How to differentiate a hot wire from a neutral in a Canadian rangehood

I just bought a Canadian Rangehood (Cypress). The manual that comes with the it doesn't tell anything on how to connect the wires.
Out of 3 wires for connection, 1 green is for neutral. Then there are two white wires. One white wire has some letter printed on the insulation (such as 105C 18AWG etc). The other white wire has nothing printed on it.
There is no WEB site or technical support number supplied on the booklet. I am guess the wire with prints is the hot one, and the other neutral. What the consequence will be if I connect the wire in that way when it is the other way around?
I opened the junction box inside the rangehood. There were lot of wirenuts there for the 2 motor, 2 speed rangehood with lights. Each of those two white wires are connected to black, white, yellow, brown wires all over.
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What voltage is the motor rated for?
Color codes inside appliances mean squat in my experience.
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Noozer wrote:

Doug has the right answer--check continuity to find out if there really is <no> indication.
But, I'm wondering if the insulation isn't shown whether one conductor is darkened to indicate neutral/source a la switches/outlets?
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unknown user wrote: ....

You don't need no steenken' maneuel... :)
Just put the dial on "CONT" and press the little button w/ the picture of a speaker or similar if it it has one so the beeper works. Put the leads in the voltage, not current measuring positions. Touch the two leads together and you should/will get a beep. Keep dinking around until you get the settings so you do.
Then take one lead and grab one wire lead and probe the light socket (not the base, the socket) w/ the switch in the 'on' position. One or the other will show continuity--that one's the neutral. Mark the other one w/ a piece of black tape and you're done.
Just for verification, probe the base of the socket and the one you've identified as the feed and turn the switch off/on...it should beep/quit in the on/off positions...
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Doug Miller wrote:

Thanks to all who replied.
I mean the green wire for ground when I typed neutral. It is already connected to the box.
I do have a multi-meter. But I never really used it other than to check if a circuit is live or not. I'll learn to test the continuity with that - only problem is I don't have manual for the meter anymore.
From your reply, I guess the otherway to check is I can connect in one way. Turn on the circuit breaker. Turn on light. Then use the meter to check whether the bulb shell is live or not. If the shell is live, then switch the incoming hot and neutral.
The rangehood manual does have 10 line installation instructions. But no wire connections. There is wiring diagram. But the color in the diagram (brown (hot), blue(neutral) is different from the white colors on the diagram.
I believe it is CSA certified.
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Rudy wrote:

Got the rangehood installed tonight. The white wire with prints is indeed the hot one and the other white wire is neutral, after using multimeter for continuity check. I also checked socket shell as well inside contact to make sure the shell is not hot. Everything is fine now, and the rangehood works great.
Now think back, I remember I had a similar problem with the garbage disposal some time ago. The In-sink-erator disposal did not come with an extention wire with plug.so I had to buy one from Home Depot. Both the hot and neutral wires are black. The hot wire has printed words on it and the neutral one does not. The wire/plug came with an detailed instruction sheet, and I had no problem with it.
Thanks all for the help.
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unknown user wrote: ....

Then set it to resistance and touch the leads together it will read 0 or very small values...leave the leads non-touching and you'll see a flashing indication or a range error or a very large value...that's indicative of the open circuit.
Just play with it a little bit and you'll quickly catch on as to whether you have a short circuit or an open one--and that's what you're looking for. When you get the short circuit you've identified the conductor leading to the base or socket...
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I answered the mechanics but on reflection your above wording made another response seem justified...
"Continuity" is determination of a path of possible flow through a completed circuit. So, the measurement is one of measuring a low-resistance path. When the switch is open, it creates a break in the path so the resistance is essentially infinite. When closed, there's essentially nothing but a short piece of wire between the base and the other end so it's going to be a very low value--a few tenths of an ohm will probably show up.
The continuity scale is provided for simply the purpose of finding open/closed ciruits as a convenience since for the purpose the actual resistance is not really of any interest--you're just interested in whether the circuit is open or closed. Thus the sound indicator is handy so you don't even have to see the scale.
HTH...
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Thanks. I'll try that. My multimeter is a digital one, and can't make a sound. It has 3 areas on the dial: voltage, current and resistance. I guesss it must display some numbers on the display to indicate the continuity.
This is made in Canada (120V/60Hz) with Japanese motors inside. Quite powful rangehood (680 CFM).
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680 CFM?!!!! Sounds like a commercial unit to me. No wonder there aren't any EZ instructions accompanying this. You had better open a window each time you use it (Assuming it is vented outside). You may wind up pulling air down through your chimney. Unless of course you are using this in a commercial application and have already made provisions for make up air.
Set the multimeter on resistance to check continuity.
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John Grabowski wrote:

No. This is residential unit.
I'll install the unit tonight, and report back if there are any problems.
Thanks to all who responded.
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If it is a digital one, I bet it *can* make a beep. :-) Google-search on the make and model# will probably turn up a downloadable copy of the manual.
Anyway, you want the resistance scale. Continuity is indicated by a resistance of zero or nearly so; lack of continuity, by a resistance of infinity.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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i am guess you should take it back where you bought it and have them show you or return your money.
randy

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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Thanks to Doug and Duane.
This is great. There are always something to learn each day.
I'll test the old tool (10 years) with the new trick tonight.
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The printing doesn't indicate anything but the kind of wire & insulation used.
Green should be grounded to the electrical box. There should be a black and white wire coming out of the box. Black being hot and white being neutral.
Is this hood ULA or CSA approved? I can't see how it would be without the proper colour wiring coming out of the unit.
Were there no installation instructions or a phone # to contact the company?
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Nope. Green is for ground. Not neutral.

You have a 50% chance of being right... :-) No reason, really, to assume one way or the other. Best to test and make sure.

The fan motor will operate properly either way, but reversing hot and neutral creates the possibility of an electric shock hazard when changing light bulbs, because the shell of the light socket will be live even with the switch off.

Do you have a multimeter? If so, it should be pretty easy to tell which is the neutral and which is the hot. The meter will show continuity between the shell of the light socket(s) and one of the two wires; that's the neutral. Connect it to the white wire of the supply cable.
To double-check, look for continuity between the center contact of the light socket(s) and the *other* wire: there should be continuity with the light switch on, and not with it off. That's the hot. Wrap black or red tape around it to identify it, and connect it to the black wire of the supply cable.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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The green is GROUND not neutral. The white wire with the printing on it should be your HOT wire to connect to black. The OTHER white wire should be your neutral...if you look carefully, you should be able to see small ridges running lengthwise on the white insulation of that one..which again indicates Neutral or 'white' connection.
This is the conclusion after examining several pieces of various 2 conductor white cord in my 'spare' wire box. All the ones with writing (either printed in black or moulded right into the insulation) are 'smooth' HOT. All the others have the ridged indication on them for neutral. I'd guess it is this way because its easier to print/read on a smooth wire instead of one with ridges on it
So I'd start there..and still check my socket with the multimeter to confirm
R

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