I have a new home built this year. Made a workbench in the basement. There are no outlets in this half of the basement.

I mounted a metal outlet bar on the front of the bench, wired house wire (3 wire) to bar black to black, white to white and ground to ground. Ran wire to ceiling light which was a plastic box and plastic light bulb fixture. when I took apart the black was to black, white was to white, 3 wires each my wire the house wire and the light fixture wire.

Here's the part I'm confused on. The ground from the house was capped off and not connected. I connected the ground from my wiring from the plug bar to that ground and all worked fine but as an amateur I wasn't sure it was correct and safe so I took it apart. Was this correct?

  • How did you wire the outlet bar? Did you snip a plug off the end of the bar's cable then run the house wiring to it or is this outlet bar designed to be hard wired? Most that I've seen are not designed to be hard wired.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 20 '20 at 16:12
  • Designed to be hand wired. There is not a plug on it at all.
    – PaulE
    Nov 21 '20 at 19:38

Based on my understanding of your situation...

  • You ran a new cable from a light box which contained a source cable
  • You connected that cable's ground wire to your new cable's ground wire
  • You connected the other end of your new cable's ground wire to the receptacle bar

That's all correct, assuming you used appropriate connection technique and components.

One suggestion is that the light circuit may be a 15A circuit, which somewhat limits the tools you can run from it without tripping the breaker. You might pull a new run from a 20A outlet circuit or directly from the panel (taking appropriate precautions) on a new 20A breaker.


The light fixture (hopefully) did not actually require a ground, so it wasn't connected to ground. You did the right thing connecting ground to the new feed to your receptacles. You can verify it by testing at one of the receptacles. If you are not sure how, post another question.

GFCI is important, whether you have ground or not. In fact, if you did not have a proper ground connection, GFCI can effectively compensate for not having an actual ground.

It is normally (but jurisdiction dependent, so YMMV) required now for basements/workshops like you described. However, it is not normally required for lights, so if the circuit you tapped into was previously only used for lights then it may not be GFCI protected. Take a look at the breaker for this circuit. If it has a TEST button then it is AFCI and/or GFCI - and we need to figure out which. If it does not have a TEST button then your circuit is probably not GFCI protected, and there are a few ways to solve that.

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