fluorscent light on ceiling

Old 06-16-02, 05:50 PM
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fluorscent light on ceiling

The directions for the light say to use the ground wire from the ceiling to connect to the fixture. There is no ground wire in the ceiling. Can I connect the light without the ground and still be safe?
Old 06-16-02, 07:03 PM
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You can. The only problem with there being no ground connection, is that some flour. fixtures will not work. Try it, if it works great, if not, the lack of a ground may be the reason.
Old 06-16-02, 07:17 PM
Joe Carpenter
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It would not be safe if something happens that would cause the metal parts of the fixture to become energized.(scuffed insulation on wire, improper installation, etc.)
With the presence of a properly connected grounding wire, the grounding wire would serve as the return path for the electric and since the resistence of a short like that would be low, it would draw more then what a properly sized breaker is rated for thefore it would "flip" the breaker and effectively de-energize it
If the metal parts of the fixture become energized and there is no grounding wire present, the electric will have no path to return on and therfore no current would flow and therfore would not flip any breaker UNLESS some grounded object would come into contact with it. That's where the danger would be. That grounded object could be YOU!

We as humans do not last very long as electrical conductors
Old 06-16-02, 08:49 PM
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Although the risks that Joe presents are valid, they are small enough in likelihood that the National Electrical Code has no problem with you installing this fixture without a grounding connection. To mitigate the risk, be sure to make good connections, pack them neatly, and make sure the fixture is completely undamaged before installation. Remember that the lamp on your desk or end table probably has no grounding connection either. Neither does that radio or alarm clock on your nightstand. Neither does your toaster. Look at the plugs on these appliances -- most only have two prongs and have no grounding prong.

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