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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3103
Experience:  Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I am trying to replace a ceiling light fixture that has two

Resolved Question:

I am trying to replace a ceiling light fixture that has two sets of black and white wires, one for each light bulb. There is also a non-insulated copper wire going to one of the bulb sockets. It looks like there is one set of black and white wires running into the fixture box that was then split to run sets to each bulb socket.
The new fixture I want to install has only one set of wires.
On the light switch at the wall there are two black wires going into the switch. The copper and white wires are wire-nutted off.
So my question is do I just unsplit the black and white wires in the ceiling box and attach them to the one set of wires on my new ceiling light? And what do I do with the copper wire?
Any help would be much appreciated.

David
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 11 months ago.

AssuredElectrical :

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

AssuredElectrical :

If you would, please clarify. In the ceiling box is how many wires and their colors?

Customer:

Let me double check.

AssuredElectrical :

Is it one black and one white in the ceiling box? They just have 2 loose wires connected to them?

Customer:

Coming into the box it is one black, one white and one copper wire.

Customer:

The black and white wires are each wire-nutted with 2 additional wires that then lead to the two bulb sockets.

Customer:

The copper wire is wire-nutted to a thinner braided copper wire that leads to just one of the bulb sockets.

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, thanks. You will undo the wire nut and remove the 2 additional small wires. Connect your new fixture directly to the wires coming into the box, color to color. Disconnect that braided copper from the ceiling copper wire and connect your new light ground to the ceiling copper ground.

Customer:

In my new light fixture there is only a black and white wire. There doesn't seem to be a third wire.

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, usually they send a special bar, it has a green screw on it, did it have one?

AssuredElectrical :

the bar or bracket is what the fixture mounts to with screws or a nipple depending on the style.

Customer:

There is a 3-inch bar but it has two screws with grey heads. Same thing?

AssuredElectrical :

is it the bar that you will attach to the ceiling box? then attach your fixture to the bar?

Customer:

Well, there is a metal plate that I affix to the ceiling first. This has a hook on it.

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, take the bare ceiling ground and wrap it around one of the screws that attach the metal plate to the ceiling box, then tighten the plate to the ceiling box. That will give you a ground on the fixture.

Customer:

The next part that houses the fixture has this bar which is supposed to go onto the hook.

Customer:

By bare ceiling ground you mean the copper wire coming into the ceiling box correct?

AssuredElectrical :

taht is correct, the bare copper is the ground

Customer:

Ok, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for your help.

AssuredElectrical :

you are welcome, glad to assist. Just post if any other is needed.

Customer:

So the ground wire is fairly thick and therefore not easily bendable. And with the screws being the size they are it would be hard to wrap the ground wire around it and still be able to screw it into the ceiling box. Can I twist the thinner braided copper wire back onto the ground and then wrap that around the screw?

Customer:

Also, does it matter if the ground wire is touching the metal plate since it is not insulated?

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, understand. Yes, you can leave the braided wire attached if it is easier to install that way

AssuredElectrical :

You want the ground wire to touch metal, that is the design, to protect all metal parts from being energized. With the ground attached to the metal, if something shorts, it will trip the circuit instead of energizing the metal

AssuredElectrical :

The main thing here, is to have a ground attached, size of the ground will not be an issue at that location.

AssuredElectrical :

I do apologize for the delay in response, had to step away for a bit.

Customer:

Thanks again. Lights are on. Let's just hope there are no fires b/c of my poor impression of an electrician.

Customer:

Thanks again.

AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3103
Experience: Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
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