I live in an old apartment in New York City.
Some of the electrical receptacles which I wish to renovate are painted
over with old paint.
A) What is the best way to remove the old paint? Do you think I can
simply use a chisel to scrape off the edges and the center screw?
B) Do I have to turn off the circuit while doing this?
C) If the lead paint test is positive, what precautions should I take,
considering that I will only be scraping off the edges?
You will spend more time trying to take the paint off then you would
going and getting new ones.
Turn the breaker off anytime you do any kind of work on a receptacle.
If the paint tests positive for lead why is the landlord not taking
care of this.?
I thought by law they had to.
The receptacles are painted over completely with the wall paint, so
i'ts impossible to remove the receptacles without first breaking off
the paint first.
I tested the outer layer of paint for lead and received a negative
However, there might be an older underlying layer of paint. Do you
think I should bother testing it? I won't be producing much dust by
chipping off the receptacle's corners.
You're talking about paint holding the receptacles to the wall, right?
Not paint holding the covers on.
All you need to do is to cut around the metal frame of the receptacle
with a sharp knife (like a utility knife) to free it from the wall. I'd
disconnect the power when you do this just in case. You can then unscrew
and pull the outlets away from the wall.
By the way, I agree with the consensus here that it's not worth saving
the old outlets, and you should just pitch them and get new ones. The
only reason to save the old ones is if they're antiques that you like
the look of. I recently took some really old ceramic outlets out of a
house that were completely covered with paint; I got it off by soaking
the outlets in brake fluid for several days until the paint softened.
Didn't hurt the outlets at all electrically.
"In 1964 Barry Goldwater declared: \'Elect me president, and I
will bomb the cities of Vietnam, defoliate the jungles, herd the
I cant believe how some people can make things so complicated.
1. Shut off the power
2. Take a screwdriver and bust the covers off. Just break them.
3. Remove the outlet screws and pull them out of the wall.
4. Replace them with new ones, and wire EXACTLY as they were.
(remember, white wires to silver screws, black wires to gold colored
screws, and green or bare wires to green screws).
5. Screw outlet back into wall box.
6. Install a new cover plate.
7. Dont worry about lead paint unless you are going to eat the old
outlets and/or paint.
8 If you are still all paranoid about lead, go to a mental health
center and seek therapy. Our government created this paranoia about
lead, so let them pay for your care. Lead is NOT going to do you any
harm unless you INJEST IT, or someone shoots you with it.
Amen Brother! They all tend to forget all that lead spinning around on
their car wheels. Probably shouldn't breath out next to a road eh? OH, and
no fishing either. There is lead sinkers on those lines. What about
I would do the work trying to reduce any flaking of the paint, and then
when done clean things up well. The real issue with lead paint is for young
children who may eat the paint chips over a long period.
I often wonder if children that eat paint should actually be allowed
to continue and maybe even given more lead. If they are eating paint,
they obviously are already retarded and have brain damaged. It might
be best to leave them end their lives before they get older and shoot
other kids in their schools. Attempting to eat cat or dog food is one
thing, but eating paint is a sign of mental retardation.
When I was a kid, we ate FOOD and cookies when we were bored, not
Depends on age. For young children (i.e. babies) it's absolutely
normal for them to put anything they can reach into their mouth.
This hand-to-mouth reflex helps them learn about texture, flavor
and more. If a baby fails to follow this normal pattern, it may
in fact indicate a developmental problem.
Everything-in-mouth is normal by about 4 months of age. By age
one or two years they should be learning that not all items are
suitable for insertion into the mouth or consumption.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
IOW, does eating lead make kids stupid, or do stupid people eat lead?
One thing you may not know is that lead is sweet. Children(especially
really young) are known to put all manner of things in their
mouth... if by chance, they taste some paint, and it was sweet, they
could be conditioned to continue licking/chewing the paint.
May no harm befall you,
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
The receptacle covers you can throw in soapy water overnight and it will
pretty much fall off with minor rubbing. That is, assuming it's latex
Keep in mind while they are uncovered they are a shock hazard. If you
have small kids then it's a bad idea to leave them uncovered for any
amount of time.
I would not work on them with electricity on. First, use the point of a
utility knife to pick paint out of the slot on the screw; best to use
something to protect the rest so you don't gouge the plate if the knife
slips. Best to score around the plate to cut the paint film, again
using a straight edge and something to keep the knife from slipping
beyone what you want to score. If it is old, hard enamel, it is likely
to chip whether you score it or not. When you get the plate off, use an
emery board to smoothe the outside edge of the plug. Have the vacuum
handy to get the dust and chips.
I have spray painted some old, yellowed plastic outlets. Just took a
small strip of paper as wide as the slot, folded it, and inserted fold
into the slot. Leave enough sticking out to be able to grasp it but not
so long that it blocks the spray. Make a template to protect the wall.
If the plugs don't get a lot of wear and tear, paint will adhere. If
the plates are metal or wood, you can put them and the screws into paint
remover. Clean up with very fine steel wool. If you are lucky, they
will be copper or brass.
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