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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

No problem, better to be safe than sorry!


  • Yup, enough lamp cord to get from the ceiling to the fixture plus a couple of feet.  It usually comes in black, brown, white, and gold.  By the foot or in a package (do the math on what's cheaper for you).
  • The braided ground wire will only come in a package (if Home Depot sells it).  It needs to be at least as long as the lamp cord.
  • Yes, you'll just be replacing the two bundles where the lamp cord connects.  You might want to look for a little assortment pack.  I believe the two bundles will require red nuts but they could use yellow.  If the nut isn't "tight" you need to use a smaller one (yellow is smaller than red)
  • Pull the remainder of the braided ground wire down into the area with the rest of the wires.  Feed the new wire down and make the connection in that space, leaving the old piece attached to the "nut".  Make the connection with a wire nut.  You don't need a electrical tape for a ground wire.
  • sk9efa_sm.jpg 
    Use this tool (click pic for link):

Posted 2014-01-07T02:25:10+0000  by Adam444

Okay thanks so much for the helpful information!


One last question about stripping the wire - so I am going to be stripping the lamp cord? Or was that just the image you were using and I will be stripping more than just the lamp cord? And am I stripping off the insulation 3/4" from the top of the wire, where it will go into the ceiling?


Thanks so much! Just trying to wrap my head around that piece. 

Posted 2014-01-08T16:31:09+0000  by samanthacbarnes

Hey samanthacbarnes!


Thought I'd chime in and answer your question.


You will strip and expose 3/4" of your lamp cord each time a connection is made, as his illustration shows.


Any black wires coming from the ceiling will connect to the smooth side of the lamp wire, and the ribbed part of the lamp wire will connect to any white wires coming out of the ceiling.


We do carry 18 gauge bare copper as a ground wire per foot. Come into your local Home Depot to get just the right amount you need.

25 ft. 18-Gauge Copper Hobby Wire

So yes, strip back the insulation of the wire 3/4" as mentioned above. Make sure all the power is off so you are working safely. Use the stripping tool Adam444 shows above in this thread, and connect all cables using wire nuts and then electrical tape.

22 yd. x 3/4 in. Electrical Tape - Black600 Volt Wing-Nut Wire Connectors, 452 Red (250 per Jar)


Be sure that any black wires and white wires are separated, and connect only bare copper ground wire coming out the ceiling to the new ground on your fixture.


Let me know if you have any further questions!



Posted 2014-01-08T17:54:44+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Thanks so much Joseph and Adam444. Hoping to head to the store in the next couple of days and install the light fixture this weekend, so I will be shouting back if I encounter any other questions. I appreciate all of the help! I am learning so much! 

Posted 2014-01-08T18:01:04+0000  by samanthacbarnes

And am I stripping off the insulation 3/4" from the top of the wire, where it will go into the ceiling?


That's a good question.  The ceiling junction box will likely have the wires already stripped.  When you join a single piece of stranded wire (like lamp cord) to a single piece of solid wire (most building wire) you want the stranded wire to be slightly longer than the solid wire.  For this type of connection, stripping 1/2" off the building wire is sufficient.  The stranded wire should be about 5/8" an inch long.  Basically you line up the two pieces so that the insulation matches.  That means the stranded wire will be about 1/8" longer than the solid.  Then twist on your wire nut.  


If you have a couple or three pieces of solid wire already connected in the junction box, I'll typically strip the stranded wire even longer, maybe 3/4" to 1".  Then align the insulation and manually wrap the stranded wire around the solid wires (going in the same direction as the existing twist).  If it ends up a little too long, just trim off the excess.  Then twist on the wire nut.


Make sense?

Posted 2014-01-09T01:31:57+0000  by Adam444

Alright, I cut off the crimping nuts and have a couple of questions before I attach the new lamp cords with wire nuts to the bundles.


The black and white cords were not stripped of insulation, and neither were the previous lamp cord halves. Do I still need to strip the lamp cord for inside the bundles? If so, do I also need to strip the black and white cords? 



Posted 2014-01-11T21:55:00+0000  by samanthacbarnes

Dangit. I feel silly. It's because the stripped pieces were in the wire nut crimping thing I cut off.



Posted 2014-01-11T22:00:31+0000  by samanthacbarnes
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