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I am trying to hook up a 4 foot fluorescent light and I cannot tell the difference between hot, neutral and ground because the wires are not marked. There are no lines, no colors, nothing but solid white. I have never encountered an electrical wire like this one. Usually the wire functions are indicated by red, black, white and green but this one doesn't have that. Can anyone help?

  • The cord in the picture above is connected to a ballast on a 4-foot light I'm trying to find out which wire is hot I know which one's the ground but I can't distinguish the positive from the negative or the hot from the neutral Jun 12, 2018 at 7:16
  • there is no positive or negative in AC, and if you're not touching the fixture, it doesn't make a performance diff anyway.
    – dandavis
    Jun 13, 2018 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


The side with the rib is neutral. The center is ground and the smooth side is hot. In the picture these are from left to right.

It is the same as Which side of a two-wire cable should be used for "hot"? except with the ground in the middle.

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