” Creative Wiring ” On Powder Room Light Fixture

Whoa-ah! No electrical box in the wall, and wires just fished out of a hole … Probably safe, but it’s definitely not up to code. I’m guessing that it was not possible to center the light fixture on the wall, possibly due to the location of studs or other. This light fixture is coming down and will be replaced with something else. What it means to me is, I’ll put up the wallpaper, and will just have to hope that the new light fixture can be placed within the footprint of the existing hole in the wall. To install the new fixture, which may involve inserting a proper electrical box, the electrician may have to cut holes in the wall – and the wallpaper. Even if he manages to do this carefully and with minimal cutting into the wall, it’s very possible that Big Bubba will bumble and get dirt or mess of some kind onto the wallpaper. It’s hard to fix things like this. Often it means stripping off all the wallpaper on that wall, and rehanging the whole wall. Not fun for me, and not economical for the homeowner.
The next day I learned that the homeowner is not going to reuse the light fixture, so I took it down completely, and then was able to remove the mounting plate. Now it’s possible to see what the heck went on. There is, indeed, an electrical box inside the wall. A quarter-moon sliver of the round electrical box is visible at the right. The box was not centered on the wall, possibly due to placement of studs in the wall or some other reason. So when the current light fixture went up, the mounting plate had to be moved to the left, in order to center it over the sink. The electrical wires were fished out of that small gap and were long enough to meet the light fixture a few inches to the left. There must have been a hole in the wall to repair, because I can see a chunk of new drywall that was added at some point.
Of concern to me is that the new light fixture can be installed without mucking up the new wallpaper. Some fixtures have such a small base that they barely cover a standard electrical box. Here the base has to be large enough to cover both the new, centered mounting plate, and the hole in the wall which provides access for the wires. I brought the wallpaper as tightly as possible around that hole; if the electrician needs a larger hole for access, he can simply cut small bits of the wallpaper away. If the new base is a wider rectangle, it will be wide enough to cover that hole and also be centered over the sink – problem solved!
Of course, there is also the worry that the new wallpaper might be soiled or scraped while the new fixture is being put up.

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