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Old 11-04-2019, 01:10 PM   #1
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trying to ceiling light in old house


The house was built in the 40-50's I think. Has no drywall, not sure what they used. There is no jbox, just some wires coming out of a metal fixture attached to one of the beams. How would I attach a ceiling light to this: the previous owner just drilled into the ceiling itself.

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Old 11-04-2019, 02:28 PM   #2
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Re: trying to ceiling light in old house


How about a picture of the metal fixture? Sounds like a pancake box and if so, new fixture should attach easily to it.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: trying to ceiling light in old house


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnT View Post
The house was built in the 40-50's I think. Has no drywall, not sure what they used. There is no jbox, just some wires coming out of a metal fixture attached to one of the beams. How would I attach a ceiling light to this: the previous owner just drilled into the ceiling itself.

Try the photo again.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:43 PM   #4
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Re: trying to ceiling light in old house


Tried a different host.

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Old 11-05-2019, 05:16 AM   #5
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Re: trying to ceiling light in old house


I would break the drywall and see exactly what's going on. Minimum, you may want to peel back the sheathing on the cable and find wire insulation that's still flexible. Looks like wire insulation may be in bad shape. Hard to see anything though.

There were many situations like yours in my parents' house. BX, romex and cloth sheath cables. Many had insulation cracking just moving them a little. If BX, metal sheath, you definitely want to get bx cutter. It cuts the metal spiral so you can easily remove as much as you need. I bought a rigid brand that I used for several decades. Not an electrician. If bx, also little red caps. Watch the videos and practice. You probably can buy foot or two of bx cable for practice. For new wiring, also green neutral screws, even if bx. Inspectors like to see the fixture ground wire connected to the green screws. If bx, use metal box. Watch some videos on box wiring. You don't have to cut away the wire with bad insulation. Find good insulation then use shrink tube or electric tape to repair the insulation. Sand the end wire shiny.
The photo looks like there is a center bolt hole. There are j boxes that can adapt to it but that is a kind of wiring that should be replaced/repaired.
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:10 AM   #6
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Re: trying to ceiling light in old house


You should likely change the box out for a new one. That old set up uses a hickey to joint the light pipe to that pipe.

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Old 11-05-2019, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: trying to ceiling light in old house


Based on the picture, no way was that house built in the 40's or 50's. I would guess the 1910's or 20's; that looks like knob-and-tube conductors. It should all be replaced with Romex cable and modern boxes.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:07 AM   #8
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Re: trying to ceiling light in old house


At a minimum you should install one of these:
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