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Alex, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1750
Experience:  Owner of independent electrical contracting company. Licensed Electrical Contractor in CT.
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I am replacing a bathroom light fixture. When I connect the

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I am replacing a bathroom light fixture. When I connect the ground wire from the existing in-wall electrical wire to the fixture, the circuit blows. If I connect the fixture but do NOT connect the ground wire, the fixture functions normally. However, after disconnecting the ground wire from the fixture, and trying to push it back into the wall, I touched the unattached ground wire to the fixture and it sparked and left a burn mark. I am surprised a ground wire would do that -- any ideas what is happening or how I can correct?
Hello and Thank you for posting on My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to help you.

Is that ground wire bare, green or what color?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Do you have volt meter with two probes?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. I don't own a volt meter.

How many and what color wires are in the box?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Three wires. Black, white and bare copper. A previous bathroom fixture was attached there. There is one wall-mounted light switch that operates the fixture. No dimming capability -- just a standard light switch. That switch is in a box with another switch that operates a different light in another part of the bathroom. That has been operating just fine, without blowing any fuse. There is also a GFCI outlet in the bathroom that seems to be operating normally. Has not tripped.

I assume this is how you are connecting wires to light fixture.

Black to black, white to white and bare to green. Correct?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I connected black to black, white to white, and I connected both the bare ground wire from the in-the-wall wire and the bare ground wire from the light fixture housing to a green ground screw on the light fixture base plate. So, the only difference over what you described is that I didn't connect the ground wires to each other -- I connected both of them to the ground screw on the light fixture's base. Should I connect the ground wires directly and avoid attaching anything to the green ground screw?

No . That will not make difference. It sounds like there is a short between black wire of the light fixture and the body of it. Can you inspect the black wire and see if its striped along and touching something?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is a 4-light fixture. So, each of the four light bulb receptacles (not sure what else to call them) is wired in series. The black wire comes out of the receptacle on one end of the fixture, goes to the next one, and then the next one, and then the final one. Another black wire then comes out of the final one, to be connected to the in-the-wall wire.


I don't see any stripped wire between the receptacles, though I suppose there could be a short somehow in one of the receptacles.


So you think it is a problem light fixture?

I'm almost 100 percent sure its the light fixture. Although if you could borrow multimeter ( with continuity checking ability ) we could make sure.

Let me know
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