Replacing A Chandelier

Posted by Campbell Ewald

Dec 14, 2011 9:35:25 AM


What better way to embrace the new holiday than with an updated chandelier and you might be surprised to find that replacing one is easier than you think.  Of course, the first step is to find the chandelier but we’re going to skip to the task of putting the new chandelier up and I highly recommend having someone help you with this to avoid any accidents.

Step 1

TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY!  This is the very first thing you should do before working on any electrical fixture to avoid becoming electrocuted.  After all, you do not want to spend your holiday in the hospital.

Step 2

After verifying that the electricity is off, climb up on a step ladder and unscrew the light’s canopy.  This is the metal plate looking object that covers the hole in your ceiling.  Make sure that someone is holding the chandelier so it does not slip out of your hands.

Step 3

Now, you are going to disconnect the twist on connectors—these look like little plastic caps that might fit on a glue bottle and they connect wires together.

Step 4

This is good time to do a second check to make sure there is no live electrical current in your wiring and I encourage you to test for a current with a current tester.  Once you are positive there is no live current, you can now disconnect all the wiring for the old fixture and remove it.

Step 5

If you live in an older home or are installing a chandelier that is heavier, you may want to replace the small box-like device that is still sitting inside the ceiling’s hole.  This is called the electrical box, or junction box, and it can be made out of metal or plastic.  The box is required and protects the wiring.  If it is made out of plastic, you can usually pry it off of the beam with a tool; if it is metal and attached to a metal bar, you might have to cut through the bar to remove it. If you have any questions when you get to this step, consult with an expert before going further.

Step 6

Once you have the electrical box or junction box out, you are going to install the new one and this is a relatively simple thing to do.  I like the metal boxes because they come with screws so they are easy to replace at a later time.

Step 7

To give your box some extra support, you need to add an electrical mounting bar or strap and many new chandeliers and light fixtures come with one in their box.  Just follow the directions, inserting the strap, or bar, into the hole and securing it as instructed.

Step 8

Once the box and mounting support is installed, you are ready to proceed with the wiring of the new chandelier.  Have your helper hold the chandelier for you so that you can concentrate on this step.  You might need to trim off some of the insulation off of the new wire for the chandelier before wrapping it around the wire from the electrical box.  Wires are color coded so make sure that you are connecting matching wires together.

Step 9

Put the wire caps, or twist on connectors, onto the ends of the wire, and then refer to your new chandelier’s instructions to complete the process as not all new chandeliers require the same procedure.

Have you ever installed a chandelier?  What was the hardest part?

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Topics: lighting, remodeling and design, home improvement, energy savings and going green

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