Galactic Hot Dogs
 
Home > Mom's Life > Managing Your Home > Home Improvements > Install a Ceiling Light and Switch
|

Install a Ceiling Light and Switch

Fishing for Cable

Building Smarts

Be patient and creative as you fish. In extreme cases, you may have to poke two fish tapes through two holes, trying to hook one tape with the other. Eventually you'll get through, although you may have to cut more holes.

Building Smarts

Many older places have sand-finish plaster, a rough surface that can't be patched with spackling. Buy a plaster float and finish-coat sand plaster from a drywall supplier. Apply the finish plaster with a trowel. Wait 10 minutes, and then flick some water from a brush at the plaster and at the float. Move the float in a rotary motion. If the plaster is too soft, wait a few minutes. If it's too hard, use more water. Floating is magical: It flattens high spots and fills low ones—if you have the right tool, the right timing, and the right amount of water.

It's finally time to fish cables. One cable runs from the outlet to the switch box. The second cable runs between the switch and light boxes.

  1. Uncoil a few feet of fish tape and work it down from the switch hole to the outlet.

  2. Connect the cable to the fish tape and pull it up to the switch box hole.

    Use electrical tape to attach cable to the fish tape, a springy steel tape that pulls cable through walls. Extra hands are helpful: One person pushes cable into one hole, while the other pulls the fish tape from the other hole. Leave 15" of cable sticking out of each opening.

  3. Push the fish tape down from the upper wall hole to the switch hole. Pull the cable up to the upper hole.

  4. Run the tape down from the ceiling hole through the plate, to the upper wall hole, attach the cable, and pull it back to the ceiling hole.

  5. Finally, push the cable into the light box hole. Cut off all cables, leaving 15" sticking out of the openings.

Step 4: Mount the Boxes

Building Smarts

If you can't position the light box next to a joist, you'll have to bridge a 2 × 4 between two joists. (This involves more work, and more damage to repair.) Place the bridge so the box front will be flush to the ceiling. Use 2" screws, driven at an angle, to mount the 2 × 4.

The hard work is now done, even though your place looks like the aftermath of Hurricane Fishtape. Take heart, things can only get easier from here.

A long drill bit will reach into the box as you prepare to screw it to a joist. Similarly, a long screwdriver bit is best for driving the mounting screws. Mount the box flush to the ceiling.

Handy boxes with sloped shoulders are much easier than rectangular boxes because the cables won't snag on the plaster as you push the box into the opening.



|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements © 2004 by David J. Tenenbaum. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


highlights

Top 10 Sweet 16 Birthday Gifts
Your daughter's sweet 16 is a big milestone in her life. Celebrate this special occasion with one of these top gifts for girls turning 16.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Printable Lists of the Top 100 Baby Names
Need help with baby name ideas? Use our printable list of the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2015 to help you brainstorm and narrow down your favorites.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks