I took down an old fixture in the kitchen that had a globe and was
hanging by a chain. I bought something similiar and was reading the
instructions, although I was just going to do it, until a part in the
instruction that took me for a loop. It has 2 wires and a very thin
copper wire, obviously a ground. It takes a 60w bulb max, but I plan
on getting one of those energy type of bulb that is low in wattage,
but bright as a 100w bulb. Is that okay? The other problem is the old
ceiling fixture does not show a ground, nor does the switch. So how
does one know? It is on other circuit for various part of the house,
( neat eh? ) and naturally has a circuit breaker. When I check the 2
wires that are in the ceiling i get no reaction. ..but when I go to
the switch on the wall that handles this, I do. How does one know when
the ceiling wires are safe to handle?
If it's on a 2-wire circuit, the ground wire on the fixture is
superfluous. Tie it to the box and ignore it. (Do _NOT_ connect it
to the white w/ the neutral).
If you test the leads at the lamp and they're dead, it's safe even if
the switch has power to it. (Of course, that implies it's a one-
location switch and you can control that somebody isn't going to come
into the room while you're hanging on to both wires and standing in
the wet metal kitchen sink in your bare feet to reach it and turn on
the switch :) ).
Better is to turn the breaker off that controls the switch, but the
switch is ok if you can ensure it stays off while you're working.
Your CF lamp should be fine in the fixture, as long as it physically fits.
Some wiring systems don't have grounds, but the two common types that do,
are non metallic cable, which, if grounding will have a separate bare or
green covered wire, which would be or should be connected to a metal box via
screw or clip. If the box is plastic, it may be floating inside the box. You
may have steel cable, where the armor of the cable is the grounding
conductor. It is connected to a steel box by a connector or clamp. In any
event you should connect that bare ground wire to a ground screw, either on
the box or on the bracket that the fixture mounts to
Yes. The reason for the 60W max. rating on the fixture may be for
current reasons or heat reasons, but either way, a 25W device physically
can't put off as much heat as or use any more current than a 60W light bulb.
Know what? If it's grounded? Check it with a meter or test light (see
If the black wire in the ceiling is dead, i.e. shows no voltage between
it and the white wire, it should be safe to handle. However, if there's
a possibility that someone may flip the switch while you're working on
it, it's best to turn off the breaker.
With the switch *on* and the wires carefully arranged so that they're
not touching anything or each other, check for voltage between the black
wire and the metal box. DO NOT TOUCH THE BLACK WIRE UNDER ANY
CIRCUMSTANCES WITH THE POWER ON. If you see voltage, the box is
grounded and you should simply tie the ground wire to the box with a
grounding screw. If it is not grounded, by code you should not install
a metal light fixture without providing a ground for it. I'll leave it
up to you to determine how you would want to handle that situation.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Get your self a voltage ticker for a final check. They are around ten
dollars and all you do is hold them next to a wire and it will buzz if the
wire is hot. Test this in a known hot electric plug to verify it is working
before using. It is a handy tool to add to your collection. Even if the
breaker is off this will test for back feed from some stray current from
some where else
Steve, you are going to kill someone some day. Bad enough to get a
shock, but one that goes from one arm to the other is the worst (goes
past or through the heart)
Wet fingers are a bad idea.
You ought to know how ignorant some of the posters, and readers, are.
That must be why you don't use your last name.
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