Jun 15 , 2020
Electrical Fixtures Overview: Solving Unanticipated Electrical Problems
Replacing a light fixture is one of those DIY jobs that’s theoretically quick and simple, but often becomes a three-hour series of problems.
So we talked with two of our master electricians. They’ve seen — and solved — all those frustrations and offered these tips to help DIYers through the job quicker and safer. We won’t show you here, but this article will walk you through step-by-step on how to hang a ceiling light fixture.
Plus, learn the most common electrical code mistakes DIYers make:
Flipping the Breaker isn’t Enough
- Even after you turn off the breaker that controls the light’s circuit, you can still get shocked. How? Some junction boxes contain wiring from multiple circuits.
- Pro tip: So even if you cut the power to the light fixture, there may still be live wires in the junction box.
- To be safe, check all the wires in the box with a non-contact voltage detector before you disconnect any wires.
- Just touch each wire’s insulation with the tester. If the light glows, the wire is live.
- Pro tip: You don’t have to actually touch a bare wire to check for voltage with this detector. Holding the tip on or close to the wire’s insulation is enough.