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Mikeph
Neutral or HOT!?

I just started replacing outlets on an old home i've been renovating. Most of the plastic covering on the wires is brittle and falling off. Can anyone tell me how to test which wire is hot and which is neutral? And, is it ok to simply wrap the exposed wire with electrical tape?

bp21901
Re: Neutral or HOT!?

No, it is not OK to just wrap with electrical tape.

To test for Hot or Neutral use a test light between the wire in question and the ground wire. When the hot wire is on the test light with the ground wire it will light up. When the Neutral is on the test light with the ground wire it will not light up.

This is assuming that there is power to the circuit obviously.

Usually the hot wire is installed on the brass screw/narrow prong side of a receptacle, but I wouldn't count on the person before you having done that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_light

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Neutral or HOT!?

You can use colored heat shrink tubing. If you don't have a grounds wires you can run a wire to a grounded item like a water pipe and attach that to one of wires the test light leads.
Jack

A. Spruce
Re: Neutral or HOT!?
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

You can use colored heat shrink tubing. If you don't have a grounds wires you can run a wire to a grounded item like a water pipe and attach that to one of wires the test light leads.
Jack

To elaborate just a tad, black for hot, white for neutral, bare or green for ground.

djohns
Re: Neutral or HOT!?

If the insulation is brittle and falling off , you have a fire waiting to happen . Have the wiring inspected by a TRUSTED profesional .

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