Background: I am a regular DIYer just starting out. My question is regarding the ground wire while installing a chandelier. I have just moved to a new location in Ontario, Canada. The house was built in 1999.

This is a picture of the previous installation of the fixture onto the junction box. enter image description here

Observation: The ground coming out of the previous fixture was connected to the green nut on the bracket. However, in the pic above, the ground from the supply is visible in the junction box but isn't connected to the green nut.

I installed the chandelier the same way. It works. enter image description here


  1. Is it safe to assume that the installation is safely grounded because the fixture ground wire is connected to the green nut on the bracket which in turn is connected to a grounded junction box?

  2. If the junction box is indeed grounded, is it normal for the ground wire to be visible in such a manner?

  3. If the junction box isn't grounded, should I pull down that ground, connect it to the fixture's ground and then connect an external copper piece to the other 2 grounds and finally the external ground to the green nut? Research indicates that the green nut has place for just 1 wire.

Thanks for reading.

3 Answers 3


The green screw firmly grounds the lamp to the mounting bracket. You are asking "How does the mounting bracket ground itself to the steel junction box? Does only metal-metal contact suffice, or does it need to be wired also?"

Yes, metal-metal contact between parts is acceptable grounding if all these are true:

  • the mounting bracket is bottomed out "hard" against the metal junction box (not dangling by the screws or floating on drywall ears, as is usually the case with receptacles and switches)
  • and both are clean bare metal (not contaminated with paint, rust etc.)
  • and there are no insulators in the way (those little squares that outlets use to capture screws).

Unless there are any of those little screw-capture squares that I can't see, both your old bracket and your new one look like valid grounding paths to me.

  • I agree, the manufacturer mounting instructions usually list placing the fixture grounding wire on the green ground screw on the bracket, the NEC states the mfg instructions shall be followed. So this makes a legal grounding location.+
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 10, 2018 at 17:58
  • Thanks. That makes sense. My next task is to ascertain if these 3 conditions are true and also if the supply ground is securely attached to the junction box. Will revert in a couple of days.
    – eszed
    Jan 12, 2018 at 2:30
  • I have confirmed that the 3 aforementioned conditions are true and that the ground from the supply is indeed securely attached to the junction box. I'll proceed with grounding the fixture via mounting bracket. Thanks.
    – eszed
    Jan 14, 2018 at 2:25

The National Electrical Code Article to support Paul Logan's answer [attention to (C)]:

250.148 Continuity and Attachment of Equipment Grounding Conductors to Boxes. If circuit conductors are spliced within a box or terminated on equipment within or supported by a box, all equipment grounding conductor(s) associated with any of those circuit conductors shall be connected within the box or to the box with devices suitable for the use in accordance with 250.8 and 250.148(A) through (E).

(A) Connections. Connections and splices shall be made in accordance with 110.14(B) except that insulation shall not be required.

(B) Grounding Continuity. The arrangement of grounding connections shall be such that the disconnection or the removal of a receptacle, luminaire, or other device fed from the box does not interfere with or interrupt the grounding continuity.

(C) Metal Boxes. A connection shall be made between the one or more equipment grounding conductors and a metal box by means of a grounding screw that shall be used for no other purpose, equipment listed for grounding, or a listed grounding device.

(D) Nonmetallic Boxes. One or more equipment grounding conductors brought into a nonmetallic outlet box shall be arranged such that a connection can be made to any fitting or device in that box requiring grounding.


The ground wire coming with the supply cable should be securely connected to the box itself with a threaded machine screw. From there this ground should come out of the box and wire nutted to a wire from the screw on the fixture strap. Under that same wire nut include the ground wire from the new fixture.

1 No

2 Yes

3 see above

With the ground wire coming out of the cable, try to keep it a bit longer. As soon as it leaves the jacket of the cable pull it tight around the screw in the box and then keep going up and out of the box. If it is already too short just pull it out of the box. Wire nut two pieces of bare #14 and the ground wire from the fixture under one nut. Hit the box and the strap with the two bare leads.

  • I disagree the bracket is a listed grounding location and following the mfg instructions trumps your interpretation, the mfg instructions shall be followed. 110.3.B
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 10, 2018 at 18:04

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