Learn Electrical Wiring Tips & Color Coding of Wires from Professionals

McCarrick Electric has over 25 years of experience as a family owned and operated licensed electrical contractor, always ready to help residential and commercial clients with electrical wiring tips.

Some clients hire our electrical services after trying to DIY wiring work in their homes. This is never a good idea – especially if you can’t tell the difference between the electricity neutral wire and the hot wire. Mistakes in connecting the different types of wires can result in injuries and electrical faults with costly consequences. However, since some people are good handymen and are willing to learn electrical wiring tips, we decided to share our knowledge on this topic.

In this article, we will discuss what is a common wire, what color is assigned to each type of electrical wires, and how to connect them properly. However, you should still hire licensed electricians for major wiring repairs or replacement. Unlicensed work will void your home insurance and expose your family to various risks, including electrocuting and electrical fires. Confusions between a hot and a neutral electrical wire can even lead to power surges, which can cause extensive damage to the wiring and to your expensive appliances and electronic devices.

What Does a Neutral Wire Do?

What is the purpose of a neutral wire? First of all, let us explain how electricity works. It always flows in a continuous loop from the source to appliances and light sources and back to the source. For this reason, all outlets, appliances, and devices across the US are designed to work with a 3-wire system:

  • Hot 
  • Neutral
  • Ground

Learn what is a neutral wire used for and how to connect every type of wiring correctly

The hot wire is black, the neutral wire is white, and the ground wire color is green. Being able to tell them apart is important for those who want to learn how to connect them properly. 

You should know which wire is ground, as this one must be connected to the metal case of the appliance. Also, according to the US National Electric Code Article 250, the ground wire and the neutral wire must be tied together at the service panel. This connection, called bonding, is one of the key electrical wiring safety tips applicable to every house and commercial building across the US.

Which Wire Is Hot?

We already explained what color the hot wire is – black. The hot wire on the outlet carries electricity to the devices you connect to them. This is what keeps your fridge, TV, and washing machine running.

Correct installation following a standard electrical diagram and knowing which wire is the hot wire are essential when adding new outlets to your home. If you are not completely certain that you know how to connect a hot wire to the electrical circuit, leave the work to a licensed electrician. 

What Is the Purpose of a Neutral Wire?

Why is there a need for a neutral electrical wire? Let us remember that electricity flows in a circuit. It starts from a source, reaches various appliances, and then returns to the source. So, when you want to know what is a neutral wire used for, the answer is to return electrical current from the outlet to the source.

Also, many homeowners wonder: does the ground wire carry current? Under normal circumstances, the answer is no. However, if an exposed hot wire comes into contact with a metal part of the outlet or appliance, it will create a circuit with the ground wire, protecting you from an electrical shock.

We will repeat how to tell hot wire from neutral: the neutral wire is always white. The color of hot wire is generally black, but it can also be red. But, whenever you need to tell them apart, you will connect the white wire as neutral.

We Can Help You With Electrical Wiring Safety Tips and Professional Connection Works!

At McCarrick Electric, we take pride in the +25 years of experience as a family owned and operated licensed contractor. We pay great attention to detail, use professionalism in every job, even if it is simply connecting a hot wire on an outlet or replacing the entire wiring in your home.

Guide on how to connect a hot wire on outlet correctly

We offer you the confidence and peace of mind that your home electrical wiring is safe to use.

We are based in Commerce City, CO, but we are ready to help clients with electrical wiring safety tips in:

  • Aurora
  • Denver
  • Henderson
  • Brighton
  • Thornton
  • Westminster
  • Highlands Ranch
  • Littleton
  • Parker

Electricity is one of the most common utilities making your life more comfortable. However, it can be very dangerous if you don’t know which wire is hot and how to do the wiring in your house. Call 720-434-3960 for an estimate and remember: we are available 24/7 for emergencies!

720-601-1991 Contact Us