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bjmcgoo22

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I am in the process of upgrading my lighting in my garage/shop (house built in 76). I took the old fixture out and noticed the wiring in the box didn’t include a ground wire or screw.

The wiring also doesn’t run through conduit so there’s no ground there.

Thoughts on how to properly ground the new light and any general concerns on the wiring in this box?



 

Sparky617

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The bare copper wires are the ground wires. It looks like the green wire is connected to the Romex clamp and not joined to the bare copper wires. It does appear that the bare copper wires are not connected to the box, there should be a pigtail connecting these to the box under a green ground screw. Your green wire from the fixture should be joined with the bare copper wires with a wire nut. I don't believe just twisting ground wires together meets code, they need a wirenut or a Buchanan connector.
 

bjmcgoo22

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Thanks, what would you recommend as the best way to tie into those bare ground wires? How would I use a pigtail to do so?


The bare copper wires are the ground wires. It looks like the green wire is connected to the Romex clamp and not joined to the bare copper wires. It does appear that the bare copper wires are not connected to the box, there should be a pigtail connecting these to the box under a green ground screw. Your green wire from the fixture should be joined with the bare copper wires with a wire nut. I don't believe just twisting ground wires together meets code, they need a wirenut or a Buchanan connector.
.
 

Sparky617

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You would a short piece of copper wire attach it to a green ground screw and then using a wire nut attach it and the pigtail from your fixture to the bare copper wires in the box. Since the box is metal the ground wire needs to be electrically bound to the box. That way if a hot wire touched the box or the metal of the fixture it would trip the breaker rather than energize the fixture. With plastic boxes you don't have this hazard.
 

bud16415

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I would take the green wire and with a wire nut attach it to those twisted bare copper ground wires. If it wasn’t long enough then I would attach another bare wire to that bundle or a piece of green wire if you have it and then wire not that wire (pigtail) to the green wire. If you want you could also connect the pigtail to the same screw on the box along with the green wire. The box will be grounded ether way when the fixture is attached that will also ground it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with just twisting the grounds as they were done with regard to code, but i'm not positive and maybe one of the pros will comment. I have seen it done that way a lot.
 

Sparky617

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It wasn't legal when I studied to be an electrician 40 years (yikes!) ago. That said, I don't work as an electrician. I don't think it is legal in the NEC, but I'm not fluent on the current, or the last few versions of the code.
 

bud16415

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It wasn't legal when I studied to be an electrician 40 years (yikes!) ago. That said, I don't work as an electrician. I don't think it is legal in the NEC, but I'm not fluent on the current, or the last few versions of the code.

My house is all twisted and it was rewired before I bought it my guess is it was done 15-20 years ago. All the twists look good and I’m not worried and I have seen it a lot around here. Kind of sounds old school.


https://forums.mikeholt.com/threads/twisted-ground-wires-vs-wirenut.40560/


Here is the way to do it.


 

bjmcgoo22

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Just finished. Thanks for the help and replies. Should I test for ground? If so, I guess a multimeter would be the only way?
 

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