Two ceiling outlets, different ground wires, which is correct?


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Old 03-16-15, 07:54 PM
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Two ceiling outlets, different ground wires, which is correct?

Bought a condo with existing pre-wiring for two kitchen ceiling fixtures, but when I went to install the new fixtures, I found the grounding wires are wired differently. How should I install my new fixtures?

Outlet #1, green wire is attached to the green grounding screw on a stripped section of that wire, then comes out from that.

Outlet #2, the green wire is not attached to anything, it just comes out of ceiling with the black and white wires, and then there is also an independent, separate copper wire attached to the ground screw.

a) Why are they different?

b) Should I make outlet #2 look like outlet #1? If not, should I just put the green, copper and the green striped (the wire from new fixture) wires all together in one cap? Will they fit?

c) What is the red wire for and is it ok just being left coiled up like that at the very top, clipped short and uncapped?

Thank you for your advice

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Old 03-16-15, 07:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Normally, the method in the top box is followed.

You can combine all the grounds in the bottom box, add the ground wire from the light fixture and then cap it. You'll need a larger size wirenut... like a red or yellow one.

I don't see a red wire in your pictures but it should have a wirenut on it.
 
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Old 03-16-15, 08:22 PM
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Thank you PJmax! Upon closer look, I was wrong about the red wire, it's just red plastic that surrounds the rest of the wires. Thanks also for your advice about the color of the cap to use. Is there a reason they would have done it different in each outlet? Just wondering.
 
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Old 03-16-15, 09:35 PM
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Is there a reason they would have done it different in each outlet
The only reason I can see is this:
Box 1 had a long enough ground wire to allow attaching it to both box screw and fixture.

Box 2 ground wire was not long enough to use same technique, thus requiring a pigtail to box ground screw.

Either will work as long as all ground wires are connected, and all metal boxes are grounded.

The red plastic is an anti-short bushing. They're used where the individual wires enter the box from connector and prevent contact with connector in case the wires are damaged somehow.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 01:16 PM
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Thank you Handyone, that makes sense now. It's nice to have an understanding of how everything works as I begin this first of many projects to come. I'm glad I found these forums, and I really appreciate your taking the time to help! :-)
 
 

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