Jolt from new security light


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Old 10-15-17, 08:11 AM
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Jolt from new security light

I have an outdoor light that has no ground. I swapped out my security light and now the odd time we get a shock from my storm door. It's not a big jolt, but we do get a small jolt every now and then. The old light never caused any problems. The old light was also a security light, but not sure what the old light never caused any issues.

How can I get around this issue of not getting a small jolt? I know the circuit is an old circuit (2 wire) so I am thinking I should swap out the existing breaker with a new GFCI breaker. Will this solve my issue of getting the odd jolt? I would be looking at hundreds to get the circuit rewired so if swapping out the old breaker with a GFCI breaker will solve the issue then so be it.

Advice and opinions???
 
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Old 10-15-17, 09:01 AM
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Does your house have aluminum siding? If you have current leaking to ground then a GFCI breaker will most likely trip. Check wire insulation where it passes into the light mounting box for any wear and tape it up if you see any wear or cracking.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 10:48 AM
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the part of the house (under my overhang) is actually sheet metal which leaves me to believe that this is causing the issue since it is all pretty much connected to the aluminum storm door, but we never got little jolts with the previous light. I did attach the ground wire from the new light fixture to the pan box which is metal. I know I didn't have to do this, but I am wondering if this is also causing the issue. I am going to take the light off and check all connections and remove the ground wire that is attached to the box. I don't think I had the ground wire attached to the box from the previous light.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 11:08 AM
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Like mentioned.... GFI protection will be constantly tripping. You need to find the point where the hot is contacting the sheet metal. It could be inside the new light fixture.

An ohmmeter would be required for testing.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 02:43 PM
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Does the new light come with instructions that include grounding the fixture? Does this lamp have a built-in dusk to dawn sensor?
 
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Old 10-15-17, 02:49 PM
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This needs to be troubleshooted with a real multi meter. Do not use your self as a tester, if you can feel the shock, it can kill you!
 
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Old 10-15-17, 02:58 PM
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@telecom guy......It does have a built in dusk to dawn sensor that I set manually for the sensor to come on when it gets to a specific darkness. There is a green ground wire with the new light as there was with the old light. The old light never gave us minimal jolts. The new one does. Again, there is no ground in the old 14/2 wire in the old box and nor is there a ground to the switch box for the feed. Would having no ground cause us to get these small jolts on our aluminum storm door or could this have been from a poor connection to begin with when I installed the new security light?
 
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Old 10-15-17, 03:03 PM
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You NEED a meter. We can sit here and discuss this all day. There SHOULD NOT be any voltage on your siding.

Siding is normally not grounded so your are feeling a shock because there is voltage on the siding. That voltage source MUST be found. If you are certain it's the light..... then the light has a leak and is probably defective. Here again.... just guesses without a meter.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 03:33 PM
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@Pjmax...... I double checked all of the connections and even reconnected them to make sure there were no wires (hot or neutral) touching the box. So far I have not gotten any slight jolts. Nothing. BUT the jolts actually were sporadic which I found very, very strange. We've been in the house for 12 years and never experience this with our back aluminum storm door with 2 other older fixtures. I only experienced this the other day and only once today. My wife experienced it once the other day as well. Based on what I have explained I can only think that it's a faulty light fixture. I do have a multi meter and will check it tomorrow to see if I am getting current on my aluminum door, but what would be the best way to go about this? I'm assuming testing the hot and the door to see if I am getting a current? Again when I got the jolts I did connect the ground wire from the fixture to the box, but I also disconnected it when I checked it since it was pointless to use the ground when the circuit isn't even grounded from the panel.

This all seems strange to me.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 04:16 PM
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If the manufacturer indicates that the fixture must be grounded, then, it must be grounded. If you don't have ground, then the fixture is a no-go for you. The insulation requirements for an ungrounded, outdoor light fixture , and the associated electronics are much greater than for a grounded fixture. It is possible that even a non-defective fixture may have enough leakage current out the green wire to be felt. I could go on about condensing water on insulators, pollution degree and other factors; these all go into any type of UL or related safety rating for the device. Using otherwise insulated metal wall siding as a grounding point is not safe.
 
 

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