track lighting and ground connection

Old 03-24-04, 01:17 PM
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Question track lighting and ground connection

Hey all-

I am trying to install some track lighting using a pre-wired box in the celing. I only see two wires (white and orange) and no ground. The hardware i purchased has a ground wire as i would have expected. How do i wire this? I live in a highrise (only 11 years old) and cannot tell if the box is grounded becuase it is solid all around it.

Last edited by karl; 03-24-04 at 01:34 PM.
Old 03-24-04, 05:20 PM
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If you live in an 11 year old high rise the box is definitely grounded. It is probably conduit and could be grounded through that. Can you ground the wire directly to the box? This may be your best bet.
Old 03-24-04, 05:30 PM
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Is there any specific way for this to be done? I am sure that i can attach it to the screw that goes into the box and attaches the track, but i am just curious if there is an incorrect way to do this.

Thanks much
Old 03-25-04, 07:31 AM
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As Speedy Petey says, in an 11 year old high rise, this box is almost certainly grounded...though it probably pays for you to look closely at the box and make certain that it matches what we describe here.

One of the many ways that electrical power can be run is as loose wires in metal conduit. The metal conduit itself acts as the ground conductor for smaller (15A and 20A) circuits.

Take a look at the box in the ceiling; you can't see the outside, but you should be able to see the inside. The box should be metal. If it is _not_ metal, then you have a problem. If the box is not metal, describe what you see.

Look to the side of the box where the wire comes in. You should see what looks like the end of a pipe with a large skinny nut holding it to the side of the box, or some similar metal hole that the wire comes in through. If you see something else, describe it here.

At the back of this metal box, you will see a number of small holes. At least one of these holes should be threaded for a #10-32 screw. This is where you want to make your ground connection.

At the store, you can buy green grounding screws. These are generally hex head, and have a large head that gets a good grip on the wire. You use a grounding screw and a short length of wire to provide the connection for your fixture ground wire. If the fixture ground wire is long enough, it can go directly to the screw, but it is probably easier to add a short length of solid wire from this screw at the back of the box so that you can wire-nut it to your fixture wires. You can even get screws with a length of wire already attached. Make certain that you use #12 wire if the circuit is a 20A circuit, or #14 wire if it is a 15A circuit.

Attach this grounding wire to the back of the box, and then you will have your three conductors (ground, neutral, and hot) ready for your new fixture.


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