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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    3

    Smile Overhead Porch fixture with 2 complete circuits

    We are trying to update our overhead porch fixture probably wired about 1975. I failed to notice how it was
    wired when I removed it. It has two complete circuits, a black and white wire each plus a ground however I don't believe the grounds were attached to anything. The wall switch, a Bryant like my breakers, is no longer available and has
    no ground connector that I can see. One circuit powers the bulb with the switch off, if the breaker is not tripped. The other has no effect.

    I would like to hook up a modern fixture operated by the switch.

    bjschnell posted a similar problem on 06-15-09, except the fixture I am trying to install only has 1 black and 1 white wire. JLMCDANIEL provided the following response

    Just a guess. One set of black and white wires is the power feed the other is to the switch. You will need to find out which has power. Once you know which has power connect the black lead to the white wire going to the switch, mark or tape that white wire black. You now have a white wire from the power source and the black wire from the switch. Connect the white wire to the two white wires from the light and the black wire to the two black wires from the light.

    I'm going to try this when I get home this evening, but I'm really curious about the ground(s) or lack thereof. Any suggestions as to why the fixture wouldn't be grounded?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,556

    Default Re: Overhead Porch fixture with 2 complete circuits

    Is the rest of your house grounded? It's possible that you don't have ground bonding in your house and when the light was added the new cable did have ground wire but was not connected. Many older light fixtures only had a black and white wire with no grounding point.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Overhead Porch fixture with 2 complete circuits

    Thanks for the response. I'm not sure about the rest of the house. I do know we have replaced fixtures that weren't as old as the one I'm currently replacing and they were grounded. How would I check that I have a ground bonding and that the attached grounds are doing what they are suppose to do?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,556

    Default Re: Overhead Porch fixture with 2 complete circuits

    In the main breaker box there should be a common buss that most of the white wires and all the bare grounds are connect to. This is the bonding bus. Then there should be a heavy bare or green wire running from the bus to a grounding electrode (a rod driven in the ground) or a cold water pipe.

    The bare wires in the ceiling box should be wire nutted together and connected to the box and a ground connection on the light fixture if available.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Overhead Porch fixture with 2 complete circuits

    you could also take an ohm meter accross the neutral and the ground. you should have 0 or really close to it, turn the breaker off first though! .. that would be a good indicator that its bonded.. or check with a voltage meter accross the hot and the ground, if ya got 120 its bonded somewhere.. now thats not sure proof that its bonded correctly, but it will give ya an idea. open the panel and check for a bonding screw or jumper would be the best..

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