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Installing a chandelier


Hanging a chandelier differs from installing a ceiling-mounted light fixture because of the added weight of the fixture. This requires modifying the ceiling box to accommodate the extra weight. Special chandelier-hanging hardware is used for this purpose, including a threaded stud and nipple, a hickey, and lock- nuts. If you can’t work from an attic space above the ceiling, you will have to cut a hole in the ceiling drywall to gain access to the ceiling joists. Cut a 16 x 16-inch hole, from one ceiling joist to the next, and install wood blocking to support the chandelier. Then attach a box; fish a power cable into the box; and in stall new drywall.

LEFT The added weight of a hanging fixture must be supported by the ceiling box.

Many chandeliers, especially heavy ones, come with instructions that explain the support the fixture needs. If your fixture doesn’t call for special support, then you can probably replace your existing fixture with a chandelier as we show here. If, on the other hand, extra support is called for, then you have two options. One is to cut a hole in the ceiling and nail wooden support blocks in place. The other is to install an electrical box support brace that has the proper weight-limit specification.

Step 1. Turn off the circuit power to the existing light fixture at the service panel. Then remove the screws that hold the fixture in place, and unthread the wire connectors that join the circuit and fixture wires.


Step 2. Make sure the electrical box is securely mounted to the ceiling framing. Then remove the center knockout plate; install a stud in the knockout hole; thread a hickey into the stud, and a nipple into the hickey.


Step 3. Have someone hold the chandelier or support it on a step ladder while you work. Thread the chandelier wires through the threaded nipple. Then connect the fixture wires to the box wires.


Step 4. Once the wires are joined, slide the chandelier escutcheon plate up against the ceiling box. Hold it in place as you screw the collar nut onto the threaded nipple in the middle of the box.



To bring cable into a metal box, you must first remove one of the knockouts on the box. Some boxes have a pry out built into them that can easily be removed using a fiat screwdriver. Others have a circular knockout that must be punched out using a hammer and a screwdriver or knockout punch. Once the knock out hole is open, a cable clamp can be inserted into the opening. The clamp secures the cable in place and protects it from chafing against the sharp metal edges of the box opening.   Some metal boxes have pry- outs that can be removed using the fiat blade of a screwdriver.
  Other boxes have knockouts that must be punched out using a hammer and screw driver, or using a special tool called a knock out punch. A cable clamp screws into the pry out or knock out opening to secure the cable entering the box and protect it from chafing against the sharp edges of the opening.




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