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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Installing new light fixtures in old junction boxes

    We are in the process of remodeling an older home (built in 1929). Replacing light fixtures has been a problem, however, because the junction boxes are not designed to accomodate the mounting hardware of new light fixtures. The boxes are attached to metal braces that are screwed into the lath and covered with plaster, so removing them thus far has involved significant damage to the ceiling. Can anyone suggest a way to mount our new fixtures to these old boxes rather than having to replace the boxes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, CANADA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Installing new light fixtures in old junction boxes

    What is the wiring like?? Is it still the original 1929 wiring, or has it been updated?

    Can you post a photo of one of these junction boxes?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,629

    Default Re: Installing new light fixtures in old junction boxes

    You might be able to place a fixture pan -- it's a round junction box about 1/2" or 5/8" deep -- over the existing box. Be sure to insert a plastic bushing in the knockout so the edges of the hole don't nick the insulation on the wires.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Installing new light fixtures in old junction boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by verde77 View Post
    The boxes are attached to metal braces that are screwed into the lath and covered with plaster, so removing them thus far has involved significant damage to the ceiling. Can anyone suggest a way to mount our new fixtures to these old boxes rather than having to replace the boxes?
    In our 1922 house, I just started playing that same game of replacing fixtures, too. What I've found for the ceiling fixtures is they put a 1x4 brace between the joists, lathe and plaster over that, and then screwed the fixture's mounting bracket through the plaster, the lathe, and into the board. Then, a hole allows the K&T wiring to sneak out. No boxes. So, now, I'm cutting through ceiling to put in a boxes.

    If you end up having to continue to rip through your ceilings, this is what I've learned as I try to find the best way to make it as clean as possible and NOT destroy the ceiling:

    I draw out the area in the ceiling that needs to come out and then using a straight edge and a utility knife I carefully score through the ceiling and try to peel and chip out just the plaster exposing the lathe underneath. Then, I've had success with a drill with a large bit where I just put holes in the lathe around the perimeter. The holes allow me to poke a drywall saw into the lathe and saw out the lathe, carefully. As much as you'd like to use the sawz-all, the reciprocating motion ends up vibrating the lathe so much that is causes cracks and falling plaster. The hole usually ends up with a very rough edge, but at least the repair at that point is localized and minor.

    -Brad

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