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sparky74 04-14-2011 02:42 PM

splicing electrical
 
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I'm remodeling the bathroom in my 1954 house and I need to move a light fixture in around 16" to the left so it will be centered over my vanity. I want to install a new box on the stud where the light will go and splice the wiring from the original source. The wiring coming out of the original box don't have a ground wire. I will use romex with a ground wire to make the splice. Do I just ground the ground wire somewhere in the original box then connect the other end of the ground to the ground wire in the light? Or can I ground it somewhere in the new box? (see image)

Saturday Cowboy 04-14-2011 03:13 PM

remember that your splice must remain accessible. Are the boxes metal? if so yes you can ground it to the box.

nap 04-14-2011 03:16 PM

if there is no ground to the original box, you cannot legally extend the circuit. If there is a ground to the original box, then go ahead and connect the new ground wire to the existing ground in the old box.



and you will have to use a blank cover on the old box so it remains accessible. You can paint over it if you want but you cannot cover the box any more than that.

sparky74 04-14-2011 03:59 PM

What if I just bypass the whole ground issue. There is no ground coming from the old box so does a ground have to be there at all? The light fixture has a small ground wire coming out of it and a blue screw that you screw it into on the base of the fixture.

Saturday Cowboy 04-14-2011 04:56 PM

nice try. But that screw can only be used if it is grounded by being screwed to a metal box

sparky74 04-14-2011 05:02 PM

I mean since there is no ground coming from the main in the basement, and I'm only using a 16" piece of cable, how critical is the small section of cable being grounded. The original light wasn't grounded and it's been installed for about 5 yrs. What if I just snipped off the exposed ground wires and only attached the black and whites?

nap 04-14-2011 07:16 PM

all I can say is the code does not allow you to extend a circuit that does not have a ground.

Especially in a bathroom, grounds are very important. If the hot wire shorted out to the light frame, it would not cause the breaker to trip. Then, if you touched the light and a ground source at the same time, you are now in circuit with the short circuit. Now a good place to be.

gregzoll 04-14-2011 08:44 PM

Easier just pulling all new wiring, since this house was built in 1954, and would not be code for today's standards. If you have the walls down to the studs, just pull #12 for the outlets, and same for the lights if running off of the same circuit as the outlets. I kept my lights on a separate circuit from my outlet service in my bathroom, since I wanted to keep it simple, and if the GFCI trips, the lights would not go out.

FutureSparky 04-15-2011 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nap
all I can say is the code does not allow you to extend a circuit that does not have a ground.

Especially in a bathroom, grounds are very important. If the hot wire shorted out to the light frame, it would not cause the breaker to trip. Then, if you touched the light and a ground source at the same time, you are now in circuit with the short circuit. Now a good place to be.

Isn't that a ground fault? A short would trip a functioning breaker.

Saturday Cowboy 04-15-2011 06:42 PM

its not a ground fault if its not grounded in fact its not even a fault. This is where it can fail and the breaker will never open. If the hot wire becomes abbraided and contacts the metal frame of the light fixture, there is no circuit path (because it is not bonded) and no current flows (except that used by the light bulb) until some thing or more likely someone completes the circuit. If you were to try and replace a light bulb or just reach up and touch it you could be shocked. NOW this is even more of a problem in a bathroom, because you are likely to be wet which will reduce your resistance to the flow of electricity which means more current will hit you increasing your risk of death (quite a bit).

and for whats its worth a ground fault will also trip a properly functioning breaker.

FutureSparky 04-15-2011 07:27 PM

Ah I see. I remember a ground fault being defined as unwanted current to ground which I thought this would be as a shock would occur if someone touched the frame touching the hot like you said. The current would return through you grounding the circuit thus giving it a return (hot through you through ground to panel) but does this whole house have no ground?

Also a ground fault would trip a breaker once someone completes the circuit (touch it grounded), right? I didn't think it would trip a breaker without a GFCI if say a metal frame was energized until someone touched it.

Wildie 04-15-2011 07:40 PM

How about if he used a GFCI receptacle in the original box and wired to the light from the load side of the receptacle?

rusty baker 04-15-2011 07:42 PM

These guys are all telling you the right way to do it by code. Since there is no code here, I would do it the way you suggested. That is the way it would have been done for many years and it worked fine.

FutureSparky 04-15-2011 07:55 PM

All it takes is one shock to do damage. The code is in place for safety. I wonder if putting a GFCI in the old box and running the light off that would be acceptable?

Wildie 04-15-2011 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FutureSparky (Post 630168)
All it takes is one shock to do damage. The code is in place for safety. I wonder if putting a GFCI in the old box and running the light off that would be acceptable?

Thats two of us, of the same mind! (post#12) :thumbsup:


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