How to Determine Electrical Wires by Color

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Determining electrical wires by color is very important in a home, because the currents differ from a direct circuit application. Identify electrical wires by color with tips from a certified HVAC tech and plumber in this free video on electrical repairs.

Part of the Video Series: Electrical & Plumbing Repairs
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm James with JNC Home Repair. Today we're going to determine electrical wires by their color okay? This is very important in a home. A lot of people start learning about wiring and they automatically assume that a black wire is a ground and a red wire is a positive. Now that is true in a direct circuit application but in a home you have alternating currents in your circuits okay, so it's totally different. In a, in a home your black wire is your hot, it is not a ground, okay? Don't ever touch the black wire, that one will get you. The white wire is your neutral and the green wire is ground, okay? The best way to remember which one is your ground is, the way I always remember it is, gr ground, gr green, okay? That's the easiest way that you can actually remember it on a daily basis, okay? It's, a lot of people make that mistake, they automatically think that a black wire is ground, just from common knowledge but you just got to be real careful in messing with alternating current that the black wire is the hot, the white wire is neutral, it doesn't have a current, but sometimes it's wired backwards for switches and lights and different stuff so don't automatically assume that this white wire is not hot as well, okay? White wires that are hot are supposed to be painted black on the very end of it but you can't always assume whoever did the wiring in the house before actually got it right. So you always need to just double check, test everything with your meters and make sure what you got voltage to and what you don't. If you have anymore questions about identifying wires by color you can reach me at JNC Home


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