Electrical Wiring in the Home/outside motion light


Hello sir,I have one cable coming in to a motion light with a  blk./white/ bare.When  using  my pigtail tester I touch the white pigtail wire to the white wire coming in to the box and the black wire of the tester to the blk,wire coming in to the box and get nothing HOWEVER when I take the blk. wire from the pigtail and touch either the metal box OR the bare wire I get a light which leads me to beleave the bare wire is nutural and the blk. wire is ground Would you please give your professional opinion what is going on.Thank you Glenn Henson

The white wire is disconnected somewhere. Check where the wire comes from. If it comes from an outlet or another light, check to make sure all of the white wires are connected.

The neutral wire is connected to the same place as the bare ground wire in the main panel.  But it is not safe to use the ground wire as a neutral. It could cause a shock or other problem.
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.