Ground Wires in Light Fixtures & Devices
On a daily basis we find that someone or other is connecting Ground Wires from a Light Fixture or Chandelier to a Black Power Wire in a Ceiling Box.
Everyday we are called out, to a home as someone is experiencing one or all of these Electrical issues. The issues are as follows: Breakers Tripping, Switches Blowing out, Lights or Bathroom Fans not turning on, or a GFI Receptacles Tripping, and many other factors!
This stems from people trying to be a “DIY” known as a Do it yourself-er and failing at this task terribly!
Don’t take the risk hire a Licensed Electrician who will get the job done right the first time!
DIY’S Light Fixtures & Electrical Devices Installation!
If you want to try and Install your own Light Fixtures, Chandelier, Switches or Plugs! That’s totally fine provided that you know what your doing. If you don’t know what your doing and you connect the wrong wires to the wrong wires in the Box. Than you are running the Risk of Electrical Shock, Electrical Short Circuit, or even worse an Electrical Fire. You can even blow a hole in your Electrical Panel if the Short Circuit creates enough of a short circuit blast that could indeed blow a hole right through your Electrical Panel.
It is always important to know exactly which wires are connected to what wire! This is always the case when replacing a Light Fixture, Chandelier, Switch or Plug. You must pay special attention to when removing the old one and reconnecting the New Light Fixture, Chandelier, Switch or Plug. It is important to note that not all Light Fixtures, Chandelier, Switches or Plugs come in a Box as the one that you are intending to replace. At times you will find that the one that is already Installed may not have a ground wire as it maybe old or outdated which means that it did not come with a Ground wire at the time of purchase or even worse the previous installer removed it. Sometimes you will find that the colour of the wires in the Box do not match the wires on the Light Fixtures, Chandeliers, Switches or Plugs that you are intending to Install. Don’t take the risk hire a Licensed Electrician who knows which wires will be connected where, a Licensed Electrician can get the job done for you, right the first time around, with no second guessing at the wires!
It is important to NOTE and know that the BLACK WIRE in a Box is NOT the GROUND WIRE! A Black Wire is usually and is always a Power Wire it is NEVER EVER A GROUND WIRE! In addition, it is also right and good to know that any other Wires in a Box are also NOT the Ground Wire and NO Ground Wire should be connected to any other Wire, other than the Ground Wire itself. The Ground Wire is usually easily recognized as it is a BARE WIRE/CONDUCTOR or it is a GREEN coloured Wire. You should note that any Ground WIRE is always identified as GREEN or at best it will always have a GREEN Stripe along side of the Wire. This is especially true if it’s an imported Light Fixture or Chandelier! Don’t take the risk hire a Licensed Electrician who will get the job done right the first time!
The BLACK WIRE IS NOT A GROUND WIRE!
Recently we were called to a home as the home owner was experiencing some Electrical issue with their Bathroom Fan!
When we arrived the home owner explained that they had hired several people that said they are Electrician‘s but none of them were able to resolve the issue. But were too eager to replace the fan and went on to suggesting the their electrical panel needed to be replaced.
The problem that the home owner reported to our Electrician, is that they had a Light in their Bathroom that was working fine but the bathroom fan was giving them trouble as it would trip out the breaker every time they would attempt to use it.
Generally this is a simple fix either replace the fan, which usually goes as the Motor gets old or its burned out because too much dust has accumulated. Or some wiring issue within the fan itself with a loose wire, or a Marrette which came off the wires. This was not the case in this particular situation!
Bathroom Fans Electrical Short Circuit!
Upon arrival our Electrician first saw that the fan itself was fairly new and it appeared that it was hardly or not at all used!
This led him to further investigate as his first impression was that there was a whole different issue and NOT THE FAN!
Case and point! First our Electrician removed the fan from the ceiling and plugged it in to an Electrical Outlet as he was pretty certain that the fan was in perfect working condition. When our Electrician plugged the fan into the outlet the fan began to work and showed no sign of failure, ware, or even tripping out the Circuit. So our Electrician started further investigating the issue, he removed the switches that were controlling the light and fan in the bathroom and found that the light switch and fan had been wired with a 14/3 Cable by the Builders Electrician. A 14/3 Cable has a red, black, white and a bare Ground Wire inside of the Cables Jacket. He further tested the black wire which was connected to the switch which is controlling the fan. The Electrician found out although the fan was not installed at the time he was getting a short circuit on the black wire. This led him to the Light Fixture as the usual wiring method is from the switch to the light and from the light to the fan in a similar situation as well as this one. Once our Electrician removed the Light Fixture he immediately found out that the Ground Wire from the Light Fixture had been connected to the Black Wire inside the Ceiling Lights Junction Box. Problem Solved! Once our Electrician removed the Ground Wire that came from the Light Fixture off of the Black Wire inside the Junction Box, the fan began to work and the Electrical Short and Breaker Tripping problem was solved. Without the need of extensive work, renovation or even having to replace the fan as previously suggested by someone.
NEVER EVER connect Ground Wires to a Black Wire or anything else other than a Green or Bare Ground Wires.