My Old House

Issues and Events involving our Home in Independence, Missouri
My Old House on Winner Road

Swapped out a ceiling fan for a chandlier

Filed under: Dining Room,Electrical and Lighting — Admin @ 1:16 pm

Greetings All !

OK, so this weekend, I finally decided to do a task that’s been waiting on me:

The previous owners had a huge Hunter ceiling fan installed in the Dining Room… for some reason. (Not sure why. Personally, I’m not too fond of having my food automatically cooled!)

My wife had purchased a used chandelier (it’s relatively new…. NOT an antique) a few months back. So it was now time for me to take out the ceiling fan and put in the chandelier!

Unfortunately, I had to REPAIR the chandelier first!

Somehow… in the process of getting it home and storing it for a few weeks, we broke an arm off of it!

Now, this isn’t one of those brass chandeliers… the arms are made of glass ! I had told her confidently that I’d use Crazy Glue to reattach it. However, upon trying this, I discovered that Crazy glue isn’t very good at gluing two pieces of glass together. (Fortunately, by the way, the break was right where this glass arm entered the base of the chandelier. So, if I could just reglue it into place, the break would not be noticeable unless you got ABOVE the chandelier base.)

I ended up using some epoxy… you know… that stuff where you squeeze out two chemicals in a tube… mix them… apply the mix to the break… set it and wait? Well, after two attempts of trying to clamp the arm to the chandelier base with just my arms… I set things up so that the blankets on the bed that this chandelier was resting on would act to hold the break in place. Yes, I still held the parts together for a few minutes, but eventually I was able to let go and back off.

The next step was to remove the ceiling fan in the dining room. This was fairly easy. However, the ceiling fan… although it was huge… was NOT connected to an actual fixture box. Instead, the wire from the wall entered a round metal plate that made up the base of the fan. All electrical connections were made there.

I could not re-use this round metal plate for our chandelier. It was way too big.

So, after a trip to Home Depot, I found a smaller, similar round plate. I took it home and screwed it into the latt ceiling with wood screws. I then attached a metal bar through which our chandelier’s primary support would be threaded-through / screwed in. With my wife’s help, I attached the ceiling fan to this bar, so the ceiling would support the chandelier’s weight.

Then I stopped, because I was a bit unsure of the wiring. I decided to pick up the project again the next day (Sunday).

As we went to bed, my wife said to me:

“Gee, you’d think there would have been a wire sticking out of that broken chandelier arm, wouldn’t you ?”

At this point, I suddenly realized: Yeah, there SHOULD have been evidence of a broken wire… some sort of frayed edge or wire sticking out of either the arm or the base! But there hadn’t been !!!

Great !! Terrific !! I’d gone to all this trouble and now when I was going to finish up tomorrow and flip the light switch, I’d have ONE ARM NOT LIGHT UP !!

I went to bed quite annoyed.

However, next morning, I consulted one of those household common-repair books that I had on-hand and figured out how the wiring needed to be. I finished the wiring and finished adjusting the chandelier. I noted that the broken arm did obviously have a silverish-looking wire running through it. I had no idea whether or not it was actually in contact with any wiring present in the base of the chandelier. I HAD laid the glue on pretty thick. Odds are, we weren’t going to get power going to it.

My wife grabbed a bulb and screwed it into one of the good arms. I ran down to the circuit breaker and turned it on. She flipped the switch.

OK, the GOOD ARM that she’d put the bulb in lit up. So, we had proof that we had power and that my wiring job was okay.

Next, I shut off the breaker and had her move the bulb over to the previously-broken arm.

I said a little prayer… figuring it’d take a miracle for this arm to work. I flipped the breaker. My wife flipped the switch.

SUCCESS !! The broken arm lit up just fine!

That break in the glass must have been a very clean break. I surmised that the glass in that arm must have been MOLDED around that wire originally. That probably would have made the entire arm-wire unit so solid that a clean break like this took place.

Well, we’re very happy with the appearance of the chandelier. I’ll try to get a photo of it posted here in the next couple of days.

Happy Valentine’s Day !

Next weekend, I hope to tackle two leaky faucets in our upstairs bathroom…. where there are no shut-off valves.


Let it rain! Let it rain!

Filed under: Basement,Dining Room,General — Admin @ 10:09 am

We had a heavy storm this evening. Got somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 inches of rain in a little over an hour.

Discovered two wonderful surprises:

1) The dining room has a bay window. While it was raining, I walked over to look out the window… and discovered the rug on the floor was wet. Yet, when I checked the ceiling and walls, they were absolutely dry !! How was it that water was coming UP through the floor ? Was it somehow splashing upward from the opened space beneath this window? I checked the basement. All I could confirm that the part of the floor that was wet …

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