I had this can light installed by a contractor. It was not attached to anything, just resting on top of a hole in the ceiling. The cable is not entering through the plastic grommets. There are no ground wires coming out of the cable. The ground wire in the box is attached to nothing.There was no cover over the junction box and the paper instructions are still inside the box.

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Is this as messed up as it looks? The contractor doesn’t reply to my messages.

  • 1
    Is the contractor licensed? Get it inspected...
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 20 '18 at 15:35
  • 1
    And if he is an electrical contractor, report him to your AHJ. Apr 20 '18 at 21:19
  • Wait, he just nipped off the ground wires where they exit the sheath? Apr 20 '18 at 23:38
  • I posted this question, and somehow my original question was re-worded. I don’t know what strain releif even is. What gives?
    – Cpaul
    Apr 21 '18 at 19:02

There's several problems here:

  1. The ground wires seem to be missing. That looks like yellow Romex (12/2, with ground). You need to ground your light fixtures and the box (which is why the box has that ground wire)
  2. They ran 2 wires into the same hole (normally you put one per hole)
  3. The wires are simply electrically taped together
  4. The rail should be attached to joists on both sides.

What they should have done was use a NM wire clamp to hold each wire in its own hole.

The clamp holds the wires firmly in place, and prevents the wires from rubbing against the metal box (which could cause a short, and potentially a fire)


You don't mention where you live, but from my limited knowledge of the US national electrical code (NEC) this would not be acceptable. The ground must absolutely be connected. That is a violation right there. I also see a hot (black) wire and a neutral (white) wire going into a single wire nut. I cannot think of a single case where this would be a good idea. Also, I believe all junction boxes must be secured and fully covered in order to meet code.

I suggest contacting a licensed electrician to inspect the work, and if need be, report the contractor who installed this fixture. I can't see how he could possibly be licensed if this is the sort of work he does.

  • 4
    It used to be acceptable to use a black and white cable to connect a switch leg where the two wires were unswitched hot and switched hot. The white wire would be marked with black tape at both ends. I don't think this would qualify, since the tape looks more like a join than a "marking", but the concept it sound.
    – supercat
    Apr 20 '18 at 16:40
  • yeah, I think white wire should have individually been marked black
    – Jasen
    Apr 22 '18 at 0:03

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