New light fixture has no ground wire

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Old 08-10-08, 02:26 PM
C
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New light fixture has no ground wire

My 32-week-pregnant wife is in full nesting mode, and bought a nice little ceiling fixture to hang in the nursery. We have a box for a fixture in the ceiling already, and I thought "hey, no problem."

When I opened the box, though, I found the fixture has a standard AC power cord with a bladed, polarized plug. She wants me simply to cut the plug off and wire it in. I'm concerned, though, since there is no third ground wire in the fixture to attach to the junction box.

Can anyone give me some advice? Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 04:27 PM
J
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Grounding is not the issue. You may not convert a fixture designed to be plugged in into a hard-wired fixture. That cord on the fixture you have is not designed to be in an enclosed electrical box, and may overheat if put in one. Return this fixture and buy one that is designed to be hard-wired. Alternatively, install a receptacle in that ceiling box, mount the fixture next to it, and plug it in.

But before you do the latter, make sure this fixture is indeed a ceiling fixture. It is not uncommon for wall fixtures to catch fire when installed on a ceiling. The reason is that the designer of a wall fixture assumes that the heat from the fixture will be carried up and away from the fixture. If the wall fixture is mounted on the ceiling, there is no place for that heat to escape to. I've seen some pretty dramatic pictures of people who have made this mistake.

I'm a bit surprised that your wife would be willing to take so many chances in the baby's room.
 
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Old 08-11-08, 09:10 AM
C
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Thanks for the information. It's actually a small chandelier, so it has to go on the ceiling somehow. And, my wife is actually very risk-averse, which is why she had me look into this before we did anything.

Let me ask you this - is putting an outlet in the ceiling any different from putting in a properly-wired fixture? Black to black, white to white and ground to ground? Or is there more to it?

Thanks again.
 
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