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Electrical cables are all black & I need to find which is live &

Hi Ive purchased a ceiling fan & when I disconnected the cables from my old one, I have 3 grey cables coming from the ceiling which all have 3 inner cables which are black in colour 'aprt from the earth cable & they do not indicate which is the live / neutral cables etc,

So today I've bought an electrical tester the ''rapitest dm10'' but I still do not know what to look out for between the dc & ac currents, does dc mean the live cable or is that ac etc etc etc.

any help you can give will be much appreciated, kindest regards
barry

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Ac, aka, alternating current, is the type found in your house. dc, aka, direct current, is the type found found in your car...or any other type of battery. If you have a total of three wires, one green, (ground) and the other two are black, then the two black wires are your alternating current wires. If this is the case, hook up your black wire from the fan and light to one of the black wires, and the whites, or commons, to the other black wire. In alternating current it does not matter which wire goes to where.
If there are 3 black wires, and a ground wire, then you will have to use your volt meter, and check the voltage from the wires, you should take three readings (wire a-b, wire b-c, and wire a-c) two readings will give you 120 volts and the third will give you 240 volts (approx) The two wires that give you 240 are your hot leads, and are probably controlled seperatly by wall switches. Hope this helps.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009

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Hi,

this depends on where you live UK/USA et,c or other.
It is best to search the manufacturers site, to find installation codes/colours.
i.e USA use a lot Of Black and white. UK uses Red/Black Green/yellow.
And on houses that are rewired to 17th edition electrics ( UK ) the colours have now changed on mains twin and earth household Wiring. What Used to Be Red ( Live ) Is Now Brown. Black ( Nuetral ) Is now Blue. green/yellow is earth.

*** Important Note:- you should have several reds in a ceiling junction box or light fitting, these are circuit wires. ( Live From Light to next light ) The same as with Black ( Nuetral )
There will usually be 1 switch wire/Cable. this feeds a live from the switch, to the live power up to the light. many homes use a twin core and earth, from the light switch to the fitting. this may be black ( if a black/red ) has been used. *** Do not connect a black Switch wire with the remaining neutrals***
This will blow a fuse or trip a breaker.

Your solution:- connect the black neutral To the Black neutral cables ( more Than 1 at the ceiling Rose/fitting ) if there is a green/yellow or green ( this will be earth ) You may have 2 remaining Colours Possibly red and Blue or other. The Red Should be the switched Live. ( the single cable Red/Black with red tape around It ) This will be the switched Live. The remaining cable would probably be connected to the Bunch of Reds ( Constant Live ) As ceiling fans require a constant and switched live ( if the fan has lighting )

If in any doubt, consult a qualified or competant Electrician. *****And always remove or isolate the mains supply before attempting any installation*****. After the wiring is complete replace the fuse or switch on the breaker, to test your installation.

This information, is supplied by a fully competant electrician.

Thankyou for using fixya.

Mike @ Compurepair.


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To add to red54's comments:

This is what I believe you have:

- one source in the ceiling box (black & white)

- one donwline circuit in ceiling box going to another wall/ceiling box (black&white)

- on switch wire in ceiling box coming from your wall switch (black & white) -- this is the white wire which will be hot when the switch is truned on

Here's how it should be connected:

- all 3 blacks in ceiling box connected together -- no other wires in this bundle

- white wire (which is hot when switched) coming from switch connects to the black/blackwhite fan wires

- connect all reamining white wires together in bundle

- connect all ground wires together

It's that simple. Trick is figuring out, of the three cables in the ceiling box, which is source, which is downline, which is switch.
Maybe red54's procedure can help you figure that out.

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