Location: US

While not exactly a novice in regards to electrical, I’m a little confused here. Replacing ceiling fan+light combo controlled by two switches with light fixture (removing one switch/taking it out of operation/capping wires, etc etc etc.) I know the proper wire connections/which ones need to be capped off in each location and so forth. My ceiling box has the pigtails ready to go that need to be connected to the fixture (switch loop configuration and also feeds other items) - no problem there.

That said, my supply’s ground has a pigtail ready to be connected to the fixture’s ground wire. The fixture’s ground wire lead is where I’m confused. The fixture has the standard black for hot, white for neutral, green for ground. The ground wire is in the cable with the hot and neutral (as expected) but then terminates under the ground screw on the fixture’s mounting strap via a ring terminal. There’s not a second ground wire in the fixture’s cable to hook to my supply grounds.

This normally wouldn’t be a problem. I would just take the fixture’s ground wire, tie it in with my supply ground and use a pigtail off of that to attach to the ground screw on the fixture’s mounting strap. The problem is that since the only ground in the fixture’s cable has a ring terminal on the end, I’m unable to tie it into the grounds in the box. Furthermore, if I had a metal box, this wouldn’t be an issue. But alas, the ceiling box is plastic.

What am I missing here? I’m assuming the fixture is set up for installation to a metal box. How am I supposed to connect the supply ground to the fixture? Should I remove the pigtail lead from the ground screw on the mounting strap, cut off the ring terminal end and strip the wire to tie into my supply ground, then add a pigtail to the bundle of grounds to attach to the ground screw on the mounting strap? Or can the ground screw on the mounting strap have both the ring terminal and a solid wire wrapped on it? I know the one-solid-wire-per-screw rule. I also know that more than one ring terminal can be on a screw, but not sure what this falls under considering it’s a mix of the two. I’ve googled to the end of the internet and haven’t found anything that matches my situation.

I apologize in advance for what is probably a seemingly simple solution but I often tend to overthink which leads either to overlooking the obvious or over-engineering things.

Unfortunately, the installation instructions that came with the fixture don’t conform with reality, either.

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


If it was me I would go to to the electrical supply store and purchase one of this type of safety GND wire pigtail.

enter image description here

  1. Loosen the screw on the lamp mounting bracket and install the spade lug on the pigtail under this same screw. Re-tighten.
  2. Cut off the end with the green screw and strip the wire insulation about 3/4 inch.
  3. Remove the wire nut on the GND wires currently in the electrical box and then merge the new stripped end of the green pigtail into the bundle and re-bind the bungle of GNDs with a good quality wire nut of the appropriate size.
  • Equivalently, a bit of bare wire with some green electrical tape round it to mark its function, and one end looped around the screw in the fixture and the other joined to the other grounds as you suggest. Oct 18, 2019 at 9:08
  • I am not a fan of using a hooked wire under a screw that already has a terminal lug.
    – Michael Karas
    Oct 18, 2019 at 9:13
  • Although I’m not opposed to this, I already have a couple rolls of green THHN/THWN-2 on hand as well as some extra romex. Is there a code against using a ring terminal and solid wire under the same screw? Oct 18, 2019 at 14:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.