locating ground wire

Old 03-17-02, 03:50 PM
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locating ground wire

I'm replacing a hanging ceiling light. I found that the wiring in the box is not properly color coded. I have one yellow wire and two white wires. The two white wires had been twisted together and hooked up to one wire from the old lamp. The yellow wire was hooked up to the other lamp wire.

I found that I get the new lamp to light by connecting the yellow wire and one of the white wires to the lamp. I assume that the second white wire in the box is a ground wire, but want to make sure. Is there a simple test to determine if this second white wire is a ground wire?
Old 03-17-02, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
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Your inference that the wires are not properly color coded may be true, but it is not supported by the facts that you have placed in evidence. It all seems proper to me.

If you are in the United States (which I assume from your name), all grounding wires will be green or bare. Assuming anything else can be fatal. A yellow wire is okay to use anywhere a black wire is.

The assumptions required by code would be that the yellow wire is hot, and the two white wires are both neutral wires (officially known as "grounded conductors"). So connecting the yellow wire to the black from the light would normally be correct. And having the two white wires both connected to the white wire from your lamp would normally be correct. It seems you have no grounding wire.
Old 03-17-02, 07:15 PM
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Is this installation in conduit? I would almost have to say so since you have these color combinations in one box. If your wiring method is conduit then by all means find out if the conduit is properly grounded and ran to the panel. You can then just make the conduit your ground!!
Old 03-18-02, 05:58 AM
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locating ground wire

Thanks to John Nelson and DaveB. for your replies.
I didn't realize that yellow could be used in place of black for the hot wire. It does seem that there is no ground wire in the outlet box. I will plan to use the outlet box as the ground as I see was done with the previous lighting fixture.

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