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Old 06-29-2016, 10:21 AM   #1
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Marker Lights 2 Wires Which is Hot???

I'm replacing a rear marker light on my '99 Safari. It has 2 wires coming through the body/grommet (BTW, thanks for making the wires so short Airstream ). Both of the wires run into the actual light fixture. Anyway, the light seems to be grounded to the body by the attachment screws. If so, why are there 2 wires?

One might assume that one is hot and the other is ground however they both have continuity. So does that mean they are both hot? In another thread, someone suggested (but with no clear answer/reply) that these wires might be daisy chained to run the other marker lights. Maybe so, but why would they still have continuity when they are not attached to each other (one coming from the source and the other to the lights?

Any tips for figuring out if they are both meant to be hot, with one wire coming from the source and the other running to the next light? Or if one is ground, which one is it? I am kind of leaning towards them both meaning to be hot, as there is really no need for a separate ground wire with the metal body (at leaset that's what I would assume).

Thanks
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:32 AM   #2
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Marker Lights 2 Wires Which is Hot???

You are reading thru the filaments of the other bulbs in the string. Were the 2 wires connected when you removed the old marker light? What color are the wires?
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:42 AM   #3
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Thanks TG. They are both black.

If one is ground, why in the world didn't AS use a green wire? With red or black for hot. Sure would make life a lot simpler LOL.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:44 AM   #4
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After thinking about it, I jumped the umbilical so that the lights were on. That way I was able to determine the hot from the ground.
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:03 PM   #5
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You may have to take all the bulbs out for a test. Some systems might not rely on the shell to be grounded.
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:09 PM   #6
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Before you do anything…..

It could be that both wires or hot. ( especially since both are black )

The ground on mine is to chassis. There is no ground wire. the mounting screw is the ground. The markers maybe daisy chained, one of the wires is positive, the other goes to the next light.

The reason why one wire seems to be not hot could be that you disconnected it from the circuit
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Old 06-29-2016, 02:05 PM   #7
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Hmmm. Ok. I have a wiring schematic now that I think of it. I'll check that. If that doesn't help, I'll pull bulbs from the marker lights on either side of it in the circuit.

Thanks
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Old 06-29-2016, 02:24 PM   #8
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If they are both black it doesn't matter
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Old 06-29-2016, 03:35 PM   #9
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You have found that one wire is positive already. With power going to that wire put a light bulb between that wire and the other wire. If the bulb lights with normal brightness that second wire is a ground. If the bulb lights with a dim light and the other marker lights come on dimly the light are wired daisy chain. If the second case remove the bulb and touch the wires together. The other marker lights should light with normal brightness. Don't try this first because if that wire is a ground you will blow a fuse or melt the wire.
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:37 PM   #10
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I am thinking one wire is power to the light.
I am thinking the second wire is power to the rest of the light bulbs in the string/chain?
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:28 PM   #11
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Harbor Freight is giving away a multi-tester with any purchase right now.
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:33 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of your input (and any other is welcome). I'm going to hit is again tomorrow. I starting to think that they are "series" wires like some of you had suggested. I"ll see. I need to stock up on fuses!

I was also busy today carting my old wheels/tires to Costco to have my new tires mounted (Maxxis M8008s - my third set, I have had good luck with them so far....knocking on wood) Using ramps I took them up two at a time.

I'm also working on a dead outlet inside the trailer (the front outlet by the converter - I'm thinking the on-off switch might be intermittent). Man those RV outlets are crappy. Lots of fun. Maybe I'll trade it in on another Jayco. Oh nevermind, I had delamination with my last one LOL.....

I'm glad I'm retired and have time to mess with this stuff. I figure I saving that $100/hr + labor rate. Although it takes me 5 times as long as it would a knowledgeable mechanic).
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:34 PM   #13
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Thanks Mayco, I have a couple including a nice Fluke.
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Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:24 PM   #14
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Cant you use your tester to test each to ground? Then see if any other lights are working or not to determine if indeed the second wire feeds the the others? Test each to ground and test between the two to see if the second is ground or not. Mine are single wire and grounded to frame so didnt have that problem but thats how I would approach it. Maybe I dont understand, thats always a good posibility.
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