Which wire is which in 3-wire zip cord?

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wrote:

If not marked, the wire connection can be determined by the screw terminal to which they correspond. Silver screws are found on one side of outlets and brass on the other. White (neutral) wires connect to the silver screws and the black (hot) wires hook to the brass. Plug-ins and switches have a green screw to which must be connected the bare ground wire.
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Where did outlets come from? So many of the responses I got to this thread came from people that did not bother to read what I originally posted.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

If the molded plug ends not one Silver = neutral one brass = Hot
It all a Color Code look at the wires one Silver = neutral one brass = Hot
if it not one of the way, then it have been replace before....
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wrote:

Dont temp this guy. If he dont know this much, and is going to cut into the cord and splice a switch. I can already see this mess of wires and blob or masking tape to cover the bare wires. He dont need to be encouraged for being an idiot. He needs a professional electrician. His only tools should be the Yellow Pages and a telephone!
Look under "E" for Electricians.
If he tries it himself, he'll need to look under "F" for Funeral Homes and "U" for Undertakers after he kills someone.
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On Fri, 09 Mar 2012 11:25:10 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@nohoo.com wrote:

As I wrote I will use wire nuts, and of course electrical tape.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Like Spitzer says, the outside wire with the ridges is the neutral (white), the center is ground (green) and the rounded outside wire is the hot.
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On Fri, 09 Mar 2012 00:05:20 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thank you for fully answering the question.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On Fri, 09 Mar 2012 00:05:20 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thinking about it this makes sense. I know which prong is which in a plug. All I had to realize is the wires inside the plug would not cross. And then I could have figured it out.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Where did outlets come from? So many of the responses I got to this thread came from people that did not bother to read what I originally posted.
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4ax.com:

The one with the ridges is neutral; the one in the middle is ground; and the remaining wire is hot.
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I just looked at a few pieces of grounded zip cord I had lying around. On all three the ground was in the middle, neutral had a ridge molded into it as someone else also said and hot was on the other side.
Jimmie
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They don't really say. There is a hole to run the wire out to the back. I think they expect you to plug it into the power strip and use that switch to turn it on and off.
Many reviews at Sears (under the 6' backwall) complain about the lack of an on/off switch. One complains about having to plug/unplug the light into the power strip. Another writes "I solved this by pulling the plug-end off, drilling a hole, and soldering in a $4 chain pulled on/off switch from *****. It should have just come that way." Another writes "The light could use a power switch. I guess I will splice one into the cord."
I could solder instead of using wire nuts.

You mean all the way at one end (of your choice)? I ordered a second for the other end. But the mounting brackets for it are in the bag with all the parts for the backwall. So a neighbor is going to bend some metal strips he has around and will make a couple for me.

I see. A nice idea. But cutting holes in the front steel frame to install electrical boxes would be very difficult.
I also suspect your workbench cost more. Sears' online prices fluctuate every few days. I paid $700 for the frame, backwall, one 5-drawer set, and butcher block top. That included NYC sales tax and delivery.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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My workbench is homemade and all wood - very old, full sized 2 x 4's and 2 x 6's, topped with a replaceable piece of hardboard. ~3.5' x 8'.
Most assuredly not mobile.
Mounting a series of receptacles across the front involved nothing more than some wood screws through the back of the electrical boxes and a bunch of wire staples to secure the Romex. There's a junction box on the back corner where the feed wire comes in so that I can unhook it if I had to.
The receptacles are on a different circuit than the lights so that if the breaker trips I'm not plunged into darkness. That's always a good idea for a workshop.
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wrote:

They also make 1" cubes with a switch on top, and prongs on one side, and a receptacle on another. I use them a lot for things without swtiches.
See my other post.
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That would be good for the fellow plugging it in and out. I guess he has something else plugged in that he wants to keep on.
I don't want to have my cord run down the side and across to an outlet that is past the switch. I want all the wire hidden in the top housing. And then go out the back.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Don Wiss wrote:

You're trying to solve the wrong problem.
Think "Clapper" (as seen on TV).
If that's too "old" fashioned, think power strip with a switch. You'll always need extra outlets anyway.
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I solved a similar problem using something I was clued into here in AHR. A tiny switch adapter - mine came from Radio Shack but I have seen others. It looks like a three-prong to two prong adapter but it has a small switch on the side to control any load plugged into it.
There are also remote switches - they are very much like the small adapter switch but they have a wire leading out from the "stacked" outlet - you plug your lamp into the piggyback plug and then into the wall. I wire leads out from the outlet to a small hand-holdable switch. That way you can place the switch anywhere that's convenient.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
is the URL (I hope) for the wired one - they have a wireless remote switches as well that would even be more convenient although a little pricier. All UL listed, no code or safety issues. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

Take a hat pin or a corsage pin or a straight pin and put it into the wire and use your meter. The little hole it might leave won't matter. Use a wire with an alligator clip on the end to grip the pin.
You might also be able to tell from the end of the wire not connected to the light. Measure resittance from each prong to various parts of the fixture.
Is there a plug on the end. The narrow prong is hot.

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I could do that fairly easily with Wiremold or using some other surface mounted parts. The top has a 6" overhang. And there is a 4" wide support beam under the top.
Some years ago I tossed out a lot of Wiremold. Some prior owner of this pre-electric house had used it in a couple of walkthrough closets.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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