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Thread: Two wires

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jc60618's Avatar
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    Default Two wires

    I am replacing a ceiling fan, when I removed it I noticed no grounding wire just two wires which are the same color. Is there a way to find out which is the positive/hot wire?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    There should be a ground wire. Anyway, of the two internal leads, one should be "identified" meaning a white stripe, or ribs on it , or something. That is the neutral wire.
    Last edited by jimbo; 09-21-2010 at 04:24 PM. Reason: sp

  3. #3
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    If there is no ID on the wires from the box, run an incand. bulb from each wire, in turn, to a "known good ground". The hot wire will light the bulb.

    A meter may respond to Phantom Voltages and confuse you, unless you are using a type of rugged, solenoid voltmeter that electricians use that is called a Wiggy.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 09-21-2010 at 04:42 PM.

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Ah, the joys of 1950s wiring. All wires turn to black.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    There are many ways for US to determine which is the hot wire, but since we do NOT know what type of instruments you have, we cannot tell you how YOU can do it.

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    DIY Junior Member jc60618's Avatar
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    Am a plumber, the only electrical equipment I own is a craftsman multi-meter. I did take electric shop in high school six years ago and do know how to run wires to complete a circuit. I was just surprised to see that the hot and neutral wires were the same color.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Unless it is in conduit, there were NOT when they were installed. In conduit the colors could be whatever the installer had, if he decided not to follow the convention of using white for the neutral.

  8. #8
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc60618 View Post
    I am replacing a ceiling fan, when I removed it I noticed no grounding wire just two wires which are the same color. Is there a way to find out which is the positive/hot wire?

    Find the cold negitive and the hot positive will be the ohter one.

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