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I was took down my parents 45 year old kitchen light fixture to tighten a screw and when i went to put it back up i noticed that there was a grounding wire coming down from the ceiling but no place to attach it to on the fixture. was it safe to just leave touching the inside of the wire box?

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Preferred solution in that case is to attach the safety-ground wire to the box with a screw (if the box is metal), or wrap it around one of the fixture's mounting screws. As long as it makes a circuit to the box and the body of the fixture, it's doing it's job. (Of course if the fixture is non-conductive, it doesn't need grounding.)

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