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Old 11-02-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
Stevorino
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Default Electrical Wiring Question

I'm putting a new male end on an extension cord but there is no 'black insulated' copper cable -- only two whites and a green - any way to distinguish which is which?

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Old 11-02-2008, 07:09 PM   #2
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Plug it in, touch the ground and one of the whites at a time. If you get zapped, that one's black. Otherwise you can use a multimeter and test each wire to ground. Black is hot, white is neutral.

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Old 11-02-2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben25 View Post
Plug it in, touch the ground and one of the whites at a time. If you get zapped, that one's black. Otherwise you can use a multimeter and test each wire to ground. Black is hot, white is neutral.
Are you kidding or not? I'm literally about to do this. How bad is this 'zap' going to be?
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:13 PM   #4
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well if you don't have a tester, you can use the first method if you don't mind getting zapped. or you can just ground out each wire and you'll get some sparks.

You could use a lamp and touch one wire of it to ground and the other to each of the wires in question.

Do you have a tester?

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Old 11-02-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
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No. But I have to put an adapter on both ends -- so I've found a way to distinguish between the three wires (one is textured a bit more than the other on the outside coating, one is green insulated, and one is pretty smooth)

So I'm going to wire the green on both ends as ground, the textured on both ends as black/hot, and the smooth on both ends as white/neutral -- sound like it'll work?

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Old 11-02-2008, 07:22 PM   #6
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Sounds good!

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Old 11-02-2008, 07:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for your help Ben!

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Old 11-05-2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben25 View Post
Plug it in, touch the ground and one of the whites at a time. If you get zapped, that one's black.
Well, this wins the award for the most jackass solution out there. The best results from this is a thrown breaker and bandaged hands. I'll be happy to send you photo's of electrical burn victims and outlet fires.

Look, get a multi-meter or borrow a friends. Sure, 120V may not kill you, but it can. Make sure you have it on the AC setting (not DC).

Basically, a "modern" outlet that is installed (properly) with two slots in top and one round in the bottom means that the lower round hole is the ground; the upper left longer-slot is neutral; the upper right narrow-slot is hot.

Good luck and be careful.

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Old 11-06-2008, 10:24 AM   #9
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I am with sparky on this one. Getting a shock is no fun. It is dangerous. More people die from 120 volt single phase than all other systems combined, so yes house wiring could kill you.

Oh, as for the cord, the textured cable is usually considered the neutral, and the smooth is the hot, and of course the green is the ground. This is common practice for lamp cord. It will still work the way you have it, and no one but you and the ones saw this post will know any difference.
Electricity does not care what color or what the cable looks like, just used to keep us all on the same page when working on something.
Good luck.

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Old 11-06-2008, 10:32 AM   #10
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I get 120acv shocks from time to time ( in the course of my work and not from a Dr. lol ) and I will suggest you find a meter to test it with. Not everyone has my resistance to electric shock, and the prospect of an electrical fire is almost just as bad.

Respect electricity.

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