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Old 12-11-2007, 02:58 PM   #1
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


Hello,

I have an old fluorescent light in my kitchen. When I turn on the switch, the light generally takes 5 minutes to turn on. I had a repairman out who told me the light was not grounded. Grounding it would require cutting holes in both my ceiling and wall, along with a $250.00 bill to do so.

I'm looking for any suggestions as to whether or not I can ground the light myself.

Thank you in advance.

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Old 12-11-2007, 04:09 PM   #2
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


Under no circumstances should you use the neutral (typically white) to ground this fixture. To ground it you MUST run a ground wire whose gauge (size) matches the current carrying conductors. It MUST run to an electrical ground that you KNOW to be good. The nearest receptacle or switch is where I would go. To test if the ground is connected, check for continuity between the ground and the neutral. I you use get lucky, you'll cut less holes than you think.

Are you renting? DIY would be more fun and cheap. $250 Is a reasonable price for a pro to do this work. Maybe even a tad low if it includes sheetrock.

Andy

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Old 12-11-2007, 04:22 PM   #3
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


Andy,

Thanks for your reply. It's good to have this information, since the electrician who came out DID ground the light using the white wire. He called it a "temporary" fix. Nonetheless, it didn't work.
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


Unhook that white wire from the frame of that light with the entire circuit turned off. I'd do it soon.

Andy
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:31 PM   #5
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


I'd put it back the way it was for now without the ground. The way he has it wired now may be sending current through the frame of your light which is not good.

Last edited by RichyL; 12-11-2007 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:57 PM   #6
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


Does a missing ground have anything to do with the light not turning on immediately? I would think the problem would be something like ballast, starter (if it's an older light), or lamp issue.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:21 PM   #7
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


A missing ground is not the reason for slow starting.

My first guess is that the lamp (tube; bulb) is bad. But if the ends of the lamp glow first and stay that way for more than 15 seconds, then the starter if any is probably at fault.

If you insist on having a ground but are not yet ready to cut into the ceiling, you can run a 14 gauge wire on the ceiling and down the wall to a known grounded item, for example the center screw holding the cover on a wall receptacle that you have already tested and proven is grounded.

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-11-2007 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:01 PM   #8
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Recessed Fluorescent Lighting, Ground Missing


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
A missing ground is not the reason for slow starting.

My first guess is that the lamp (tube; bulb) is bad. But if the ends of the lamp glow first and stay that way for more than 15 seconds, then the starter if any is probably at fault.

If you insist on having a ground but are not yet ready to cut into the ceiling, you can run a 14 gauge wire on the ceiling and down the wall to a known grounded item, for example the center screw holding the cover on a wall receptacle that you have already tested and proven is grounded.
Allan, that would look cool.

Grins, My first instinct in a house with an OLD flourescent is to replace it with new.

Andy

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