what happens if you switch line and load

For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. This is one of those ‘tried and true’ tools of the trade that electricians can’t imagine doing their job without. 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 you connect only to the line terminals, the outlet provides GFCI protection only for itself.

Although not an electrician himself, he is a “jack of all trades”, and makes his living as a handyman. Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician®. Additional outlets installed between the GFCI and the service panel are not protected by the GFCI. As with the line connections, the hot wire of the load cable connects to the black or brass terminal on the outlet. 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. A neutral is the grounded conductor? Ask below, or you can comment on the video at my YouTube channel or on my Facebook Page. Correction: never touch any wire with the power on, and use a meter to double check they are all off before touching anything.

Note the switch wiring. The two wires that connect between the 3-ways switches are carriers. Using the load connection requires two cables in the GFCI's electrical box. 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. 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. Maybe a dumb question, but will the breaker still function properly if the line and load is reversed on a 200 amp breaker disconnect?

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! Have questions about this or any other electrical project?

Check out my YouTube video where I discuss and demonstrate this exact situation described here. Standard outlets are much cheaper than GFCIs.

The black wire is the hot wire, the one you should never touch with the power on. How can this be? Is it just one of those electrical mysteries, or is there a simple explanation for this situation? With my telephone assistance I had him do a few troubleshooting tests with his meter. The downside is that when there is a ground-fault condition with any of these added outlets, the GFCI outlet then trips. The other cable connects to the LOAD terminals to bring power downstream to additional outlets and other devices on the circuit. The markings for line and load usually are printed on the back of the outlet's plastic body. So he tested with his meter, and sure enough, 120 volts to ground! 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.

GFCI protection is not the same thing as grounding.

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! The Op stated the line and load was reversed. While you’re there, “like”, “share”, and subscribe to my channel! The benefit of this is to reduce cost because you have to purchase only one GFCI when running additional outlets on the same circuit, instead of buying a GFCI for every outlet. Literally thousands of dollars were spent by Shell Canada to try and solve this mystery. That’s when I knew he was dealing with an open or loaded neutral.

The line terminals are easy to see because they are not covered when you remove the outlet from the manufacturer’s packaging. 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. Come join the discussion about trade knowledge, tools, certifications, wiring, builds, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more! 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. One is the line cable that connects to the GFCI's LINE terminals. 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. Your timer has a neutral (the white wire) which standard switches do not. Disconnect the Old Switch Wiring .

In my experience over the last 35 years, there is only one mystery that to my knowledge has never been solved. 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.

Was (is?)

If there’s a break anywhere in the path, you have an open circuit, and the current stops flowing — and the metal atoms in the wire quickly settle down to a peaceful, electrically neutral existence. And you [can] connect line 3 to line 1 and get 208 volts.

it a ghost ……..? 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.

It was hard wired originally to the fuse pannel. The situation was this. When someone contacts me with an electrical problem, one of the first questions I like to ask is “What were you doing/working on when this problem started”. Loosen the silver and brass terminal screws on the line side of the outlet. 3,838 Posts #7 • Feb 3, 2012. 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. If the wire is coming from the top of the switch box, it is likely your load wire. The white neutral wire connects to the silver-colored screw terminal marked LINE.

Here’s a diagram to help you understand the situation, and why it happens. 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.

The latest in my series of ‘Internet Electrician’ E-Books covers the use of a digital multi meter.

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. The Basics of Household Wiring” DVD or e-book, Video: How to Wire a Switch Part Four Splicing the Neutral Conductors, Video: Understanding Electrical Outlet Wire Colors, Video: Understanding Single-Pole and 3-Way Switches, Electrical Outlet Doesn’t Work and Breaker isn’t Tripped, Five Tools Every DIYer Would Love for Christmas, How to Replace a Mismatched Dryer Cord and Receptacle. Timothy Thiele is an electrician who advises residential DIYers on how to make home installation projects safe and easy. When you addressing two 3-ways and one 4-way. There should be one wire only under each terminal. But you do if you are grounded and then touch the white wire! I asked if the neutral (white) wires were disconnected, and I got the answer I was looking for to solve this mystery. The ground screw on a GFCI is always green and is located on one end of the outlet body. 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. I needed to install a cut off switch close to the unit. Refer to the diagram above about wiring GFCI receptacles for additional help. There is no code requirement that the line be on top.

You need a closed path, or closed circuit, to get electric current to flow. Another mystery solved, and a lesson learned! By Cathleen Shamieh . Aside from this little mystery, most electrical anomalies have an explanation.

I think I have reversed the line and load. 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).

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. What is a loaded neutral, and why did I get a shock from it?

Without a continuous path back to the panel, and the neutral buss bar, the voltage has no place to go to complete the circuit.

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(I now understand the line is power in from the fuse box, and load is to the unit) It appears to be working. 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 you are working on an electrical circuit, make certain the power is off!

With Rob, I found out that he was adding some devices to this circuit, and in another junction box he had taken apart the splices.

I assumed he meant the breaker was marked.

If the breaker itself is not marked, by the manufacturer, "line" and "load", then you can feed it either way. Load Wire - Generally connected to the top half of your switch. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) HIV treatment guidelines recommend viral load testing two to eight weeks after starting treatment or switching drugs.

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. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board.

Line Connection 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 . The neutral wire connects to the silver terminal. VerticalScope Inc., 111 Peter, Suite 901, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, Canada. 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. I have a steam shower 30 amps.

Basically it is like a fuse- it wouldn't matter which was the current travel. 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 …

( Mark line side with label). It would be non compliant but yes it would work.

One of these will likely be black.

Such was the case here. This DVD will help you do it right, do it safely AND save money.

In some cases, line wires are marked with “line”, “pwr”, or a lightning bolt symbol. You mentioned two black wires. Line Wire - Generally connected to the bottom half of your switch. He had taken off the wire nut for the neutral wires as part of his testing, and that’s when, to his surprise, he got a shock from the neutral! When it comes to ground-fault circuit-interrupter, or GFCI, outlets, there is always a question as to how to connect the wires. In a normal situation with the neutral path intact, you would have 120 volts measured from across the light bulb or the receptacle. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. The circuit's hot wire (typically colored black or red) connects to the black or brass-colored screw terminal marked LINE.

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