Is your neutral wire hot? Do you want to know what causes the neutral wire to be hot? Then it’s the perfect article for you! This article tries to answer why would a neutral wire be hot with three probable reasons. So read on!
But first, it’s essential to know some of the basics of electrical circuits. Typically, an electrical circuit constitutes two wires. One wire is referred to as the ‘hot wire,’ where the electricity flows. The other wire is called the ‘neutral wire’ and is vital for completing the circuit. It ensures that the electricity returns to the source so that electricity can flow freely.
So should neutral wire be hot? The answer is no. Electricity does not flow through the neutral wire. It’s safe to touch, unlike the hot wire through which the electricity flows. But why would a neutral wire be hot?
Why Would A Neutral Wire Be Hot? Here’s 4 Reasons:
The most common reason why a neutral wire gets hot is due to bad connections. It means that the hot wire is either broken or connected to a hotline somewhere in the circuit. For example, a light bulb connection requires a hot and neutral wire. But if the neutral is not connected, it becomes hot, and the bulb does not light up.
If the problem of neutral wire heating is due to bad connectivity, there’s an easy way to check it. You can start by turning off the circuit where you notice the hot neutral. By stopping the electricity flow, it prevents the neutral from heating. If it cools down, it means that the neutral wire is not connected correctly. However, if the problem persists, try to get professional help because that’s the best way to fix it.
Another reason why the neutral wire gets heated is due to high voltage. Typically, any voltage that is higher than 100V that can cause you harm is considered high voltage. But standard maximum voltage is about 240-250V maximum for electrical circuits at home. However, there are many reasons that cause high voltage. For example, a short circuit generates enormous amounts of voltage and can potentially damage all your electrical appliances. So if you’ve experienced a short circuit, there is a good chance that the neutral wire becomes hot due to the overload.
To ensure that the volts are stable, you can frequently check your meter box. Additionally, you can purchase a multimeter which is an excellent device that you can use to check the voltage for both AC and DC. Here’s a great one on Amazon
A very prominent cause of neutral wires heating is lightning strikes. Whenever a flash of lightning strikes a power line, it produces enormous amounts of electricity. It can be direct, i.e., strike the house or hit one of the hot wires, or indirect and strike a power grid. Either way, it affects the whole circuit, and if the electrical connections are not correctly installed, it will damage almost all the appliances at home. It can also blow a fuse and heat the neutral wire in the process.
However, lightning strikes are unpredictable, and you can never be sure. That’s why proper installation and connection of electrical circuits are crucial. It’s wise to install a lightning conductor or have grounded wire installed on all the circuits. The grounded wire helps by absorbing all the excess voltage and passing it safely down to the earth. So make sure that you have all these installed for your safety.
So why is the neutral wire hot? Well, these are the three reasons why you might be having hot, neutral wires in the circuit. It’s never easy for those with zero knowledge about electrical circuits to tackle the problem, and it is also hazardous. That’s why it’s never a wise choice to try and fix it yourself because you can get an electrical shock. If you’re unlucky, it could be fatal.
Hot neutral wires are not normal. So if you have this problem at home, hire a trained professional to have it fixed before it causes more problems to the whole electrical circuit in the house.
You Are Looking At The Wrong Wire
Are you sure you are working on the neutral wire, and not the live wire? An easy way to spot this is by looking at the color of the wire. Is it white? In that case it is likely a neutral wire.
Why do I say likely? Because the color coding conventions and wiring standards differ country by country. It is best to consult your local standards document.
Hot or live wires are usually black (or brown) in color, so it is possible that you have just mistaken your hot wire for neutral wire.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask an Electrician for help
Dealing with electric wiring with an unclear understanding of the terms, codes, and standards may be hazardous. The potential for damage is higher than what you’d save if you try to perform repairs all on your own.
Never hesitate to enlist an electrician for help – you can always watch and learn!