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[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited January 05, 2003).]
Figuring out which wire is absolutely the "hot" wire would be as simple as using a circuit tester and checking which wire is connected to the center contact in the receptacle. But if this is the case where it's an Ikea fixture or something intended to be plugged in and has been field retrofit to be hard wired, I'd suggest getting the correct hard-wired unit.