J asked in Home & GardenDo It Yourself (DIY) · 2 months ago

# What would happen if you were to wire a transformer with the hot and neutral wires in reverse on a control board?

For example, on a furnace control board, you have 24v coming from the step-down transformer.

The hot wire connects to the control board to supply 24v, and the neutral wire connects to a neutral terminal to bring that power back to the transformer.

But what if you were to connect the neutral wire to the hot terminal, and the hot wire to the neutral terminal?

Will this work the same way?

Relevance
• 2 months ago

a/c electrical theory says it will work the same UNLESS the neutral terminal is also grounded. If that's the case, it should pop the circuit breaker but I won't guarantee that the board might not also burn out

Source(s): grampa
• 2 months ago

Alternating current doesn't have a polarity, true enough. A transformer won't know the difference if wired backwards, however there is a reason hot is "hot" and neutral is "neutral". At the panel, neutral is tied to ground, and hot goes straight to you power inlet from the city. which is why you put the switch on the "hot" side. Were a piece of electronic or electrical equipment become deranged, shorted, leak voltage, etc you would have larger issues with the hot side always connected unless the breaker is tripped. Where you say to come in contact with the hot, being there are grounds all around you, you may complete a path for electricity, but since neutral is tied to ground, the same potential isn't there (unless your touching a live circuit) then its a debate as to whether you or the wire is the most direct path of least resistance.

• 2 months ago

A transformer doesn't have polarity. 'Hot' and 'Neutral' are determined by how it is connected to the wiring.

In short, the ONLY difference in the actual transformer is the LABEL on the terminals.

• 2 months ago

So long as the neutral isn't tied to ground, nothing specific would happen.

Now, if you reverse the polarity after it's converted to DC, then very bad things can happen.