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Electrical

Potentially re-wiring a chandelier

I have an old chandelier I am planning to use again (after painting it for a new look), but it looks like when it was last taken down, the electrical wires were cut off at the bottom of the chain, so that the wires run to the top of the chandelier but not up the chain to attach in the ceiling.

 

Can I purchase something to connect additional wires to, or do I have to re-wire the entire thing? If I have to re-wire the entire thing, any advice on how to get started figuring that out, and if it is very expensive? 

 

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Posted 2014-01-05T20:00:04+0000  by samanthacbarnes samanthacbarnes

I would suspect the wires from the individual lamp sockets meet in that ball shaped area at the top of the light and then connect to the lamp cord.  You might want to see if that ball comes apart.  Try unscrewing the little finial where the that circular piece is attached.

Posted 2014-01-05T21:12:51+0000  by Adam444

Thanks so much!! That worked. Now I am looking at this:

 

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Four different sets of cords, two sets completely black, one set completely white, and one set of both white and black. All four sets covered by plastic end pieces and electrical tape.

 

What do I need to know about the cords coming up through the middle that are chopped off? 

 

Thanks so much for your help! This is the first time I am replacing a light fixture and it's easy to find articles that give basic instructions when the cords are already all in tact and right out of the box, but trying to figure out what to do with this has been harder. 

Posted 2014-01-06T01:08:00+0000  by samanthacbarnes

That's interesting.  Try removing the large nut (hexagon shaped) in the center.  You may also have to remove each of the six nuts.  What I now suspect is the connection between the brown lamp cord and the internal wiring of the fixture is below that plate.  If you have to take more pictures please take a few from different angles (think like 12, 4, and 8 o'clock)

Posted 2014-01-06T01:28:37+0000  by Adam444

I'm assuming that the brown lamp cord doesn't reappear anywhere.  That's why I'd like to have pictures from several angles.  

Posted 2014-01-06T01:29:36+0000  by Adam444

I had to move the cords around a lot, but I noticed a cut-out in the large gold nut in the center. and VOILA there are two brown cords that come out of it, one going to a group of white cords and the other going to a group of black cords (I didn't notice it was brown when I was working in dimmer lighting).

 

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Do those pictures help? Can you distinguish the two brown cords connecting to the groups? 

Posted 2014-01-06T01:54:24+0000  by samanthacbarnes

Now we're making progress!  I'm assuming the brown lamp cord splits in one half going to black and the other to white.

 

The little plastic gizmos are called "wire nuts" 

 

At least the ones in this picture are designed to crimp the wire and are not reusable.  I can't tell what kind that connects the brown lamp cord to fixture wiring are.  Peels off the electrical tape and take another picture please.

 

While you're in there, push down the little plastic gizmos too.  They protect the wires against chafing.

Posted 2014-01-06T02:24:23+0000  by Adam444

Where does the bare braided copper wire go?

Posted 2014-01-06T02:25:46+0000  by Adam444

Little plastic gizmos have been pushed down.

 

The copper wire connects to a ring around the base of the large nut:

 

 

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Then I removed electrical tape from the two wire sets where the brown lamp cord connects. Is this what you were needing to look at, or did you want me to remove the wire nut plastic casing as well? 

 

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Posted 2014-01-06T18:26:03+0000  by samanthacbarnes

Great job with the photos!

 

You'll obviously need some lamp cord.  Home Depot sells it by the foot in the electrical department or there are packages in the lighting department (on a end cap usually).  Figure out how far the fixture will hang down and buy a couple of extra feet (it's not expensive).  I'm pretty sure Home Depot has that braided ground wire as well but maybe only in a package.  You'll also need some wire nuts (also in the electrical department).  You'll be looking for the red ones (Ideal 76B or equivalent).  Hopefully they have a small package or maybe a mixed package.  Electrical tape if you don't have any.

 

You won't be able to get the connector off because it's crimped.  You'll need to cut each wire as close to the connector as possible.  Pull out the old lamp cord.  Feed the new lamp cord back down the hole and out, split it in half whatever distance you need to reach each group of fixture wires.   Then strip off 3/4" of the insulation off all the wires.   If you feel the lamp cord, one size will have ribs and the other will be smooth.  Connect the side with the ribbing to the WHITE wires.  Twist the wires together, clockwire, trying to keep them as neat as possible.  One you've got them twisted together, cut about 1/4" off the end of the bundle (leaving about 1/2" or a little more).  Twist on the wire nut, clockwise.  Everything should be nice a snug. Wrap the whole thing in electrical tape, like the manufacturer did.

 

As for the ground wire, feed that down too and just connect it  to the existing one.  Top it with a wire nut (you'll need a smaller one, blue or orange).

 

When you hand the fixture make sure you connect the half of the wire with ribbing to the white wire in the ceiling junction box.

 

Let me know if you have any more questions...

Posted 2014-01-06T19:53:10+0000  by Adam444

Thank you so much for your patience and your help! Let me double-check and make sure I understand all of this correctly, and process through some questions:

 

--purchase lamp cord for the length of running it through from the wires up the chain and through the ceiling + an additional couple of feet 

-purchase braided ground wire -- does it need to be the same length as the lamp cord, I am assuming? 

-purchase red wire nuts as specified above - will I just be replacing the nuts for the two bundles containing lamp cord, or do I need to replace all of them? 

-we have electrical tape

-purchase blue or orange wire nut for the ground wire, which will be connected at the top of it (which will be going up through the chain into the ceiling?

-I am puzzled by :  Then strip off 3/4" of the insulation off all the wires. Can you please elaborate on this?

-To connect the ground wire to the existing one, do I just twist them together somewhere before it meets that ring around the base of the nut? Or wrap them together with electrical tape? 

 

Sorry, I had more questions than anticipated! I really appreciate your help.

Posted 2014-01-06T20:27:45+0000  by samanthacbarnes
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