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Old 08-26-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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wire size question


we bought this nice light fixture for the family room. it hangs on a chain. since the wire and chain that came with it is too short (the lamp has to be "swagged" to get it in the right spot) we bought some longer wire and chain. unfortunately, the wire I bought is larger than the original. yes,it fits through that hollow "thingamajig" up into the ceiling box but there's not much more room for a "ground" wire to the lamp.
my question is twofold: first,is that ground really needed? second, if it IS needed,how small a wire can I use?

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Old 08-31-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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wire size question


hmm...no answers. maybe I'll ask this a bit differently: "what wire gauge does code indicate for a ground wire to a light fixture"?

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Old 08-31-2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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wire size question


In the absence of a UL listing for a reduced ground, which most fixtures have, I imagine you would have to default to T250.122 and use a #14.

However; having a ground larger than the hot and neutral would be silly.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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wire size question


If the fixture has exposed metal parts it should have come with a ‘ground tail’, so yes, it too would have to be extended. I would apply 250.122 (A) & (E). The EGC shall not be smaller than 18 AWG, not smaller than the circuit conductors (the fixture wires), and not required to be larger than the circuit conductors.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:26 AM   #5
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wire size question


The lamps I've worked with that are suspended by chain have had a two wire rip cord and a separate ground laced through the chain. The box stores should have this.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
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wire size question


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Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
If the fixture has exposed metal parts it should have come with a ‘ground tail’, so yes, it too would have to be extended. I would apply 250.122 (A) & (E). The EGC shall not be smaller than 18 AWG, not smaller than the circuit conductors (the fixture wires), and not required to be larger than the circuit conductors.
Nice call on 250.122 (F), I had not ever even noticed that section. Never had a reason to.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
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wire size question


since the fixture is dark and the chain/lamp cord is also dark, putting a gold colored groundwire around the cord would sure look "hokey". so I used a length of black colored wire (looks like about 26 ga. works fine. tested it to see if it would carry enough current to trip a breaker by actually "shorting" an outlet with it. the breaker "popped" and the wire wasn't damaged. (put an ohm-meter on it to make sure) a licensed electrician can't use a black wire that way but I can!

tnx,
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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wire size question


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Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
since the fixture is dark and the chain/lamp cord is also dark, putting a gold colored groundwire around the cord would sure look "hokey". so I used a length of black colored wire (looks like about 26 ga. works fine. tested it to see if it would carry enough current to trip a breaker by actually "shorting" an outlet with it. the breaker "popped" and the wire wasn't damaged. (put an ohm-meter on it to make sure) a licensed electrician can't use a black wire that way but I can!

tnx,

Did you read SD515 post about #18 min. Your experiment was worthless and dangerous.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:17 PM   #9
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Did you read SD515 post about #18 min. Your experiment was worthless and dangerous.
in my opinion, anyone who's afraid of doing such a test shouldn't be working with electricity (or handing out advice)

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