How to Install an Antique Light Fixture

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on April 5, 2016

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Scott Caron, master electrician for Ask This Old House, helps a homeowner install an antique light fixture in her historic St. Paul, MN, home. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Install an Antique Light Fixture:
– Antique light fixture
– Electrical tape
– Circular electrical box
– Wire connectors
– Retrofit ceiling fan support brace

Tools for How to Install an Antique Light Fixture:
– Reciprocating saw
– Wire cutters
– Pliers
– Screwdriver
– Pencil

Steps for How to Install an Antique Light Fixture:
1. Turn off power to current light fixture.
2. Remove current fixture (if applicable) and cut wires with wire cutters.
3. Reinsulate cut wires with electrical tape by wrapping it around the wires.
4. Trace the outline for the new circular electrical box on the ceiling with a pencil.
5. Enlarge the hole as needed with a reciprocating saw.
6. Insert the retrofit ceiling fan support brace into the hole in the ceiling.
7. Place it horizontally and twist to expand the bar until it locks into the ceiling joists.
8. If working with armored cable, as in this video, place anti-short bushings over exposed wire and flush with metal BX sheathing.
9. Screw in clamps with a screwdriver to go over wires, bonding them to the metal electrical box.
10. Splice the old wires together and to the light fixture using pliers and wire connectors.

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