I've recently placed a new light fixture in a room. The metal box from the wall had a black, white, and ground wire, along with a metal plate.

The light fixture came with the same wires and I've connected them all successfully. My only problem is:

The ground wire from the fixture is really long (about 4") and is bare with no covering. Should I cut the ground wire or place wiring tape over them, or is it fine to leave the wires long and exposed in the box? What happens when the bare wire touches the other (black/white) cables?

I'm a new homeowner, so I appreciate any feedback.

2 Answers 2


If the black and white wires are properly terminated then there is no problem with having a bare grounding wire in the electrical box.

Common house wiring uses Romex type cabling that has insulated black and white wires and a bare grounding wire.

  • 1
    Just make sure you tuck the bare wire in away from any uncovered terminals.
    – Tester101
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 22:46

Leave it long. You'll appreciate that later, if you ever need to change anything there and are forced to shorten it.

As long as you can still stuff all the wires into the enclosure, longer is better.

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