simple question from a novice


Old 06-24-06, 07:24 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maine
Posts: 119
simple question from a novice

I am hooking up a new light in my cellar. Its not going to be controlled by a switch, its simply going to have a pull chain to power it on and off. I have a junction box nearby and I was going to run a a single 12-2 wire from the junction box to the ceiling box. My overhead light has a brass screw and a silver screw, I know how to hook those up, but what do I do with the ground wire at the ceiling light?
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Old 06-24-06, 07:47 AM
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If the ceiling box is metal the ground wire should be fastened to a grounding screw (6-32 machine screw approved for that use) in the boxes threaded grounding hole.

If a plastic box I would still leave the ground wire being sure it can not short the exposed screws on the luminary. At a later date you may change to something that requires grounding.
Old 06-24-06, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
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The grounding will depend not only on the box, but on the cable feeding the box.

If you have type AC (BX) cable, the metal sheathing serves as a ground and, when attached to a metal box, the box becomes grounded, so all you need to do is attach the ground wire of the fixture to the box with the approved screw ray2047 mentioned (you can get a small pack of 5 or 10 grounding screws at a local hardware store (it’s always good to have a few on hand); they are green colored and you know they will fit the standard grounding hole in electrical boxes and comply to code. Standard type AC cable is not intended for use with plastic boxes.

If you are using NM (“Romex”) cable it will have a bare ground wire. If you are using a plastic box, use a wire nut to join the ground wire of the fixture to the bare ground wire of the cable (as ray2047 mentioned, be careful not to let the ground make contact with the hot/neutral terminals -- you can put a piece of black electrical tape over the terminals for extra protection). If you are using a metal box, use a wire nut as described above but also “pigtail” a short piece of ground wire from the wire nut junction to the box and affix with the grounding screws mentioned above.

If you are uncertain about anything, post back.
Old 06-24-06, 02:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maine
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thanks, I was able to make it work.

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