what happens if you switch line and load
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. Although not an electrician himself, he is a “jack of all trades”, and makes his living as a handyman. In this case, both sides of the light (hot and neutral) are the same, thus no potential difference (voltage), and the bulb does not light up. This is a line diagram to simplify this further. If the GFCI's electrical box is metal (not plastic), you must join two pigtails (short lengths of wire) to the circuit ground wires and connect one pigtail to the outlet ground screw and one to the metal electrical box. Yes, the wires were apart! 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. Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician®. Timothy Thiele is an electrician who advises residential DIYers on how to make home installation projects safe and easy. 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. That’s when I knew he was dealing with an open or loaded neutral. In my experience over the last 35 years, there is only one mystery that to my knowledge has never been solved. 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. The markings for line and load usually are printed on the back of the outlet's plastic body. Another mystery solved, and a lesson learned! It is important to check your viral load after you first start treatment or switch to a new regimen to determine if the new meds are working. "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. Maybe a dumb question, but will the breaker still function properly if the line and load is reversed on a 200 amp breaker disconnect? The circuit's hot wire (typically colored black or red) connects to the black or brass-colored screw terminal marked LINE. 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. Come join the discussion about trade knowledge, tools, certifications, wiring, builds, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more! GFCI protection is not the same thing as grounding. I assumed he meant the breaker was marked. 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. Such was the case here. The downside is that when there is a ground-fault condition with any of these added outlets, the GFCI outlet then trips. Is it dangerous to leave it that way or does it need to be changed? Here’s a diagram to help you understand the situation, and why it happens. The two wires that connect between the 3-ways switches are carriers. If the breaker itself is not marked, by the manufacturer, "line" and "load", then you can feed it either way. JavaScript is disabled. 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! 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. Note the switch wiring. 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. If the wire is coming from the top of the switch box, it is likely your load wire. This is 83 minutes of the best home electrical educational tool available anywhere, and can be purchased through our website. Load Wire - Generally connected to the top half of your switch. What is a loaded neutral, and why did I get a shock from it? Loosen the silver and brass terminal screws on the line side of the outlet. There is no code requirement that the line be on top. 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. 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. I asked if the neutral (white) wires were disconnected, and I got the answer I was looking for to solve this mystery. With my telephone assistance I had him do a few troubleshooting tests with his meter. As with the line connections, the hot wire of the load cable connects to the black or brass terminal on the outlet. The load connection is available to feed additional standard (non-GFCI) outlets downstream from the GFCI location to provide protection from the GFCI. The line terminals are easy to see because they are not covered when you remove the outlet from the manufacturer’s packaging. Was (is?) That particular breaker continued this mysterious behavior and they finally just accepted it, and dealt with these random disruptions. How can this be? 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. And you [can] connect line 3 to line 1 and get 208 volts. When it comes to ground-fault circuit-interrupter, or GFCI, outlets, there is always a question as to how to connect the wires. Remember that one side of the common on the three way is the line side and the other common is the load side or switch leg. When working in the oil industry back in Alberta Canada, we had a situation where a high voltage breaker feeding a large electric motor would randomly trip. The neutral wire connects to the silver terminal. The black wire is the hot wire, the one you should never touch with the power on. Additional outlets installed between the GFCI and the service panel are not protected by 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. A neutral is the grounded conductor? This needs to connect to the group of white wire in the back of the box. 3,838 Posts #7 • Feb 3, 2012. This is where the bare or green-colored ground wire connects. I think I have reversed the line and load. 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. Ask below, or you can comment on the video at my YouTube channel or on my Facebook Page. A forum community dedicated to professional electricians, contractors, and apprentices for residential and commercial work. 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. 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. This is one of those ‘tried and true’ tools of the trade that electricians can’t imagine doing their job without. I have a steam shower 30 amps. 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). The other cable connects to the LOAD terminals to bring power downstream to additional outlets and other devices on the circuit. Correction: never touch any wire with the power on, and use a meter to double check they are all off before touching anything. While you’re there, “like”, “share”, and subscribe to my channel! It would be non compliant but yes it would work. When you connect only to the line terminals, the outlet provides GFCI protection only for itself. Is it just one of those electrical mysteries, or is there a simple explanation for this situation? Without a continuous path back to the panel, and the neutral buss bar, the voltage has no place to go to complete the circuit. Using the load connection requires two cables in the GFCI's electrical box. I needed to install a cut off switch close to the unit. By Cathleen Shamieh . The latest in my series of ‘Internet Electrician’ E-Books covers the use of a digital multi meter. 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. When you addressing two 3-ways and one 4-way. In some cases, line wires are marked with “line”, “pwr”, or a lightning bolt symbol. Aside from this little mystery, most electrical anomalies have an explanation. The line connection is the point where you will connect the incoming feeder wire (also called the line), which is fed from the home’s electrical service panel. There is no code requirement that the line be on top. Read on to hear about a situation that I experienced recently in which a friend encountered an open or loaded neutral while doing some DIY wiring and needed some help understanding what caused the situation. He had 120 volts on both sides of a switch (turned on) feeding a light fixture, but the light wasn’t working. If the wire is capable of delivering 30 amps, then the power that’s being delivered is 208 volts times 30 amps times 1.732 for total power available of …


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