Does It Matter Which Wire Goes Where On A Light Fixture?

How do you know which wire is positive and negative on a light fixture?

If you have a wire where both sides are the same color, which is typically copper, the strand that has a grooved texture is the negative wire.

Run your fingers along the wire to determine which side has the ribbing.

Feel the other wire which is smooth.

This is your positive wire..

Does it matter which wire goes where on a dimmer switch?

Unless the new dimmer is specifically marked with LINE and LOAD or similar, it doesn’t matter which wire goes to which screw/pigtail in a simple two wire switch or dimmer. Since your new switch can be used as a three way, the instructions should say which screw should not be used.

What happens if you mix up hot and neutral wires?

This happens when the hot and neutral wires get flipped around at an outlet, or upstream from an outlet. Reversed polarity creates a potential shock hazard, but it’s usually an easy repair. … This wire is commonly referred to as the neutral wire, and it should always be white.

What happens if you reverse line and load light switch?

Here’s what happens when somebody wires a GFCI receptacle with the load and line wires reversed: The GFCI will work, in the sense that you can plug in a hair dryer and the hair dryer will blow hot air. … If the load and line wiring gets messed up, a ground fault (radio in the tub) won’t trip the GFCI.

Does it matter where the hot wire goes on a switch?

If your switch has a “LINE” marking, the always hot wire goes to this. The other connection will be “LOAD” where the load (ie light fixture) is wired. The load wire may have red electrical tape on it to differentiate.

Why do I have 120 volts on my neutral?

You have to measure neutral-ground or hot-ground. If neutral-ground voltage is about 120 V and hot-ground is a few volts or less, then hot and neutral have been reversed. … If hot-neutral voltage, measured with load on the circuit, is greater than hot-ground, then the neutral and ground are switched.

Does it matter which wire goes where on a lamp?

Hot and Neutral Electrical Paths in a Lamp Switch and Socket The neutral path should run from the wide prong at the wall outlet through a marked (insulation) wire to the neutral terminal on the switch and to the threaded metal bulb socket.

What happens if you connect the wrong wires on a light fixture?

The fixture still works if you reverse the wires, but the socket sleeve will be hot, and anyone who touches it while changing a bulb can get a shock. When wired correctly, the socket sleeve is neutral and only the small metal tab at the base of the socket is hot.

What happens if you wire live and neutral wrong?

If you’ve swapped the live and neutral wires then even with the switch off all of the wires and load inside the appliance are energized so it’s much easier to get shocked. … If it’s wired correctly then the screw shell will be on the neutral side, so safe if you accidentally touch it.

Will reverse polarity trip a breaker?

Reverse polarity will not trip a breaker. Only a dead short will. Pull the receptacle out and give us clear pictures of all the wires and connections. It sounds as if you have connected the grounded neutral conductor on that circuit to the hot wire, probably at the receptacle terminals.

Can Reverse polarity cause a fire?

Watch out: Reversed polarity on an electrical outlet is dangerous. If you accidentally reverse these wires the device you plug in to the receptacle may “work” but it is unsafe and risks a short circuit, shock, or fire.

How can you tell which wire is hot and which is neutral?

Most likely the neutral wire is white and the hot wire is red or black, but test to make sure. Identify the neutral wire in the fixture by looking at the wires. In most modern fixtures the neutral wire will be white and the hot wire is red or black. In some types of fixtures, both wires will be the same color.

Why does light switch have 2 black wires?

The bare or green-wrapped ground wires serve as a backup to divert the power safely away in case of an electrical fault. In most cases, two black wires will be attached to the switch’s two terminal screws.

What happens if you connect the wrong wires?

But here’s the catch: If you connect the circuit wires to the wrong terminals on an outlet, the outlet will still work but the polarity will be backward. … The white (neutral) wire should be connected to the silver-colored terminal. If these connections are backward, the polarity is wrong.

Which wire is hot when both are black?

The black wire is the “hot” wire, which carries the electricity from the breaker panel into the switch or light source. The white wire is the “neutral” wire, which takes any unused electricity and current and sends them back to the breaker panel.

Can wiring a light switch wrong cause a fire?

Can a switch that’s turned on cause a fire even if it is not being used? Answer: It would be unusual, but possible as long as the circuit is hot. The small springs inside the switch gradually go bad, causing resistance and that resistance causes heat, which causes a fire.

What if I have two black wires?

Black means hot, white signifies neutral, and green indicates ground. However, if you need to rewire a light switch or a plug socket, you may occasionally come across two black wires. It’s essential that you determine which black wire is hot before proceeding.