enter image description hereI'm replacing a vanity light and there are 2 back wires 1 is hot and 1 white neutral wire. Also, the ground wire attached to the old light was connected to the hot wire.

  • Should be 2nd black wire – David Aug 28 at 21:41
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    What you are saying makes no sense , a ground cannot be connected to a hot it would trip the breaker . How about a photo of the wires where they connect to the fixture. – Ed Beal Aug 28 at 21:44
  • @David -- hit edit in the "share edit ..." at the bottom left of your post, then use the "mountain and sun" button in the editor to add photos – ThreePhaseEel Aug 28 at 22:42
  • Also, please instead of commenting "Should be 2nd black wire", please use the "edit" link below your question to make the correction there. This way, we don't have to guess what should have been the second black wire. – DoxyLover Aug 28 at 23:05
  • Can you post a photo that looks into the back of the junction box in question please? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 29 at 0:29

Yes, that is your ground wire.

That second "black" wire actually isn't a black-insulated wire at all; it's bare copper that's badly tarnished. You can see that it's a slightly different color than the other black wire, and also a little thinner (because it is not insulated). If you scrape it a little bit, you should see shiny copper. Bare copper always indicates a ground.

I would recommend taking a bit of sand paper and cleaning the oxidation off before you attach it to anything else -- it'll make a much better electrical connection that way.

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  • Thanks for the information everyone. As for the junction box I don't believe there is one, the wires are coming right out of the wall. – David Aug 30 at 2:07

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