About Light Fixtures and No Ground Wire
How can I wire switches and light fixtures when there is no ground wire? How to Install a Light Fixture without a Ground Wire.
What To Do When You Don’t Have a Ground Wire
Electrical Question #1 How can I wire switches and light fixtures when there is no ground wire?
- I am replacing a porcelain ceiling lamp holder. I bought a new lamp holder with an outlet in it my old one does not have an outlet. It has a grounded screw to attach a grounded wire. I don’t have a grounded wire can I still use this lamp holder?
This electrical wiring question came from: Karen, a Homeowner from Rockford, Illinois.
Electrical Question #2
- I bought halo recessed lights with quick connects. The problem is my wiring in the house has no ground wire, just black and white. I wired the ground wires from can light to can light. Do I need to attach a ground from all the cans to a screw in the stud or what?
This electrical wiring question came from Eric, in West Virginia.
Electrical Question #3
- The house was built in 1886. It was rewired at some time ago. I want to replace a light switch in one of the rooms with a single pole dimmer switch. the problem is that the existing light switch box does not have a ground wire, only a black and white. The dimmer switch has the ground green wire. Can I attach dimmer ground wire directly to existing witch box?
This electrical wiring question came from Enrique, a Homeowner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Thanks for your electrical wiring questions.
How to Install a Light Switches and Fixtures without a Ground Wire
Application: Wiring Switches and Light Fixtures.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and access to the light fixture(s).
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Light Fixtures and the Ground Wire
- Electrical wiring in some older homes does not have a ground wire for outlets ans switches, and some older homes have ground wires that are bonded behind the electrical box.
- If the box is metal then attach the fixture ground wire to the box. If the box is not metal and a ground wire is not available in the fixture box then you can still install the key less light fixture.
- An additional ground wire may be installed to provide a ground wire to the light fixture location.
- A ground wire should be bonded to the ground system of the electrical panel which must be installed according to code for it to be effective.
More about Grounds and Light Fixtures
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.