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Old 09-14-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
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Why are these two lamps different??


Hello,

I have a hanging ceiling lamp right now whose wire has a 2-prong plug on the end of it, and runs through a chain and ultimately plugs into the wall.

Well, we decided to replace it with a new one, so we bought the new one along with a plug kit (since it doesn't have a plug end, even though it has a 12' long cord).

So we open it up, and there is a copper ground wire alongside the cord?? Why does this new lamp need a ground wire, when the current one does not? They both go into a light socket that looks exactly the same.

I called the store back and they said I only need to use the ground wire if connecting it through a box in the ceiling, but not if I am putting a plug end on it.

So my questions are:

1) do I need to maintain the ground and apply it to a 3-way plug end?


2) if so, why does the other lamp *not* need the ground, but this new one does?

3) also if so, since there is a chain going from the lamp to the plug end, could I leverage the chain at all so I don't have that shiny copper wire running the length of the cord? It seems silly since the main cord, chain and lamp are all a really dark bronze, and here's this bright shiny ground wire running the length of the cord! Maybe I could spray paint it??

Thank you for any help with this, we are eager to hang this new lamp, but really put off by this shiny ground wire. You would think they would at least have it insulated in a dark sleeve like the main cord....

Busy1

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Old 09-14-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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Why are these two lamps different??


In general, the purpose of the ground wire is to ground (bond) the exposed metal parts of the light fixture, in the event of a short circuit, so the circuit breaker or fuse will 'trip' and no one gets shocked. I know, I know...who's going to be touching a ceiling light? Well..it does happen.


So my questions are:

1) do I need to maintain the ground and apply it to a 3-way plug end? Yes you should. It's there for a purpose. In your question #3 you state that the chain goes from the light to the plug end. I definitely would use a 3 prong plug cap if the chain is metal.

2) if so, why does the other lamp *not* need the ground, but this new one does? Depends on whether the manufacturer was required to have a ground wire for UL listing at the time the light was made. Instructions are part of the UL listing also, so maybe someone converted it outside of what the instructions stated.

3) also if so, since there is a chain going from the lamp to the plug end, could I leverage the chain at all so I don't have that shiny copper wire running the length of the cord? It seems silly since the main cord, chain and lamp are all a really dark bronze, and here's this bright shiny ground wire running the length of the cord! Maybe I could spray paint it?? I'm not suggesting you paint the wire, but I've seen it before. Though the paint tends to flake off. I'm not suggesting using a brown colored marker either, but I've seen that before too.

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