I'm replacing my porch light fixture, and the new light has a ground wire,
but there are only a black and a white wrie coming out of the metal box, and
no ground wire. Where do I connect the ground? Directly to the metal box?
Is the box grounded? That is; is a copper wire screwed to it, or is
the black and white wires inside a metal conduit? If so it is likely the
box is grounded. You need to check that however. If it is not grounded
there are several options including GFI. However I am going to guess you
don't have a lot of experience and determining what method to use may be
beyond you current experience and explaining it over the internet is beyond
Depends on how your house was wired (dictated by the wiring standards
in place at that time).
The ground wire could be attached to the metal box. Look in there and
see if you see it. If you have armored cable they could have used the
armor for a ground path or if your house is old there could be no
<< Where do I connect the ground? Directly to the metal box? >>
Maybe, but do a practical test first. First, buy or prepare a test lamp of
fairly decent wattage, like 15-30 watts. One of those ready made sockets with
leads on them will work. Install rubber insulated alligator clips to the leads.
Turn off the pwer and clip one lead to the black wire and the other to the
metal box. Turn on the power. If the lamp glows normally you likely have a
grounded box. If that is the case then the fixture ground may be connected to
If you feel uncertain about any of the foregoing, call a journeyman electrician
and get it done to code. Your choice. HTH
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