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    detroitdiesel's Avatar
    detroitdiesel Posts: 31, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Sep 7, 2005, 01:36 AM
    Wiring not color coded
    Hi. New to site think its great

    Recently purchased home, built in 1957. I am installing new fixtures in the home and noticed the wiring is not color coded.

    What I have is 2 black wires and a bare copper . What I'm trying to figure out what is the "white" and "black" .

    Any help will be greatly appreciated! :p
    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,659, Reputation: 725
    Uber Member

    Sep 7, 2005, 02:37 AM
    Using a voltage tester, you can test each black wire and go acros the bare, only one will show voltage. There are also touchless testers that indicate which wire is hot.

    If you are changing fixtures, you can remove one of the sockets from an old fixture, strip the leads about an half inch, install a small light bulb in the socket , and use it as a tester.

    Again, touch one of the socket wires to the bare, and the other to the wires in the box, the hot one will cause the light bulb to light up.

    Before doing any testing, be sure to know which circuit breaker or fuse shuts off the power, so that while working with wires you can work safely. When ready to test, keep the wires clear of each other, and the bare wire, and the metal box. Cap the wires with wirenuts , and only remove just before testing.

    Once you find the hot wire, use some white tape to identify the other wire as the neutral wire.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Sep 7, 2005, 08:30 AM
    Every home owner that doesn't want to be at the mercy of repair man should have one of the touchless testors. There are several brands. I have a GB Instruments GVD-505A, less than $15 at Home Depot. Touch it to a hot wire, and the end glows red. Great for trouble shooting. Find the doodad that lights it on one side, and not the other, and you have the culprit. It is also much safer, not requiring bare hot contacts and watching both where you hands are and the meter.

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