Question Concerning A Ceiling Light And Grounding - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 02-06-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Question concerning a ceiling light and grounding

This past weekend I replaced an old ceiling light with a new one I bought from IKEA. The old ceiling light had only the black and white wires while the new ceiling light had the black and white but also a ground. Since there was no ground coming out of the ceiling, I did not connect it up. Is there any safety concerns with how this was installed?

Four years ago our house was fully inspected successfully and since then our regular contractor has done several electrical upgrades. If the electrical box was not grounded in some way I would assume that I would have heard something. However, would this make a difference if the actual ceiling light is not grounded?

p.s. I have photos if that would help.

Thanks for your help,



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Old 02-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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Pretty common in older homes to not have any ground wires.
If it was a perfect world a ground wire would be added or a whole new 14-2 with ground run from the light back to the panel and be grounded.
It will be fine the way it is and the light will not be effected.


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Old 02-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Are you sure there's no ground from the ceiling? What kind of wiring is used? Uploading that picture will help.
Electricity will kill you if you give it a chance
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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The ground wire may be looped where it enters the box, grounding the box itself. You can test this with a multimeter, putting the red lead on the black wire (with the light switch on so it has 120v) and the black lead on the box itself. If the multimeter shows 120v, the box is grounded, and you can attach the light's ground wire to the box or a jumper wire.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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[photo attached]

The photo attached is the the light as it was removed from the ceiling. The wires are super filthy in this photo but as you can see, there's only two of them.
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Question concerning a ceiling light and grounding-img_1318.jpg  
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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Will a vehicle function properly without airbags? Yes.

Think of grounding in the same way. The fixture or device will function properly without being grounded BUT if you happen to need the ground you are going to pray it is there just like an airbag in a vehicle.

Do what matt suggests to see if the box itself is grounded.


Last edited by hammerlane; 02-07-2012 at 08:25 AM.
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