Home Electricity
50 Hertz Residential Electricity

What color is live and what color is neutral on old house wiring?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2008-08-05 19:43:08

In the US older 2-conductor house wire has a white-insulated and

a black-insulated wire. The white wire is the neutral and the black

is the hot wire. Newer house wire has a third bare copper wire to

serve as the ground wire. Insulated ground wire has a green

jacketing on it. Red wires are for switch legs. You want to be sure

that whomever did the wiring didn't flip the colors around. You can

do this by checking the fuse or breaker box - the white or neutral

wires should all run to the multi-neutral ground bus bar and the

black or hot wires should each go to their respective circuit

breakers or fuse sockets. On your switches and recepticals, the

gold screw is for the black, or hot wire, and the silver screw is

for the neutral. The green screw would be for the ground wire.

Mostly, use a qualified electrician to do any work unless you are

quite handy, have all necessary tools and fully aware of all safety

precautions and code requirements that may exist where you


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.