old ceiling light with two wires


Hi, I'm trying to fix a ceiling light with a two light bulb socket and a simple glass plate that screws on below the bulbs. Both bulbs [2x tried new flourescent corkscrews] will flicker and fizzle when the switch is turned on, and so I'm going to start by replacing the sockets. I noticed that the new socket looks identical to the one on the ceiling except that it has a ground wire. On the old one, I only see a black and a gray wire coming down from the hole in the ceiling. I think it was installed in the 60's. Some of the insulation on the gray wire has cracked. Do I have to run the ground from the new socket up into the ceiling and find an attachment?
thx,
itchy
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new fixture (that the old glass will probably fit on) costs maybe ten bucks or so. Flicker could be worn-out socket, but could also be crappy connection above in the box.
aem sends....
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On Apr 7, 10:52�pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

If you're not going to replace the whole fixture, you'd better rewire it. That cracked insulation is not good, and could be the source of the problem. The ground wire should be attached to the metal box behind the fixture- asuming _it_ is grounded. You can check- carefully- by touching the leads of a test light from hot(probably black) to the box- it should light. This is with the power on. Turn it on for this test only- all other work with power off.
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On 7 Apr 2007 19:52:45 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The others gave good advice, but I still want to add for the sake of this and other repairs: There could imo be a problem with both bulbs, especially if they are from the same lot. I would test it with an incandescant bulb. They are simpler and won't flicker, except in very very rare cases where the filament breaks but still makes contact with the other support.

Did both bulbs start flickering at the same time, or one first and the other at a later time? If the same time, it's probably something they share in common like the switch.
Which is more likely, that both sockets are bad or that the one switch is bad?

Cracked insulation on a wire is bad, but it won't make a light bulb flicker. Is there other damage to the sockets, like browning because too big a bulb was used and it caused overheating?

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Ok, I'll try indandescant bulbs. Both sockets cause flickering, so it might be the wall switch. Concerning the other person who answered, I have one of those electric field detectors, but not a test light. Probably HDepot will have one.
thx!
itchy
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

    In addition to what the others have said, I hope the "Switch" is not one that is adjustable for brightness. If so, that might explain your "Flicker and fizzle."
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