what happens if you switch line and load
So he tested with his meter, and sure enough, 120 volts to ground!

One of these is the power feed, and one is the switch leg, but the switch terminals are interchangeable, so there is no need to identify which is which. Yes, the wires were apart! Upgrading a 2 Prong Outlet With a New GFCI, How to Replace a Standard 120-Volt Outlet Receptacle, How to Wire Electrical Outlets and Switches, Understanding the Terms "Line" and "Load" in Electrical Systems, Wiring for Split-Wire or Split-Feed Outlets, How to Add an Outdoor Outlet by Tapping Into an Existing Circuit, Installing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Outlets, Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Electrical Safety, Color-Coding of Electrical Wires and Terminal Screws, How to Wire a Line-Voltage Thermostat for a Baseboard Heater, How to Wire a 4-Prong Receptacle for a Dryer. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.” William Blake, It will still function fine, and is legal to do, but I believe it has to be marked as such. If there’s a break anywhere in the path, you have an open circuit, and the current stops flowing — and the metal atoms in the wire quickly settle down to a peaceful, electrically neutral existence. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. The other may be black, red, or white. Load Wire - Generally connected to the top half of your switch. One is the line cable that connects to the GFCI's LINE terminals. The hot (black wires) were still connected and the breaker was back on, but without the neutral path the light won’t work, and the neutral ahead of that open splice will have power on it, the same as the hot wire. The Basics of Household Wiring” DVD or e-book, Video: How to Wire a Switch Part Four Splicing the Neutral Conductors, Video: Understanding Electrical Outlet Wire Colors, Video: Understanding Single-Pole and 3-Way Switches, Electrical Outlet Doesn’t Work and Breaker isn’t Tripped, Five Tools Every DIYer Would Love for Christmas, How to Replace a Mismatched Dryer Cord and Receptacle. The other cable connects to the LOAD terminals to bring power downstream to additional outlets and other devices on the circuit. There is no code requirement that the line be on top. Loosen the silver and brass terminal screws on the line side of the outlet. By Cathleen Shamieh . This needs to connect to the group of white wire in the back of the box. Correction: never touch any wire with the power on, and use a meter to double check they are all off before touching anything. One day I received a call from a friend who was puzzled as to why his light fixture wasn’t working despite the fact that he had 120 volts showing on his meter when he took a reading from the hot wire to ground. Another mystery solved, and a lesson learned! If the circuit wiring does not contain a ground wire, the GFCI will not be affected and will operate as designed, but the outlet will not be grounded. With the switch on, the power travels through the load (in this case, a light bulb filament), and back on the neutral, but no connection to the grounded buss bar, and that is how you get a shock from a neutral!

Your timer has a neutral (the white wire) which standard switches do not. (I now understand the line is power in from the fuse box, and load is to the unit) It appears to be working. A forum community dedicated to professional electricians, contractors, and apprentices for residential and commercial work. Check out my YouTube video where I discuss and demonstrate this exact situation described here. I have a steam shower 30 amps. Here’s a diagram to help you understand the situation, and why it happens. Normally I bring the line in the top and load out the bottom, but this time I had it the other way and without thinking I cut my load wires to only reach the top lugs. VerticalScope Inc., 111 Peter, Suite 901, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, Canada. There should be one wire only under each terminal. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. He had taken off the wire nut for the neutral wires as part of his testing, and that’s when, to his surprise, he got a shock from the neutral! Aside from this little mystery, most electrical anomalies have an explanation. The line terminals are easy to see because they are not covered when you remove the outlet from the manufacturer’s packaging. What is a loaded neutral, and why did I get a shock from it? The load connection is available to feed additional standard (non-GFCI) outlets downstream from the GFCI location to provide protection from the GFCI. When you connect to both the line and the load terminals, the outlet protects itself and any additional outlets farther down on the same electrical circuit. The Op stated the line and load was reversed. Is it dangerous to leave it that way or does it need to be changed? You need a closed path, or closed circuit, to get electric current to flow. Although not an electrician himself, he is a “jack of all trades”, and makes his living as a handyman.

Ask below, or you can comment on the video at my YouTube channel or on my Facebook Page. This DVD will help you do it right, do it safely AND save money. Basically it is like a fuse- it wouldn't matter which was the current travel.

Literally thousands of dollars were spent by Shell Canada to try and solve this mystery. If the GFCI is located at quite a distance away or in another room or outside, it can be inconvenient to reset the GFCI and restore power to all of the outlets.

The benefit of this is to reduce cost because you have to purchase only one GFCI when running additional outlets on the same circuit, instead of buying a GFCI for every outlet. This is one of those ‘tried and true’ tools of the trade that electricians can’t imagine doing their job without. 3,838 Posts #7 • Feb 3, 2012. I think I have reversed the line and load.

In some cases, line wires are marked with “line”, “pwr”, or a lightning bolt symbol. But you do if you are grounded and then touch the white wire! The markings for line and load usually are printed on the back of the outlet's plastic body. He had 120 volts on both sides of a switch (turned on) feeding a light fixture, but the light wasn’t working. When it comes to ground-fault circuit-interrupter, or GFCI, outlets, there is always a question as to how to connect the wires. Note that when using the load connection, the GFCI protects only the other outlets that are downstream of the GFCI; that is, farther away from the service panel with respect to the circuit wiring. When you addressing two 3-ways and one 4-way. This is a line diagram to simplify this further. Line Wire - Generally connected to the bottom half of your switch. When you connect only to the line terminals, the outlet provides GFCI protection only for itself. This is where the bare or green-colored ground wire connects. Note: Line and load will be clearly labeled on the back of the GFCI outlet and often times the load side will be covered with a piece of tape. It was hard wired originally to the fuse pannel. This is 83 minutes of the best home electrical educational tool available anywhere, and can be purchased through our website. Disconnect the Old Switch Wiring . "If you're looking for a good reference to help you understand simple home wiring, I personally recommend 'The Basics of Household Wiring' DVD". Is it just one of those electrical mysteries, or is there a simple explanation for this situation? And you [can] connect line 3 to line 1 and get 208 volts. I assumed he meant the breaker was marked. He is no stranger to renovations, and when he works on his own home, he does his own wiring under a home owner’s permit. "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. A neutral is the grounded conductor? In a normal situation with the neutral path intact, you would have 120 volts measured from across the light bulb or the receptacle. If the breaker itself is not marked, by the manufacturer, "line" and "load", then you can feed it either way. The latest in my series of ‘Internet Electrician’ E-Books covers the use of a digital multi meter. Come join the discussion about trade knowledge, tools, certifications, wiring, builds, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more! While you’re there, “like”, “share”, and subscribe to my channel! You mentioned two black wires. In other words, any regular outlet that is fed from the load side of the GFCI is also protected from a ground fault because of the GFCI outlet. We swapped the motors, swapped the breakers with the redundant back-up motor, and finally pulled in new conductors through thousands of feet of conduit, all to no avail. The load terminals typically are not visible when you pull the GFCI outlet out of its package because they are covered by a strip of tape (usually yellow in color). If you want to understand more about your home’s electrical system, the best tool you can add to your toolkit is “The Basics of Household Wiring” DVD or e-book. The circuit's hot wire (typically colored black or red) connects to the black or brass-colored screw terminal marked LINE. If the breaker itself is not marked, by the manufacturer, "line" and "load", then you can feed it either way.


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