Fixing a Light Fixture Installed without a Box: Tips for an Easier Repair
Repairing a light fixture installed without an electrical box is something that should not be taken lightly. Without an electrical box, light fixtures that simply protrude from the ceiling or wall create a serious fire hazard. In this article, we will provide you with a simple step-by-step guide that will help you safely remove the old light fixture and install a new one with a proper junction box.
The first step is to shut off the power in the main breaker box. This will ensure that no electricity is flowing through the light fixture and that you can safely work on the repair. Once the power is shut off, you will be able to remove the screws that attach the light fixture to the wall or ceiling. After the screws are removed, you can pull out the wiring.
Once the wiring has been removed, you will need to find the closest stud to the light fixture. This is where you will need to install the junction box. To find the stud, you can use a stud finder. This will make the installation of the junction box much easier. If by chance, the old light fixture was already screwed into a stud, you will be able to use that same stud to attach the junction box.
The next step is to take a pencil and trace the outline of the junction box on the wall or ceiling. Once this is done, you will need to carefully cut out the hole for the junction box. You should be sure to keep the piece of the drywall that you cut out in case you will need it to repair the drywall around the old light fixture.
Now that the hole for the junction box has been created, you can punch out the knockout tabs and feed the wiring from the circuit breaker box into the junction box. Having extra wire to work with will make it much easier when it comes time to wire up the new light fixture.
The following step is to attach the junction box to the stud. Once the junction box is attached, use the wire running from the circuit breaker box to wire up the new light fixture. Be sure to check the polarity of the wires to ensure that it is correct before making any connections. When you joined the two pieces of wire together, you should use a wire nut to provide a better connection.
The last step is to attach the light fixture to the junction box. Most fixtures will have several holes that you can use to screw it into the junction box.
If you happen to damage any of the drywall when you removed the old light fixture, you can use the piece that you cut out and some drywall compound to repair the damage. All you will need to do is cut out the damaged area with a utility knife; plug the hole with the piece of drywall and the compound; sand the area and then paint it.
Once everything is complete, you can turn the power back on at the main breaker box. With these simple steps, you should have no problems replacing a light fixture that was installed without an electrical box.