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Old 05-02-2019, 01:47 PM   #1
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Can you tell these wires apart?


Hello everyone,

I bought a new light fixture on which none of the wires are labeled. They don't have a ridge or stripe to distinguish them and they are all the same colour too. How can I tell the hot, neutral, and ground wires apart? I'm in Canada by the way.



Thank you for your help.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: Can you tell these wires apart?


You'll need to use an ohmmeter or continuity tester and check which
wire is connected to the 3 points in the light.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Can you tell these wires apart?


As stated you need to trace them, simplest is a continuity tester.

I knew that you were in Canada, you spell Color wrong.

Welcome: Adding your location to your profile page will be a help to others, and you won't need to include it again, because it will be displayed to the left of all your posts.


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Old 05-02-2019, 04:48 PM   #4
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Re: Can you tell these wires apart?


looks to me like the wire on the right has a green stripe on it
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:01 PM   #5
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Re: Can you tell these wires apart?


I agree, one wire appears to have a green strip.

One of the other two wires one should have a ridge or rib. With lamp cord wire the ribbed wire is the neutral, and the smooth wire is the hot.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:18 PM   #6
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Re: Can you tell these wires apart?


Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
As stated you need to trace them, simplest is a continuity tester.

I knew that you were in Canada, you spell Colour right.

Welcome: Adding your location to your profile page will be a help to others, and you won't need to include it again, because it will be displayed to the left of all your posts.


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Old 05-03-2019, 07:47 AM   #7
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Re: Can you tell these wires apart?


Following up on what CodeMatters said earlier.

Get a cheap multimeter (less than $10 at Harbor freight. Select continuity (will usually sound a tone when there is continuity). Touch one probe to the end of one of the wires, and touch the other probe to one of the following:
1 - the center tab at the bottom of the light socket. When you show continuity, that is your hot wire.
2 - the female threads of the light socket. When you show continuity, that is your neutral wire.
3 - the unpainted metal of the fixture. When you show continuity, that will be your ground wire.

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