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iqchicken 07-11-2006 09:44 AM

Replacing a light fixture
Hey guys, I'm obviously new to the forum, and I'll tell ya.. i'm extremely new to home improvement too... I'm just trying to replace a simple light fixture.. but I can't seem to get the thing out of the ceiling!!

It looks like there are two nails (in the middle of the fixture, two of four holes are filled with what looks like nails) holding it to the ceiling, but they are in a recessed hole so that I can't even pry them out. How do i get this thing out of the roof? Brute force?

The fixture is old, and cracking so it makes brute force tricky anyway..

I've got the power to the fixture turned off and everything, and all the visible screws taken out. This fixture has GOT to go.. it is old and would have dropped a light on someone's head..

Thanks for any and all help.. I'm gonna try to attack a picture... but I have to fix my stupid digital camera too.. :mad: :D

glennjanie 07-11-2006 09:58 AM

Hello Iqchicken:
Can you possibly get a flat bar between the fixture and the ceiling? Be as gentle as you can with the ceiling but pry it off with the bar. The ceiling may need some repairs anyway from all the nails in it.

iqchicken 07-11-2006 10:03 AM

I could probably get a flat bar in there, but you're right, it would tear up the ceiling. There are only two nails (from what i can see) holding this bloody thing in, but I guess there isn't really a trick to save the ceiling... they should have used screws or something so that I could get it back out.. :D

If I used the flatbar.. that would lead to my next question.. hahaha.. how to repair a big hole i'd make in the ceiling..

iqchicken 07-11-2006 12:01 PM

I just realized that you probably think I"m talking about just the light "fixture" itself.. what i'm really meaning is that recessed portion of the electrical box that is inside the ceiling... one of the threaded holes broke and so i need to replace the box, but like i said, those nails and such... grrr

glennjanie 07-11-2006 12:40 PM

O K now we can go further. The junction box is usually mounted in one of 3 ways; there are other ways but these are the usual ways. 1. Nailed to a ceiling joist through the side, 2. Nailed or screwed through the top of the box to a nailer between joists (sounds like yours) 3. Mounted on an adjustable hangar bar with a nut in the center of the box.
You might try this; take that flat bar into the attic, mark the wires with notes on a piece of masking tape, pull all the wires out of the box and pry the box off, letting it fall through the hole. Then you can replace it with a box screwed in and replace the wires.
Welcome to the forum, you can find more help here than you could possibly use and we are happy to give away knowledge we have gained through many years of experience and, sometimes, at great cost.

Square Eye 07-11-2006 01:20 PM

If you can't get into the attic, you might try drilling the heads off. I have seen old J boxes with brackets attached with rivets. Not pop-rivets, I mean big solid steel rivets set in the factory.

I'd try the drill.

iqchicken 07-11-2006 02:15 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for your help guys. Well it looks like it's either a rivet or a nail going from the top of the box straight up into the ceiling somehow like you said... I can't really tell if it is a rivet or a nail.. now that I think about it... it looks more like a rivet... great.. lol

Sadly, there is no attic access to that part of the house.. it is just ceiling and roof with tiles. I guess I'll have to drill the rivets off. But if I do that, will i be able to attach a new box? I'm sure there must be a way, but I just don't wanna leave a huge hole in my ceiling for too long.. :D

Square Eye 07-11-2006 02:28 PM

You won't know until it's gone.

Yeah, there's always a way to do nearly anything. That looks like a plastic box. It may be on a metal bar that will run between the joists.

There is a ceiling fan rated box made specifically to replace those boxes in a remodel situation. The box in that kit is metal.

iqchicken 07-11-2006 03:26 PM

uh oh... lol... won't know till it's off eh.. well that's sucks... this house was built so poorley that i'm having to fix all kinds of stuff... i guess it would be cheaper to just move..

Square Eye 07-11-2006 04:37 PM

Welcome to your Money Pit.

Better stick around.

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