Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Old BX Wiring, no color coded wires...
3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Old BX Wiring, no color coded wires...

Hello, I live in an old house, and I have a problem.
I have an outlet that started on fire. Luckily I was home at the time and right there. I killed the power and hit the outlet with a fire extinguisher.

Looking online I am pretty sure the outlet was wired for a false neutral. When I pulled out the outlet to remove it the white wire which was still attached to the burnt outlet just came out of the wall like it wasn't attached to anything!

So I go and buy a new outlet, and come back to put it in.

The wire is old BX, rubber insulated wrapped with cloth. There are only two wires (no ground) My problem is both wires are the exact same color.

How do I know which one is neutral?


Re: Old BX Wiring, no color coded wires...

You may be able to tell with a non contact tester but they are not terribly reliable. You can run a wire from ground an test with a volt meter. The one that reads 120 volts to ground is the hot the neutral should read 0 volts.

Re: Old BX Wiring, no color coded wires...


if your having fire issues, i would seriously think about possibly re-wiring the house!!

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.