Tying into existing junction box

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  #1  
Old 01-02-17, 09:40 AM
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Tying into existing junction box

Hi,

Amateur here with a question about tying into a junction box in the ceiling. My goal is to install a track lighting fixture in the living room. There is an existing box in the ceiling that had a cover on it when I moved in (photo: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet) that is controlled by a switch on wall that also controls a ceiling fan in adjacent room.

I am only a little concerned about tying into the box because:

1. There are two sets of wires joined together and go to the other ceiling fan
2. There is no ground wire
3. I haven't dealt with this situation before

I feel like the response to this will be to simply wire the new fixture into the existing wires, ground to the screw in the junction box, and be good to go. Just wanted to make sure before moving forward.

Any help will be much appreciated.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 10:43 AM
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What kind of cable is feeding the box,is it metal clad? If so you would be fine with the ground screw,remember that the fan will probably be on at the same time as the new track light.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 10:56 AM
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Here's a pic of the wiring:

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Old 01-02-17, 11:57 AM
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I don't see any means of grounding in place. If that's the case, you cannot extend this circuit.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 02:58 PM
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I don't see any ground in that box,however it could be back wrapped around the cable,if you have a voltmeter test between the blacks and the box with the power on.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 04:48 PM
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Ok, I'll give it a try tomorrow and report back. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 04:51 PM
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If no ground wire is found, is there anything I can do to make the install possible?
 
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Old 01-03-17, 09:52 AM
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You "can", but it won't be to code and you "shouldn't" do it. My house was built in the 50's and I have multiple junction boxes ran all over the place to multiple fixtures and none of it is grounded. I didn't do it. But it's there. And it's fine. I plan on redoing all of it a bit at a time as I remodel. In your case if you have (somewhat) easy access to the junction box (through an attic maybe?) just run a new 12/2/G to it.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 02:22 PM
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Thanks for the info. The box is located somewhat close to the breaker box. I will do some more research on running new cable before moving forward.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 04:29 PM
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You could also just run a ground to the box. Under pre 2014 national code that must be from the breaker box. Post 2014 national code it can be from the nearest correctly grounded circuit. Local code may vary.
 
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Old 01-04-17, 05:29 PM
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Found a ground

Ok, after pulling the two cables out of the j box I noticed one had "12-2 with Ground" printed on it. I cut back some of the sheath and sure enough there is a solid ground wire wrapped in paper and not green jacketing. (hadn't seen that before).

So I'm guessing I'm good to install the light fixture with the newly discovered ground?

I'm also guessing that is normal practice to have the cables connecting in this way when you have 2 fixtures wired together on one one switch?
 

Last edited by jbjams; 01-04-17 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 01-04-17, 06:11 PM
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Does only one cable have a ground wire? Both should have ground wires. You need the check if that is a legitimate ground by measuring from black to ground with a multimeter.
 
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Old 01-04-17, 07:29 PM
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Both sets do contain a ground. Using the meter I get 120 volts from the black to ground in one set and nothing in the other set. I'm assuming the other set is just running to the fan in the adjacent room.
 
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Old 01-04-17, 08:49 PM
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I get 120 volts from the black to ground in one set and nothing in the other set. I'm assuming the other set is just running to the fan in the adjacent room.
Yes, that is correct. Note if that box is metal you will need to pigtail the grounds to the box.
 
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Old 01-06-17, 11:07 AM
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How's this for grounding?

As you can see in the photo (http://imgur.com/a/Av3Ii)

I now have 3 ground wires coming together (1 from each cable and 1 going into a screw on the box). From what I've read online, if I connect all of these (3 ground wires) and then fasten the bare ground wire from the fixture to the ground screw on the metal bracket, I should be covered.

Is this correct?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-06-17, 11:46 AM
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It needs to be fastened to the box not the metal hanger. If you don't have a threaded hole in the back of the box use a ground clip on the box.

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Old 01-06-17, 01:06 PM
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Could I tie it into the other 3 ground wires, one of which is attached to the box via a screw?
 
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Old 01-06-17, 03:02 PM
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Could I tie it into the other 3 ground wires, one of which is attached to the box via a screw?
Yes, that is the correct way to ground and is what I have been saying.
 
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Old 01-06-17, 04:00 PM
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Thanks for the help with this project.
 
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