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Old 02-13-2020, 10:21 AM   #1
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Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


I'm a novice and I'm trying to install a strip vanity light.
I have to get on a ladder and reach over the vanity and there's only room for one person. The faceplate is attached to the back plate by the ground wire which makes it impossible (in my opinion) to hang the back plate unless I let the faceplate dangle and maybe damage the ground wire.

So what was a simple thing is now complicated...for me...at least.

Sorry the image is sideways for some reason.

Thanks,
Cheryl
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


Not uncommon....just support the face plate somehow...tape it to the wall...or a couple of nails to temp hold it.... or cut the ground and just wire nut it back together when you install the top plate.......
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


I thought the ground wires simply needed to be connected to the wire inside the wall...just didn't make since that it is connected to the faceplate also..
Good idea on nailing it up..too heavy for tape.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:21 AM   #4
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


That ground wire just insures the metal face plate is grounded also in case of a ground fault......(probably is anyway by nature of the screws that attach the faceplate to the wall plate, but paint can interfere with that continuity so they insure it has a good ground.....I often let it just dangle carefully....never had it break.)
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


I use the bare ground to hold it up while I make up the rest of the connections.
That bare wire is very strong. Try to pull it off.
On second thought, don't try to pull it off........lol
China does not care about strength, looks or usability. Fast buck only.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:21 PM   #6
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


That face plate is attached to the back plate by a single green screw hiding under the white wire. Simply disconnect for a bit or better yet put it inside a paper bag and let it dangle.


The paper bag is to protect your mirror or wall. The wire can support the weight.


edit: because the painted metal surface might prevent the face from being grounded and it must be in a damp location.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:42 PM   #7
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


Thank you ALL so much! I got the light up. You really can't remove the ground wire...that I could see anyway.

I had bigger issues when I removed the other backplate.
There was no hole to shove the wires into the wall. So I had to use my mostly broken oscillating saw to cut through some of the drywall...I hit some kind of box in there but managed to make a bit of a hole.

I took a pic of the ground wire attached to the faceplate and the groundwire attached to the backplate just so you could see it. They look permanently attached to me.

Anyway light is up...whew!!
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:58 PM   #8
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


Quote:
Originally Posted by hayley3 View Post
I had bigger issues when I removed the other backplate.
There was no hole to shove the wires into the wall. So I had to use my mostly broken oscillating saw to cut through some of the drywall...I hit some kind of box in there but managed to make a bit of a hole.
I'd say you have bigger issues! You are required to have an approved junction box to connect a fixture to, not just cut a hole and stuff the open wires and connectors into the wall. That's a fire hazard that you need to correct.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:39 PM   #9
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


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I'd say you have bigger issues! You are required to have an approved junction box to connect a fixture to, not just cut a hole and stuff the open wires and connectors into the wall. That's a fire hazard that you need to correct.

What's the difference between the blue box and the wall? The light was like that when I took it down, in case that was not clear. It had a grey circle thing around the wires btw.
How do I add a junction box from the front side? *sighs*
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:47 PM   #10
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


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Originally Posted by hayley3 View Post
What's the difference between the blue box and the wall? The light was like that when I took it down, in case that was not clear. It had a grey circle thing around the wires btw.
How do I add a junction box from the front side? *sighs*
You say you hit some kind of box behind the hole, so maybe there is a box there and the drywall was never cut out to completely expose it. Post a picture if you can and maybe we can figure out if there is a box there.

The blue boxes are junction boxes and protect the wiring. If there is ever a problem that causes the wiring to heat up, it will protect a potential fire from spreading quickly to the surrounding wall. The electrical code requires all connections to be made inside a junction box or other approved enclosure. You can't just stuff the splice into the wall.

To install a new box, there are "old work" boxes that can be put in from the room side of the wall.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-3...614R/100580105

Last edited by RAL238; 02-13-2020 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:27 PM   #11
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


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Originally Posted by RAL238 View Post
You say you hit some kind of box behind the hole, so maybe there is a box there and the drywall was never cut out to completely expose it. Post a picture if you can and maybe we can figure out if there is a box there.

The blue boxes are junction boxes and protect the wiring. If there is ever a problem that causes the wiring to heat up, it will protect a potential fire from spreading quickly to the surrounding wall. The electrical code requires all connections to be made inside a junction box or other approved enclosure. You can't just stuff the splice into the wall.

To install a new partition, there are "old work" boxes that can be put in from the room side of the wall.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-3...614R/100580105
It was a wood type partition...I really don't know...since I just opened up the wall enough to shove those wires in. I'll have to do some research on how to put wires into that blue box. Is there an opening in the box somewhere?
Can the wires heat up if the light is not used?
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:43 PM   #12
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


All electrical connections have to be made inside a junction box. Some lamp fixtures are certified as junction boxes but I highly doubt yours is. Having wires going directly into these types of fixtures isn't approved by certainly not uncommon.
Depending on where the wood "partition" (stud) is located may complicate cutting in an old work junction box.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:09 PM   #13
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


I have to stop DIY'ing for today, when I get back to it, I will remove the light and take pictures.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:41 AM   #14
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


check the directions that came with the light fixture. It will usually tell you if you can make your connections within the fixture itself. But the romex has to come thru the round hole have a strain relief (romex connector) and then the connections can be made within the box. If the instructions show this then the fixture was probably approved for connections to be made inside. Just be darn sure that no conductors are just sitting inside the wall without sheathing around them and of course no connections inside the wall without a box.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:30 PM   #15
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Re: Curious why they attached ground wire to faceplate


So I received the junction box. I'm not sure I got the right one.
I figured out where the wires come in...but what is the metal thing supposed to do?
I saw a Youtube video that shows a different one with tabs but then I heard those were hard to insert into the hole because the tabs stick out.
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