Electrical Wiring Color Code Issue

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 30, 2013
Something I ran into while doing maintenance and repair on some sewing machines and the wiring connecting the power to the machines from the outlets was what appears to be a wiring mistake which resulted in the wrong colors being used for the hot wire and the ground in a locking plug (3 wire) on a regular 120 VAC, 20 AMP circuit? The wires were hooked up as follows, the green wire which should have been ground, was instead the hot wire, while the black wire was hooked up as ground? The white neutral wire was the only one which was correctly wired? I know that people, especially who are not electricians or who do not know about wiring color coding, sometimes install electrical wiring anyhow, even though it may be incorrect. I am guessing that this is what happened in this case? I have been doing electrician and electronics repair and wiring off and on for about 20 years now and unless I am mistaken, I was taught that in a typical modern 120VAC, 20 AMP circuit that green is always ground, black/brown is hot and white is neutral and that the wires MAY get hot and possibly start a fire if they are hooked up incorrectly? Has anyone encountered a wiring mistake like this, just curious?


Joined Jul 13, 2008
" Has anyone encountered a wiring mistake like this, just curious? "

More times than I care to count... Put in 12 years before retiring, as a bench tech at a local HVAC / General Electrical repair facility...
The problem you mention, is rampant among the DIY crowd, and sadly, many contractors that are supposed to know better...
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