feed through or a switch leg. Can you pull the wires out and take another picture so we have a better sense of what is going on in that box? What wires are at the switch box?
__________________
Kyle

Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should
SD515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 11:21 AM   #10
liscenced electrician
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon coast
Posts: 997
Rewards Points: 514
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


The tans are actually discolored whites. They are the neutrals. One of the brown/blue is hot and the other is probably a switch leg. Or they both could be hot. One might be a constant hot for something else
jimmy21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2011, 12:53 AM   #11
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


If the OP live in Chicago area then the colour code is easy to sort it out.

Quote:
White-Neutral
Grey-Dedicated neutral for GFCI
red-black -blue--Power
Brown--travelers for three way
purple--GFCI protected power
yellow-orange---switch legs
This is a typical set up colour comation that used in Chicago

But I think that brown is switched leg you may want to do little testing to make sure in case the OP is not in Chicago.

Merci,
Marc
__________________
The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2011, 01:55 AM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


in British standard. Only for the cords NOT for the house wires.

Brown is hot.
Blue is neutral.
green with yellow is the ground.

http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=h...9QEwAw&dur=337
yorkyork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2011, 01:29 PM   #13
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Uhh What's the Blue Wire For?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yorkyork View Post
in British standard. Only for the cords NOT for the house wires.

Brown is hot.
Blue is neutral.
green with yellow is the ground.

http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=h...9QEwAw&dur=337
Just let you know the OP is in USA so the UK colour format do not apply in this situation.

Merci,
Marc

Advertisement

__________________
The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What type wire to use from transfer switch to outdoor outlet brjl Electrical 32 11-20-2013 09:36 AM
Proper Use of Green Wire Nuts HooKooDooKu Electrical 16 06-29-2012 07:41 PM
Box fill and wire nuts zephed666 Electrical 7 05-02-2011 01:51 PM
HALP! Master/Remote Dimmer troubles! Confuserated Electrical 9 02-12-2010 04:30 PM
Blue Wire xamplesample Electrical 17 01-18-2009 03:33 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts