Kitchen Light Debacle: Is the power supply to a Flourescent light the same as....

I’m asking about a pre-1960’s houses electrical system. There is a hideous flourescent light in the kitchen of the house I want to replace with something more contemporary. Am I going to have any problems grounding the new light? How about bracketing? I don’t think they used plastic housings, and the light we have to replace the gross flourescent light with has plastic housings… I’m sure I can attach it somehow. I’m more concerned with the electrical output of the kitchen flourescent. To give you an idea of the rest of the house, there are no grounded 3 prong outlets in the house, there are all 2 prong. I’ve got grounding adapters for some of them, to hold me over until I completely redo the elctrical system in the entire home. Sometime near the begining of the year.

Assuming that the wiring was safe before, and assuming that the new fixture draws the same or lower wattage as the old one, it’ll be safe. If the new one draws more wattage than the old one, it might still be safe, depending on how conservative the electrician was who wired the old one. If you don’t know, hire an electrician.

When it comes to grounding, you’re going to have to hope that you’ve got grounded metal conduit and the metal box is grounded to it. If it’s not, I don’t know how you ground the fixture outside of running all new wiring. It’s also possible that someone upgraded the wiring for that fixture, and you’ll have no grounding issues whatsoever.

The box should have a metal crossbar, and the fixture itself should also come with a crossbar. They may or may not be identical.

Be careful with your grounding adapters, if the electrical box is not grounded, the adapter won’t actually be grounding your appliances. You should check the status of the ground with a tester.

Nitpick: it’s fluorescent.

I doubt that you’ll have any problems, unless you stand in a puddle of water in your kitchen and reach up and touch a metal part of the fixture. If it worries you, expect to pay for the peace of mind.

I don’t know of any new light fixtures that won’t light if you don’t have a separate wire for ground. It’s not going to be any more dangerous than the previous one.

Thanks , looks like a clean install.

Slight hijack, anyone know when they stopped using the 2 prong outlets?

I don’t know that, but there had to be a period of time in the 1940s-1950s when code required grounding to all kitchen outlets and receptacles. My house was built in 1948 as a starter home. All circuits are two wire Romex, but the kitchen circuit has a seperate ground to all outlets and receptacles.

A bigger problem will be that the insulation on that old of wiring may be brittle. Be gentle and rewrap with electricians tape of the same color as the original insulation (i.e., black or white.)

In the late seventies.

Some fluorescent fixtures do require an earth ground to start. Strange but true: