Posts Tagged ‘light fixture’

New Toy – Cool Light

January 21, 2016

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This very bright LED flashlight is no larger than a Magic Marker, but it sure puts out a LOT of light. This is the small version, just $10 at Southwestern Paint (Houston). They also have a larger, brighter one for about $25.

It fits in my already-stuffed-to-overflowing toolbox, and stands by itself, two nice features.

Today, my first day to have it on the job, I used it to light the bathroom room while I removed a light fixture.

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A Little Creative Wiring

January 6, 2016
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I am working in powder room in an expensive home in a brand new subdivision in far northwest Houston, built by a big-name tract home builder. I have removed the wall-mounted light fixture and found this … The horizontal bar is the mounting bracket for the light fixture, and the round tube is the nipple that holds the fixture in place. No on to the electrical wiring …

Electrical connections are supposed to be enclosed in a plastic or metal electrical box. As you can see, there is no box in sight.

The wires were fished through the wall and pulled through a hole, sans box, and then connected to the light fixture.

The other problem is, the wires you are seeing are not the 12 or 14 ga. AWG copper wires that carry the household current that the light fixture is supposed to be hard wired to. Instead, thinner braided wire has been used to make connections somewhere inside the wall, hopefully inside a proper box, and then pulled through the wall and connected to the light fixture. You might also notice that these wires are silver (aluminum?) instead of copper.

At least there is a ground wire.

I suppose the electrician did this so he could center the light fixture over the sink. The subdivision may be outside any incorporated city limits, so possibly there are no governing building codes. Either way, I doubt this would pass code in Houston, or any city with an attnetive Building Inspector.

Why I Carry a Lot of Tools

November 9, 2015
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I like to remove switch plates, towel bars, and light fixtures before papering, so the new wallpaper can go behind them, for a neat, uniform look and no edges to peel up. Many bathroom accessories come off with aid of an allen wrench. In the top photo, my usual allen wrench set is in the back. But it would not turn the nut inside the towel bar – it did not fit.

Good thing I also carry around a set of metric allen wrenches. That is the larger one in the picture, and it did the trick. In the second photo, you see the mounting hardware that is still on the wall. I will use my screwdriver to remove that, so that the new wallpaper will cover the entire wall surface. Then just a few holes for the screws to hold the bracket in place, and there will be very little damage to the appearance of the paper. This will be helpful in case the homeowners decide to change or move accessories later.

Keeping Paste off the Light Fixtures

May 14, 2015

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Usually, I remove light fixtures, so the wallpaper can go behind them. But this one was a little complicated, plus I knew that the wallpaper pattern would allow me to disguise “relief cuts” so I could pull the light fixture through the wallpaper. But doing that would mean the light fixture would be exposed to the paste on the back of the wallpaper.

So, as you can see, I wrapped the sconce in plastic. This kept it clean while I maneuvered the wallpaper around it and into place.

Don’t Scratch the Light Fixture

May 2, 2015

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I usually remove the light fixtures, so that the wallpaper can go tidily behind them. On these sconces, though, the nuts that held them in place had been turned “man-tight,” and I could not turn them with my fingers.

So I pulled out my trusty pliers. But, the pliers are metal, and, if they rubbed against the metal light fixtures, could well scratch the finish.

So I put blue painter’s tape on both the pliers and the light fixture. This provided adequate padding that neither the nut nor the metal base of the fixture were damaged.

Getting a Snug Fit Behind Light Fixtures

March 8, 2015

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I always take the light fixture down, so the wallpaper can go behind it, leaving a seamless look, and no chance of any wallpaper peeling up.

But, with certain types of fixtures, I will usually take it one step further, and remove the mounting bracket, too. This way, I can be sure the wallpaper goes well behind the bracket and the fixture, and no wall or gaps will show.

This is important, because some light fixtures (like this one) fit really tightly around the mounting bracket, and you want to see wallpaper around the fixture, not wall or gaps.

Good Job, Mr. Electrician – NOT!

February 15, 2014

Digital ImageIn the bathroom where I was working today, the electrician installed this light fixture. See the bottom of the round electrical box, exposed below the fixture? This box is supposed to be covered by the light fixture, or covered with a UL-approved material.

This was done while the guy stood on the homeowner’s new marble countertops, including the very fragile 2″ lip in front of the sink.

How the Heck Do You Remove this Light Fixture?!

August 25, 2013

Digital ImageWallpaper looks better and resists peeling when it goes behind towel bars, switch plates, and light fixtures. So I remove these things before starting a job.

I have never seen a light fixture attached this way until this year – and this year I’ve encountered two!

When a light fixture is attached to the wall by the nipple (threaded rod visible in the photo), usually you remove a cap on the front of the fixture and the thing comes down.

But on this one, the nipple is attached to the fixture. Turning the fixture would unscrew it from the rod, but you can’t turn a light fixture, first because it’s big and unwieldy and might hit the ceiling, and second because the wires in the electrical box would get all twisted up. I couldn’t undo the wires because they’re tucked back behind the bracket in the box. And I couldn’t remove the bracket because the light fixture blocks it so a screwdriver won’t fit in there.

I posted the picture to the Facebook page of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) and got various answers. One guy said they make bent screwdrivers to get into tight areas like this.

Another said that undoing the bolts that hold the nipple in place could work. But how to get my fingers back behind there?

Another said that fixtures like this can be removed by one person, but are put up by two people.

Well, it was just lil’ ol’ me, I couldn’t figure it out, so I just left it in place and cut around it. Luckily the pattern was busy and forgiving. Looked great.

Oh, and THEN I could not find the screw that holds the decorative plate to the rod. Looked EVERYWHERE – and finally went out to the van and found it in the bottom of my Shop Vac