Moving a Light Fixture | Ask This Old House

In this video, This Old House master electrician Heath Eastman helps a homeowner with an askew light fixture, centering it over their dining room table.

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Master electrician, Heath Eastman takes us on a house call to help a homeowner move a light over their dining room table. After assessing the situation and getting some careful measurements, the two move the table, shut off the breaker and get to work moving the light fixture.

Difficulty: 2/5
Time: 3 hours
Cost: Under $60

Where to find it?
Heath moves a kitchen ceiling light fixture 12-18 inches to center it over a kitchen table. He uses a small metal rod (about 16 inches long), pushes it through the ceiling, and bends it to a 90-degree angle, so there is about 2 inches of bent wire through the ceiling. Heath says by rotating the rod around 360 degrees without hitting anything, he knows he can freely work in that section of the ceiling.

Once Heath determines that the new location is free of obstacles, he drills a hole using a dust collector, and a 4-inch hole saw. After Heath detaches the fixture, he removes the old electrical box from the ceiling, freeing up the wire. After Heath installs the appropriate junction box and runs the wiring through it, he installs the new light fixture.

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* Painter’s tape []
* Pencil []
* Wire test bit []
* Fan brace []
* Electrical box []
* Wire connector []
* Chandelier light fixture []
* Hardware (including wire nuts) []

* Non-contact voltage tester []
* Screwdriver []
* Tape measure []
* Laser or plumb bob []
* Screw gun []
* Pliers []
* Keyhole saw or hole saw []
* Wire strippers []

About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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Moving a Light Fixture | Ask This Old House

12 Replies to “Moving a Light Fixture | Ask This Old House”

  1. Was he able to patch the ceiling or did the homeowner have to schedule with a different business?

  2. I had to do this. I capped the existing box with a blank plate, then bought one of those plastic cieling medallions that was just big enough to cover the existing box. Worked a treat.

  3. Admittedly haven't done many houses, but is it common to have furred out ceilings with an air gap for wiring? I'm in Canada and the wire is usually drilled through the joists.

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