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Old shower ceiling light HELP

I just moved into a house that has a ceiling light in the shower.  The light turns on every time via the light switch.  But then it randomly (or so it seems) shuts off and then randomly turns back on. 


Any ideas as to why this might be happening?  If it helps, the house is 75 years old but the bathroom was redone in the late 70’s or early 80’s (and despearetly needs to be redone).


My first thought was to try replacing the lightbulb to see if that would help… but I can’t figure out how to remove the cover.  Here is a pic:




Any idea how to get the cover off?  It twists maybe ¼ to ½” but does not seem to loosen or come out.


Thanks in advance  

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Posted 2013-06-08T13:14:00+0000  by ayoungrad ayoungrad

Hey ayoungrad,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!

The reason (as it sounds like to me) why your light is turning on and off intermittently is due to your light fixture. From the looks of it, you have a recessed light housing with a shower trim.


The inside of the recessed housing has a thermostatic switch unseen. It senses when the housing gets too hot and shuts it off, preventing the wires from overheating and causing a fire.


While this is a good thing to have for your safety, you can eliminate the overheating by changing out the light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs.


To replace out your light bulb and get the cover off, most shower trims in the industry are held in by spring loaded pins. These pull DOWN and don't twist off. Once you pull it down about an inch or two, you can then get access to remove the springs.


Again, this is for most recessed shower trims. You may also need to cut around the trim's diameter to ensure any paint gets removed, so you can take it off easier.


Thanks for posting a pic of your light so we can see it easier. Let us know if you need any further assistance, and we will be here for you.


Keep up updated on your progress.



Posted 2013-06-08T13:35:05+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Thanks for the prompt response.  I will definitely try those things - hopefully I can get the cover off.  I tried to pull it down but that did not work initially - maybe I'll try to make sure there is no old paint obstructing it as you said.

Posted 2013-06-08T13:46:07+0000  by ayoungrad

You are very welcome.


As I stated before, the springs are how most shower trims are removed. Yours may be a combination of removing or turning the glass, or just the trim.


It will just take some working on it to get it off, but make sure the paint is off first.


Keep us updated, I'm intrigued now on how you will remove it.



Posted 2013-06-08T14:41:34+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Your advice was spot-on.  I rotated the cover and pulled it down (hard) and it came loose.  It is a pretty simple design but if you don't know how it works, its tough to know you aren't going to break it.


And, here's the kicker... the socket had a 75W max and the prior owner had put a 100W bulb into it.  No wonder it was overheating.  I put in a 60W-equivalent LED light (purchased at Home Depot of course) and it works like a charm.


Thank you so much for your help.  I'm sure I'll be posting more.  Our house is great but it is 75 years old after all.



Posted 2013-06-08T23:04:05+0000  by ayoungrad
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