Just pick out the one you want and use it. Likely the electrical box
behind it is a single gang box or (less likely) an octagon box, and
whatever light fixture you pick will be able to mount to it just
fine. The biggest concern is if someone painted around the light
fixture rather than taking it down when painting, you may need to
touch up or repaint that wall before mounting the new fixture.
I'm assuming that you don't need detailed instructions about how to
properly mount the light fixture, but if you do, post back.
On Jun 29, 11:49 am, email@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
Everyone has to start do it yourself somewhere.
But having seen some episodes of a Canadian TV programme called "....
Worst handyman" have been surprised there are people who don't even
know (or even own) the correct screwdrivers and are DANGEROUS.
So one hesitates to even start with "Make sure power is off at the
fuse or circuit breaker" etc. Having seen some older bathroom fixtures
(now definitely not to code) with two prong shaver outlets and small
twist switches etc. And metal fixtures possibly not grounded; because
screwed into the wall board; have seen them not even grounded via
mounting screws to the wall outlet box (also grounded?). Ugh!
And the OP did say it's a 1980s chrome (metal?) monstrosity!!!!
Also have one relative who doesn't seem to acknowledge there are other
type of screw heads than 'straight' and 'Philips'. Whereas we use
almost exclusively 'Robertson' square drive (they stay on the end of
the drive bit nicely, even vertically down!).
So someone who has to ask such a basic question should not perhaps
start such a task? It may seem to be (and it is) a simple task to
'safely' change out a light fixture for someone who knows what they
are doing and has the correct tools.
But just suppose for example the fixture is connected by two white
wires ................... ? Which one is the 'live' and goes the the
centre contact of a standard light bulb socket? In such a case there
is 50% chance of getting it correct.
Oh yes the light will still work alright but it will not be to code.
Maybe this all seems an exaggeration and the meanderings of an old
';fuddy duddy' but!!!!!!
Things can happen, having seen some dangerous abominations! So get
help from someone who 'knows what they are doing'. Including a couple
of elderly ladies trying to put a new plug on something using a pair
of scissors and a dinner knife (not bad choices actually!) with
'whiskers' of stray stranded wire everywhere.
The new more elegant fixture may be deeper or shallower than the old?
So the length of the mounting screws may need to be different; or even
differently spaced. If way too long they might cut into live wires in
the wall box? So go to the 'odd screws' jar in the workshop/garage or
the hardware store if necessary for the right size, thread and length.
Don't try to use wood screws (seen that) to connect to the metal wall
box etc. etc.
PS. When finished is everything grounded correctly????? Don't want
somebody reaching up, one hand on a grounded metal sink or tap to get
a shock changing a light bulb. Was there not a child electrocuted that
way 'helping dad' change a light bulb, standing with bare foot
touching something metal and got shock through the hand from a light
You make excellent points, but I can't believe you neglected to mention eye
protection and not standing on the top step of the step-stool or ladder
(unless you are assaulting a castle wall while dodging boiling oil).
No, libraries - in general - are no longer repositories of knowledge. My
local library has hand puppets, computer games, art work, computer
terminals, spinners with paperback historical romances ("Leave two, take
two"), and the like.
There are even libraries that loan out TOOLS (drills, post hole diggers,
ladders, paint sprayers, etc.).
The fast safe way: pick out the fixture that you want and call a
The slow way: spend a month or two reading and observing pros in
action, then proceed.
The fast dangerous way: take things apart to learn what they look
like with tools you have. Get a fixture and try to install it like the
other one. Enjoy your stay at Motel 6 while the insurance company
estimators assess the damages from the resulting fire.
Don't you need a permit for this? And is this in compliance with the new
federal lighting standards? Are you going to replace the old evil illegal
incandescent with the new fluorescent energy reducing green bulbs? I
wouldn't take any chances. I'd just go in the morning and turn myself in
for even considering changing the fixture. Perhaps you can be sent to a
"rehabilitation center" for reprogramming. If you do the changes, and not
have them approved by the proper people's representative, you may be unable
to sell your house until the shoddy illegal evil work is ripped out, and
replaced PROPERLY. Perhaps the whole structure may have to be condemned and
bulldozed. Wait, that would be a waste of diesel fuel. Maybe they could
just use enough C4 to do it. Or it could be confiscated and used as a
vacation residence and massage parlor for AlGore, Bill Clinton, and Al
Hoo, boy! Are you in trouble now! I would be soooo ashamed!
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
The first step is to kill the power and take down the existing fixture. Many
strip fixtures are not mounted to an electrical box, and instead, have a
cable running directly into them. Sometimes there is a sink vent pipe
running straight up the wall in exactly the spot you'd need to mount a box
to center it on the sink, if you are going to use a fixture that can only
mount to a box.
">> We have a four bulb light fixture in a bathroom (80s silver chrome
*I found that all to often in condos and townhomes. One unit in which I was
requested to replace the bar fixture over the vanity had a big horizontal
slot cut out in the drywall and no box. It turned into a two trip job just
to replace the fixture because I had to fix the wall first and mount a box.
To the OP. I would take the old fixture down first and put a pigtail socket
or two there for temporary light. Then figure out what needs to be done
next. In addition to what RBM said, sometimes those fixtures have
additional screws into the wall which will need to be patched. Also
consider that the wall behind the old fixture may need painting.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.