hang old chandelier need help which is hot

forboystooJuly 12, 2009

Hi, I'm hanging an old chandelier one wire seems to be copper looking the other seems to be copper silver twisted...Which is hot ? Thx

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The way I've seen things wired in the past (and currently) the only way to tell for sure is with a voltage/multi meter.
Radio Shack has inexpensive ones.
There are even one with what we in the industry call a "tick tracer" built in, all you have to do it old it near a conductor and it will tell you if it has voltage on it or not

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 1:46PM
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The wires I'm speaking of are the ones from the chandelier ............My house is brand new so I know hot from cold in the box ....It's coming out of the chandelier that I worry about ....Maybe I should rewire...Not looking forward to...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 1:52PM
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My experience with older chandeliers, is the striped looking wire is the neutral and the solid looking wire is the hot. Another way to determine is to see how the sockets are wired. The hot should be at the bottom of the scoket. Also, if the chandelier does not have a ground wire, affix a ground screw to the canopy to tie a ground wire to attach to the ground wire in the ceiling box.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 2:18PM
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"...copper looking..."

This is the hot (black).

"...the other seems to be copper silver twisted..."

This is the neutral (white).

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 2:57PM
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The "copper silver twisted" may have small ridges on the insulation exterior. Those ridges denote the neutral if the insulation on other conductor is entirely smooth.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:40PM
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If you have a continuity tester or an ohm meter:

With the fixture disconnected, put one lead on the center terminal in one of the light sockets and check each of the two wires to see which one shows continuity. That is the "hot" wire that should be attached to the black wire in the box.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:52PM
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Why don't we see how many ways there are to say the same thing!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 12:06PM
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Well, the advantage to the tester method is that it gives you a definitive answer without disassembling the fixture.

Lots of rewired fixtures that didn't bother to pay attention to which wire went where.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 2:54PM
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