So, I am replacing the insides of a chandelier, but now I dont understand why the person who installed it would leave the ground wire hanging without being connected. I can see a ground wire taped away in the ceiling and I am wondering if there is a actually a reason for it not being connected. Or was the person who did it just incompetent?

The reason I am working on the chandelier is because it has been blowing out bulbs quite a lot recently, which I believe was caused by the state of the sockets - really old and rusted.

  • Test the wire first and make sure its earth. First check if it not live wire by testing the wire and GND. Turn the switches on and off. Then test continuity, you will need a long wire, attach it to earth in the distributor box, then to this wire, set top ohms, should be near 0 (or buzzer with buzz) Possibly there was no need, the previous installer wasnt bothered, or it was causing the breakers to trip randomly. If it causes it to trip the light is faulty and the breaker tripping is there to save your life.
    – Piotr Kula
    Nov 25, 2014 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


The only reason not to connect the ground wire would be because there is nowhere to connect it.

Older houses have 14/2 without a ground, particularly to ceiling boxes. The box itself may not be grounded. In this case, it would be better NOT to connect it to the box, as a signal to the next person working in there, "Warning! This is not grounded!"

But, it there is a green or bare copper wire in there, then by all means hook it up.

  • 4
    maybe first test the grounding wire to see if it is actually grounded Nov 24, 2014 at 15:25

Usually you don't ground light fixtures that have nothing on them that is conductive that you can touch; example would be those plastic or ceramic rosebud fixtures (side note, I have no idea why I call them that). Most of the time they don't even have a ground terminal, so it's not even an option.

I'd like to see the wiring but sight unseen my guesses are:

If there's a ground wire and theres a ground terminal, hook up the ground!

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.