Bathroom Light Fixture Wiring
How to Connect Light Fixture Wiring: How to Determine the Cause of a Tripping Circuit Breaker for a Bathroom Light, Light Fixture Wiring Connections, Bathroom Light Fixture Wire Size.
Guide to Light Fixture Wiring Connections
Electrical Question: I am installing a light fixture in the bathroom and the light fixture contains a white wire, a black wire and a yellow/green wire.
- The box contains 3 white wires that are together, 2 black wires that are together, and a red wire and black wire that are together.
- The box also contains a copper wire attached to a screw and 2 copper wires attached to another screw.
- How do I attach to my white wire , black wire , and the yellow/green wire?
- I have tried many different ways and it is shorting the main breaker.
This electrical wiring question came from: Nadia, a Homeowner from Canada
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Nadia.
How to Connect Light Fixture Wiring
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
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 lighting circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.
How to Determine the Cause of a Tripping Circuit Breaker for a Bathroom Light
- If the circuit breaker is tripping OFF then this may be an indication of a direct short which would be caused by not having the circuit wiring connections configured correctly.
- The wires used for switching should be identified which will help determine the correct wiring connections.
- The circuit wiring should be verified using a voltage tester.
A Direct Short condition which will cause a circuit breaker to trip may be caused by:
- A hot wire connected to a ground wire or grounded source.
- A hot wire connected to a neutral wire.
- Two separate circuits connected together.
- A fault within the electrical circuit or the device being connected.
NOTE: An overloaded circuit may also cause a circuit breaker to trip as well.
IMPORTANT: If you are tripping the main breaker then please call an electrician for help.
Light Fixture Wiring Connections
The following connections are typical for 120 volt light fixtures and wiring diagrams may be reviewed for further understanding.
- The Black wire of the fixture is for the power connection which typically connects to the black wire of the electrical box.
- The white wire of the light fixture is the neutral which connects to the white neutral wire of the electrical box.
- The green/yellow wire of the light fixture is the ground which connects to the green or bare copper wires which are typically all splice together.
Additional Electrical Question about Bathroom Electrical Wiring
- Bathroom Light Fixture Wire Size
Question: While adding an outlet to my bathroom I noticed that while the house (built in 1954) is wired with 14/2 (with a black woven cover), the previous owner rewired a lamp with an outlet by the mirror with 12/2 Romex. In other words the last 6′ of this run is heavier gauge than the original wiring. Is this OK?
- Answer: Adding a 12/2 cable onto a 14/2 circuit cable is not the typical practice, however in this case where the additional cable is larger then it is OK as long as the size of the circuit protection of a fuse or circuit breaker remains the same, as in this case of #14 gauge wiring the circuit protection rating should be 15 amps.
- When branching onto an existing circuit it is best to stay with the original wire gauge.
- Keep in mind that the circuit protection should be sized to the smallest gauge wire within the circuit with the exception of light fixture lead wires.
- It should also be noted that when adding a 2-wire cable that has a ground wire onto existing circuit wiring that does not have a ground wire, and a ground wire is not going to be installed and bonded with the electrical ground system, then the ground wire of the added cable should be cut off so that it does not give a false indication that the circuit is grounded.
More about Wiring a Bathroom Light Fixture
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- Electrical Safety and Voltage Testers
- When working on home electrical wiring, quality voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety.
- Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
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