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Does Black Wire Go to Gold or Silver? (Answered)

In this era of technology life became simpler and easier with the blessing of science and technology in our everyday life. Therefore it is crucial for us to be careful how to handle the electrical wiring. 

To learn more about the different screws and which wires to put into them, follow along!

Does black wire go to gold or silver?

The gold, also commonly referred to as brass or bronze screw, is used to connect the hot wire. According to electric color codes, the hot wire is always black in color and occasionally red – which indicates the gold screw to be the hot terminal. The silver screw is the neutral, not for black wire.

When you are replacing or installing a power socket, you will come across different wirings in different colors as well as different colored screws on the socket. The color codes of the wires and the screws help you identify and connect the wires to their rightful terminals easily. 

Although each type of wire could be found to have multiple different color codes, there are only three types of wire connections: Hot wire, Neutral wire and the ground. 

Gold screw:

Usually the hot wire is color coded to be black and rarely red – which is connected to the gold or brass or bronze screw, making it the hot terminal. No other colored wire except black or red should be connected to the hot terminal. 

Sometimes, some outlets could have two brass screws on them to connect to the hot wire, in that case you don’t need to connect the hot wire to both terminals – connecting to either of them makes the outlet work as intended.

Silver screw: 

The silver screw on the other hand is the neutral terminal meant to connect neutral wires. Neutral wires are white or grayish in color which is connected to the silver screw in order to let current circulate throughout the circuit. 

Some technicians tend to use the white wire as hot wire but that’s bad practice and the wire should always be marketed to prevent confusion. 

Some switch boards may not have the neutral terminal so you may not need to connect the neutral wire at all. Since the silver screw is the neutral terminal, you should not connect the black wire or any wire other than the white wire to it.

2 reasons why black wire goes with gold screws

Each screw is a terminal that is designated for different wires and not all wires can be connected to any terminal. Black wires, for example, is a wire that can only be connected to gold screws – the reason for this is described below:

Black wire is the hot wire:

There are different color codes for different wires and each of them serve a different purpose. The black wire is the hot wire that transmits the current to the outlet while the white wire is the neutral wire that completes the circuit by carrying current back to the source. 

The green wire provides grounding to prevent the user from electric shocks or similar hazards. Only the hot wire is allowed to be connected to the gold screw, therefore the black wire goes into the gold screw.

Gold screw is the hot terminal:

The electrical socket or switches have multiple screws that are meant to connect and hold the wires from the mains to be connected to the outlet. The color code of the screws means that only wires designated for them should be connected to them. 

Since the gold screw represents the hot terminal, only hot wires can be connected to it – which is usually the black wire but sometimes the hot wire can be red as well.

Does the hot wire go to gold or silver?

The black wire, sometimes the red wire, represents the hot wire which is used to bring electricity from the main supply to the outlet or socket. The hot wire should only be connected to the hot terminal and doing otherwise exposes the user to electric hazards or shock. 

The gold screw on the other hand represents the hot terminal and similar to the hot wire, it should not be connected to any wire other than the hot wire

The silver screw is the neutral terminal meant to connect neutral wires – which is white or gray in color. 

Sometimes an exception may arise where the electrician uses white wire for the hot wire – but there will be markings on the wire to indicate that, but otherwise you should not connect any other wire than the black wire to the gold screw.

Can a black wire be neutral?

The electrical color coding has assigned multiple colors for some of the wires which might cause confusion among amateur electricians or DIYers installing a new electric outlet at home. 

Commonly hot wires are black or red, neutral wires are white or gray and ground wires are green. But there is never a case where the neutral wire is colored black – they are always white or whitish colored.

But there is an exception for the hot wires – sometimes electricians may use white wires, that are commonly used as neutral wires, to use as the hot wire. 

But keep in mind that this is not the convention and you should always look out for red or black tape markings on the white wires to confirm if they are hot or neutral. 

If that isn’t the case, then you can confirm that the black or red wires are hot wires while only the white wires are neutral.

What color wire goes to the gold screw?

The color coding of the wires could seem to be confusing and complicated to some because you need to understand what the color on the wires represents as well as the colors on the outlet screws. 

In the list below, you will know which color goes into the gold screw and which wires don’t:

Black/Red wire:

Black are used as hot wires that are used to connect to the hot terminal only – which is the gold screw. Red wires could also be present alongside black wires, which is a secondary hot wire and thus connect it to a secondary gold screw if present.

White/Gray wire:

White or gray wires are neutral wires that should only be connected to the neutral terminal – which is the silver screw and not to gold screws.

Green wire:

Green or copper wires are ground conductors which should be connected to the ground and not the gold screws.

What wire goes on the silver screw?

Only a specific wire can go into the silver screw and which wires can or cannot has been explained below:

Black/Red wire:

The silver screw is the neutral terminal and should only connect neutral wires, whereas black/red wires are hot wires which are meant for hot terminals only. Therefore, you cannot connect the black or red wires to the silver screw.

White/Gray wire:

The white or gray wire is the neutral wire and should only be connected to neutral terminals and since the silver screw is a neutral terminal, the white or gray wires should only be connected to it.

Green wire:

The green wire is the grounding wire and unlike the hot or neutral terminal, it does not have a separate screw and should be connected to the ground.

How to connect the black wire to terminal screws?

The process of connecting black wires to the terminal screws of your new socket has been detailed below:

Strip the wire insulation:

Get started by exposing the wire underneath the insulation by stripping around ¾ inch of the insulation to bring out the wire.

Twist the exposed wire into a loop:

With the help of pliers, twist the exposed wire in the clockwise direction to form a twisted loop against itself.

Insert the wire into the terminal:

You may fold the wire a bit to increase the thickness and then insert the wire into the terminal after loosening the screws on it.

Tighten the screw of the terminal:

Finally, tightened the screw in the terminal to hold the wire in place. Make sure the wires aren’t loose. Once done, push the socket into the wall and screw the socket in place.

Final Thoughts

The gold screw, also known as a brass or bronze screw, is used to connect the hot wire. Referring to electrical color code, the hot wire is usually black and sometimes red, indicating that the gold screw is the hot terminal. The silver screw is neutral and should not be used with black wire.