What Happens If You Switch Line And Load?

What Happens If You Switch Line And Load?

The phrases “line” as well as “load” are abbreviations used in the electric industries to denote cables that transfer electricity from a source to something like a device (line) as opposed to those that transfer power to additional gadgets further down the circuits (load). What happens if you switch line and load?

Line wire: What is it?

What Happens If You Switch Line And Load?

Out of the power firm’s cables to your power distribution board, the first line cable in the house travels. The cables that connect your apartment’s allocated electrical outlets here to switches are considered the program’s next-line cables.

They are often hidden under walls, although in unfinished areas like attics as well as basements, they could be surface placed. The term “hot” refers to an electrical charge in line wires. Think that they are the “supply lines” for electricity.

Load wire: What is it?

The description of a load cable is a little wider, but in essence, it refers to the cable which carries electricity from such a terminal here to the place of usage.

For instance, electricity is delivered to the lighting control through a line wire and then transferred out from the control to the lights via a load line. The light loses power whenever the switch is shut off.

The cable that carries electricity through the first socket to the following devices on a single sequence when a boundary of openings is wired in succession is known as the loading wire.

What distinguishes Live wire from Load wire?

An electrical meter’s line edge receives the centering feed out from the utility provider. It exits the meters out from the load side as well as feeds an electricity supply board or disconnection out from the line side.

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A single circuit is frequently connected with many outlets and receptacles, valves, light fittings, as well as other electrical equipment. Inside the case of the first item, the line is the wire that connects the service panel here to the equipment, as well as the load is the wire that runs from the initial item to the separate device farther along the circuits.

The wire flowing to the third item on a circuit is known as the demand at the separate device, where the source of energy from the original device enters. The gadget itself might have the same function. You attach the entering supply electricity to an outlet’s panelboard. Power exits the appliance (or electricity box) and goes along the circuit on the load side.

GFCI Outlets

What Happens If You Switch Line And Load?

The screw connections of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are divided into two pairings, one of which is designated LINE and the other LOAD.

When connected to the connection points, the outlet solely protects that specific outlet against GFCIs. The GFCI protects that outlet and any additional standard outlets placed downstream within the same circuit when the line and load connections are made utilizing two electrical wires or two pairs of pigtail wiring.

How to distinguishes a live wire from a load?


Utilizing color coding is the simplest method to tell your line cables apart from load wires. Line, as well as load wires, are commonly made of rubber, with red rubber being utilized for the load as well as black rubber being employed for the lines. Your issue is resolved if the wires follow this color code.


With regard to wall outlets as well as switches, both line and load cables are unique and are positioned differently as a result of the duties they provide. Since the line delivers electricity to the switch, it is often located at the bottom of a flip, whereas the load is typically located at the top.

Voltage tester without contact

Using a non-contact voltage tester is among the most reliable methods for recognizing the line and load connections. All you have to do is contact the insulator of every wire you want to identify with the point of the voltage tester. The line wire emits a buzzer or illumination, while the load wire emits no sound or light.


Inside the “COM” port, insert the black negatives multimeter probe as well as the “VΩmA” port, respectively. A 200 AC reference voltage, denoted on the multimeter as “VAC” or “V~,” can be reached by turning the scale.

Put the red connection on such an uncovered section of your cables as well as the black lead across any nearby metal substrate. After completing each of these steps, the multimeter should display a 120-volt measurement across one of the lines. The wire from which you obtain this measurement is the mainline, whereas the load wire is the opposite wire that provides no reading.

LED screwdriver

Although it involves contact using loose electrical, a neon screwdriver functions similarly to a volt meter. The uncovered wires on any switching or meter box, or even the screws holding them throughout the position, should be touched with the head of the neon screwdriver. The line cable causes the neon screwdriver to light up; your load wire is something else entirely.

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What happens if you switch line and load?

There is a risk of lethal shock from the outlet as well as the electrical device, but they are still functional. This occurs as a result of the circuit breaker being turned off with the live line cable no longer being linked to the ground.

Line and load cables can be mixed without affecting performance with basic on-off lighting control. Either that the electricity will be turned on or off. The only time this does become crucial is when a GFCI circuit is installed. An unsafe condition might result from improper installation since it has an inbuilt circuit breaker.

The GFCI won’t trip inside the case of earth faults when you swap the line, as well as load lighting switches back and forth. If you hit “TEST” to check the outlet, the “RESET” option will emerge. The GFCI, though, will continue to operate. This demonstrates what will take place in the event of a malfunction.

GFCIs are purchased by consumers to safeguard their loved ones against electrical shock and fires. However, reversing the wiring of the GFCI disables this safety feature. Upstream electricity will be shut off by a short. However, electricity here on the load cable downstream won’t be affected. As a result, it will be unable to stop unintentional electrocution.

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Q: Am I able to load myself by reversing the line?

A: If you’ve worked using electricity before, you can brush your activities off as a simple error. However, if you have little experience with electricity, leave this work to a qualified individual. If not, you risk making matters worse.

Q: Is it possible to link the line as well as the load?

A: You certainly can. Be careful to place both sets on the GFCI’s line side. This indicates that the junction box’s load side circuit is not GFCI protected. Therefore take notice.

Q: What are the line and load considerations for a standard outlet?

A: “Line” and “load” are not features of typical receptacles. That doesn’t exist. This idea only applies to GFCI and AFCI systems when the “Load” creates a safe area around extra outlets which are correctly connected.

Q: What do load and line mean on a three-way switch?

A: The “Line” cable must be linked to Brilliant Control’s “Common” port in a three-way setup. The wire used as a “load” is known as a “load wire,” and it links your switches to a lightbulb or even another “load.” This is typically black as well.

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