Trying to pass a Tech. IV test!

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by kcfelter, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. kcfelter

    kcfelter New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    One of my questions was: Can the neutral wire be cut in a circuit branch?
    Can someone tell me the answer?
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I would say no but the question is vague.

    Do you mean cut as in wire nut together, cut as seperated, cut as in nicked, or what?
  3. kcfelter

    kcfelter New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    I assume the question is referring to: *To Separate* as to disconnect the neutral using a switch or something.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    It is still vague as yes it can be seperated as long as the problem is corrected and no if it remains that way.
  5. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    In either form the question is vague at best, stupid to be blunt!

    Can you get us the exact wording?
  6. kcfelter

    kcfelter New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    That's the best I can do. They want let me see the test again to get the exact wording. I'm thinking the answer in "No". The common is the wire that is normally broken in a circuit. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks for your input!
  7. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Well, it's not that you're wrong, it's that you are using the completely wrong terminology.
    There is no such thing as a "common". Unless of course you mean the "common" terminal on a 3-way switch. And if you are referring to a hot (ungrounded) wire as a "common", you are especially wrong.

    There are grounded and ungrounded conductors. If the question is can you switch a neutral (grounded conductor) then the answer is NO.

    I have to ask; How much experience do you have?
    Most places require at least 5 years experience to take a license test. Sorry, but it does not seem like you have 5 years experience.
  8. kcfelter

    kcfelter New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    Ok, first of all, I never said I was taking a license test. I said I was trying to past a Tech. IV test. I don't need five years experience in electricity. I just need to know some basics. Are you trying to make me feel stupid or what????????? At least I am trying to learn something! Thank You!

    And speaking of basics! If you remember them! Secondly, if you look at a three-conductor wire, one being black, one being white and the other used as a ground wire being green!

    Let's assume the black is called the "common", the white is called the "neutral" and the green is still the ground.

    Can the white wire be broke like the black wire in a run with a switch?

    Or, just never mind! Maybe I'm not smart enough to even understand your answer Senior Member!

    Thanks for your response anyway! I will ask again after I have five years experience.
  9. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Whoa buddy. I don't even know what the hell a "Tech whatever" test is. I just assumed it was some level of license or j-man test. Maybe you should have explained this in the first place instead of getting all defensive because of my criticism.



    NO, let's NOT call it a common. This is NOT a credible term.



    Anyway, no, the white (neutral) cannot be "broke" like a hot wire.
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Just what is a Tech. IV?
    What are some of the responsibilities of a Tech. IV?


    I don’t think that anyone is trying to make you feel stupid but they are trying to get a better understanding of your question.

    This sounds like a simple 120 or 277 volt circuit. If so then there is no conductor in the circuit that would be called “commonâ€

    As pointed out earlier one use to the term common would be the pivot point of a three way switch. Another would be a conductor that is used for both voltages of a duel voltage transformer like a 208 and/or 240 volt to a lower voltage like those used in heating and cooling equipment. One of the conductors will be common to both voltages.
    In your example you will have three different conductors that will have the word ground involved with their use.
    1) the green “grounding conductorâ€
    2) the white “grounded conductorâ€
    3) the black “ungrounded conductorâ€

    All tests that I have ever seen will use the terminology used above to name these three conductors and I have many years of experience in testing of electrical circuits.
    When you get involved in the electronic side the use of the word “common†is used quite often but that is a different world than the electricians common to this site is aware of. This is why it is important to understand what a Tech. IV does.


    No. The only time that the white “grounded†conductor is allowed to be switched is when supplying a gas pump or if all conductors are disconnect simultaneously and there is no way that any one pole can operate independently.

    Never burn you bridges behind yourself as you may need an escape route.
  11. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    It would be helpful to work with the usual terminology.

    The "neutral", as in original question, is properly referred to as the "grounded cunductor" (NOT the GROUND or GROUNDING conductor) and is connected to the neutral bus which is grounded at the primary panel. It is never switched in usual practice. The neutral is always white or gray except that larger conductors used as a neutral may be identified with tape or other means. The neutral may be spliced as appropriate for construction purposes.

    The black wire may be connected to a "common" terminal of a switch but it is never called a "common" wire. It is NEVER used as a "neutral" except as noted above.

    The white conductior of a cable may be used in switch circuits such as a 3-way switching circuit, in which case it must be "identified" with an appropriate marker. When used in such a circuit it is NOT referred to as a "neutral" and the "neutral" in such a circuit is never switched to accomplish the on/off function.
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