Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 1 month ago

if I have an appliance that requires live neutral and earth; but, I am only supplied with live and neutral both of which I am unable to?

determine which is which. Would it matter if I took a guess and the live and neutral were reversed to the appliance by mistake.


I am in the UK

8 Answers

  • Bob
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    If you don't have an earth connection at all in the UK, then your supply is a TT supply where you must use an earth electrode as a sole means of earth, You will also require a 30Ma RCD (GFI for our US readers).

  • 1 month ago

    UK 230Vac hot line wire is RED, neutral is Black, earth ground is Green + Yellow.

    To determine the power source LIVE line, you need to buy a neon tester ( the cheapest device) . Its neon lamp lights up while touching the LIVE line and  does not light up on Neutral line.

    If you do not connect real earth to appliance, it still works well, or even you reverse the power polarity connection, but risk to get a killing shock if that appliance has electric leakage one day

    • Bob
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      Used to be red and black but is now brown and blue

  • 1 month ago

    The color of the insulation should tell you which is which, but you need a ground. Get the outlet rewired by an electrician.

    UK wire codes:


    Black. neutral

    Red. hot

    Ground: Green & Yellow

    new: (2006 plus)

    blue. neutral

    brown. hot

    Ground: Green & Yellow

  • qrk
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Standard line cord wire colours, depending on US or international:

    Hot wire colour is either black or brown.Neutral wire colour is either white or blue.

    If a earth lead (green) isn't supplied, then the chassis is double insulated.

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  • 1 month ago

    Talk to the city building department. They can probably help you.

    The  live is Black, RED, or Blue.

    Neutral is White or Gray.

    Earth is Green or bare copper.  Go outside your home. Find where the power lines come into your house. Look at the ground nearby and find if there is a stake driven into the ground with a wire attached to it OR a cold water pipe in the ground with a wire attached to it. This is the earth ground of your house. It is tied to the fuse box inside the house or if the box is plastic it is tied to a BUSS BAR. this is earth ground.

  • 1 month ago

    Not a good idea.  Have a qualified electrician install a proper earthed outlet for use with that appliance. 

  • On most appliances, live and neutral can be swapped. The few where you can't will only work if you get them the right way around. However, if it needs an earth, it's dangerous to omit it. If you can't get an earth connection, you can't use the appliance.

  • Rick
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Ground wire is a safety wire, and was required to be there in the U.S. building code until fairly recently.  IF the 'appliance' doesn't have an electric motor in it, B+ & 'neutral' don't care.............

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