enter image description hereI am installing this appliance that has two identical white wires and an earth wire. I am stuck on which white to connect to live (Brown) and which white to connect to neutral (Blue). My mains color codes are: Brown===Live Blue===Neutral Yellow===Earth

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    What country is this? Are there instructions with the appliance? What is the appliance? Aug 15 '21 at 10:39
  • Do you see a square inside a square icon on the appliance? Was it purchased at a reputable bricks and mortar store in your country? Are you sure this appliance wants AC mains voltage? Aug 15 '21 at 17:59
  • Are there any exposed metal or conductive surfaces on the appliance? This includes screws, rivets, clips, etc. Aug 15 '21 at 20:37
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica there is also a green/yellow wire in the picture, so presumablly this appliance is intended to be earthed. Aug 16 '21 at 14:20

Use a voltmeter with black voltmeter lead to ground and test the other 2 one at a time.

  • 1
    I think the OP is questioning which of the two white appliance wires should go to hot and to neutral, not what the source is.
    – JACK
    Aug 15 '21 at 15:51
  • He already knows those, brown live, blue neutral, yellow earth he says it in the question. Many of the people are answering as if it's a 220 volt connection not a 110 Aug 15 '21 at 15:54
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    @David Montz - Yes, but I think the question is, which white on the appliance goes to brown live and which white to blue neutral? The answer should be in the appliance instructions on how to connect.
    – HoneyDo
    Aug 15 '21 at 16:00
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    @David Montz Brown and blue wires seem to be more common in places that use 220 on single wire, than the more common black and white in the north american 110 system.
    – crip659
    Aug 15 '21 at 16:22

This is an imported appliance from external markets. I have tried looking for its country of origin with no success.It must be from China or Brazil.However after thorough research and consultations with local electricians, all of them (which I consulted) agreed that the two whites have no polarity or so to say. I connected either of them and the appliance works as expected. Thanks all for your review and taking your time to help.

  • With no mention of the type of appliance or circumstances of its use, I can't say this answer would be helpful to anyone. Aug 17 '21 at 5:09

If it's a light fitting with an Edison screw lamp holder. Then you should use a multimeter to test which wire is connected to the center pin of the lamp holder and wire it up so the live wire connects to the center pin of the lampholder.

Otherwise it almost certainly doesn't matter. If the manufacturer believed polarity was important they wouldn't have used two white wires.


An AC appliance will work correctly regardless of how you connect the live and neutral. So connect any of the two wires to live and the other one to neutral.

  • That's only true in places that use non-polarized plugs and sockets (Europlug and Schuko) on the regular Aug 15 '21 at 13:26
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    Most appliances might not care but people might. OP seems to be where they use 240v instead of 120v. Mixing wires might put 240v a lot closer to a person to touch(on lights).
    – crip659
    Aug 15 '21 at 13:28
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    Although it's been heavily downvoted, this answer is probably right. if the manufacturer fitted two white wires, it's a sign they didn't care which was live and which was neutral.
    – Simon B
    Aug 15 '21 at 20:48

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