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Old 04-26-2019, 05:37 PM   #1
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Ground wire on 12V system

1998 SMB VAN. I removed the fluorescent fixture above the sink in order to retrofit to LED. (I had to drill out some rivets in order to remove the ballast cover and that's easier done on my bench.) Now, I'm not certain which wire is ground; red or white. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Terry
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
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I’m almost positive the red wire is hot. (Bad pun intended.) I have a 98 Ford Indiana built SMB.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:25 PM   #3
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Get a test light. Put one wire of the light to ground and the other on each wire you’re testing. The positive wire will light up the light, the negative will do nothing.

.....but....the answer to your question is red is positive and white is negative.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:28 AM   #4
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Terry, all of the 12 volt lighting ground wires in my old 1997 van, and in my current 2003 van, were and are white.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:16 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. red is hot and white is ground.

86Scotty, I need to buy a test light. It's long overdue.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:53 AM   #6
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Don't buy one, buy 3! They're very cheap. Just as easily you can make one out of two wires and any auto bulb. Just solder the wires on to the leads. Crude, but it will probably outlast the Harbor Freight version.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:24 AM   #7
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ARRRG! I hate it when people mix color code standards! One standard is "black is hot, white is neutral", used mostly in 120VAC systems, but also used in a fair number of 12V systems.
The other standard is "red is positive, black is negative", which is the real standard for low voltage systems like 12VDC.
But to mix the two? UGH!
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:24 AM   #8
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Three it is.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
ARRRG! I hate it when people mix color code standards! One standard is "black is hot, white is neutral", used mostly in 120VAC systems, but also used in a fair number of 12V systems.
The other standard is "red is positive, black is negative", which is the real standard for low voltage systems like 12VDC.
But to mix the two? UGH!
Exactly, and I thought I had read somewhere that white was hot, but after searching could not find it, but at any rate, I was sure SMB used an 'alternate' standard.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wltrmtty View Post
... I was sure SMB used an 'alternate' standard.

Could easily be the case, but with a 20 year old van, there's a good chance there've been a number of mods over the years.




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