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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Seattle
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    Question Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    I am replacing an old ceiling light. There are only 2 wires coming from my ceiling, a black and a white, but the new light I got has 3, black, white, and green, plus a green ground. I tried connecting the black, white, and ground, and leaving the green alone, but no light. Can someone help? By the way, my old light fixture only has 2 wires.
    THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
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    356

    Default Re: Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    In electrical work green and bare wires is always the ground wires. I would re-check your connections. Remove the wire nuts and twist the white wire to the white wire in the ceiling then put on the wire nut. twist the black wire to the black wire in the ceiling and put the wire nut on. Connect the greens together and connect it to the box ground screw if present or the ground wires.If that does not work. check the wires within the fixture sometimes they do come loose. You had it right just make sure when the wire nut is installed the wires are tight. let us know if you need more help.
    Harry

  3. #3
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    May 2008
    Location
    Seattle
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    Talking Re: Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    Thanks Raven. I'm very embarrased to say that the light did not come on, because the bulb was bad. It must have gotten damaged when I unscrewed it from the old light, as it worked right before I disconnected that old light.

    Someone working on my bathroom told me that the green grounds won't do anything, since I have no green wire coming out of the ceiling, so he said it doesn't matter whether I connect them or not, but I'll connect the 2 of them to the ground screw like you said anyway, even if doesn't really ground it.
    THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
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    645

    Default Re: Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by ionosphere View Post
    Thanks Raven. I'm very embarrased to say that the light did not come on, because the bulb was bad. It must have gotten damaged when I unscrewed it from the old light, as it worked right before I disconnected that old light.

    Someone working on my bathroom told me that the green grounds won't do anything, since I have no green wire coming out of the ceiling, so he said it doesn't matter whether I connect them or not, but I'll connect the 2 of them to the ground screw like you said anyway, even if doesn't really ground it.
    Thanks for the daily dose of humor That is why they place erasers on pencils, because we are all human !!!!
    And yes get into the habit of grounding everything, not matter if you thing it will ground properly or not....A very good practice, indeed...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
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    356

    Default Re: Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    I have done the same thing and taken the light back down to find out it was a bulb.
    Harry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    It was quite a challenge mounting it to the ceiling, even with 2 people. I've got another light, a long flourescent fixture, that I am going to install, and this sucker is even heavier. Looks like I need to use 8 screws and put something secure into the ceiling, like those toggle anchors. My house is full of track lights, which we don't like (finally realized I don't like them after being here 9 years) and will slowly replace them all with lights that mount flush to the ceiling, which we do like.
    THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    Long toggle bolts work the best it gives you some room to slide it around to keep it square. glad we could help
    Harry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Installing 3-wired ceiling light when there are only 2 wires in ceiling

    It seems as if this issue has been resolved already but..


    Quote Originally Posted by ionosphere View Post
    Someone working on my bathroom told me that the green grounds won't do anything, since I have no green wire coming out of the ceiling, so he said it doesn't matter whether I connect them or not, but I'll connect the 2 of them to the ground screw like you said anyway, even if doesn't really ground it.

    This is not exactly true. Merely connecting the fixture EG(C)leads to the box only bonds the parts together and although it does eliminate the difference in voltage potential between the parts it does not ground the equipment as it was intended. If your house does not have an equipment ground conductor or EGC (green/bare wire) then it should be stated that you should be installing a fixture that is listed for use without an EGC. These fixtures typically have no exposed current carrying parts. It should NOT be said that the EGC is ONLY a safety feature, If the fixture that was installed has an EGC and the box it was installed on did not, then this installation was not up to code and therefore should be considered unsafe. It should be uninstalled and replaced with the correct fixture.

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