A chandelier helps bring your entire kitchen and dining room together. It becomes the main source of light for the dining room. Many family dinners, laughs, and memories will be had under this fixture. Choosing a chandelier is, of course, a hard choice. However, installing that chandelier does not have to be as hard as choosing it. Follow these handy steps to install the chandelier of your dreams to complete the dining room you’ve always wanted.
Step 1: Turn off the power.
Switch off the power to the circuit where the chandelier will be located or unscrew the fuse for the fixture that you are replacing. If the circuits are unlabeled, you may test them with trial and error until the current fixture turns off.
Step 2: Determine the weight of your new chandelier.
Typical mounting boxes are intended to support no more than 50 pounds (22.7kg). If the chandelier is heavier, you will need to install a fan brace or box that will support the weight of the chandelier.
Step 3: Remove the existing mounting box.
The plastic or metal box should be attached to the ceiling or a brace bar using screws or nails. Remove these with a screwdriver or hammer, and pry the box away from the ceiling.
Step 4: Saw apart the existing brace bar.
If there is a metal bar resting on top of the ceiling, use a close-quarter hacksaw to cut it in half. Pull the two pieces through the hole and discard them.
Step 5: If the fixture is between ceiling joists, use a fan brace.
Purchase a fan brace rated to support a higher weight than your chandelier’s; most can support a weight up to 150 pounds *68kg). Put the fan brace through the hole in the ceiling and rotate it so it is resting on top of the ceiling, across the hole. Turn the bar between your fingers to extend its arms until you feel both ends make contact with the ceiling joists. Use a wrench to tighten the brace firmly, but do not put tension on the joists by using excessive force. The spiked ends should dig into the wooden joists, and the rectangular bar should end up with sides parallel to the ceiling.
Step 6: If the fixture is under a ceiling joist, use a pancake-style box.
Heavy-duty junction boxes are round metal objects sometimes referred to as “pancake boxes”. Make sure to choose one that is able to support the chandelier’s weight. Mount it to the ceiling joist using only the high-weight capacity screws that came in the box.
Step 7: Assemble the chandelier base.
Screw all parts of the chandelier together, except for the canopy that will be attached to the ceiling. Don’t install the light bulbs yet as it will be easier and safer to mount the chandelier without them.
Step 8: Shorten the chain if necessary.
The chandelier may have more chains than you need. Decide how long a chain you would like, then use a pair of heavy pliers to open one of the chain’s links at the chosen point and remove the excess length. The base of the fixture should be at least 30 inches (76cm) above table surfaces.
Step 9: Install a mounting strip to your mounting box.
This small metal bar with holes in it should come with your chandelier, or there may be one already installed. They are also available at hardware stores.
To install a mounting strip, simply screw it into the junction box at the existing screw holes, the placements of which vary with the junction box design. Be sure to use screws of a suitable size to make a tight connection.
Step 10: Thread the chandelier wires through each section of the chandelier.
Thread all of the chandelier’s wires through every other chain link. Continue to thread them through the metal canopy that will cover the electrical box, the small chain holder that attaches to the top of the chain, and finally, the thin metal nipple which holds the wires together. They should extend fully through the nipple, far enough for you to work with them easily.
Step 11: Mount the chandelier.
In order to attach each of the wires, you will need to have the chandelier stable in place near the ceiling. Either have a strong assistant hold the chandelier in place or hang the chain or chain holder from a strong hook hanging from the mounting strip.
Step 12: Wrap each bare copper wire around the grounding screw.
Both the chandelier and your home electrical system should have a bare copper grounding wire. Each of these should be wrapped around the grounding screw attached to your junction box, making sure the two wires are in contact with each other. This screw is often colored green.
Step 13: Strip the ends of the chandelier’s insulated wires.
Use a wire stripper to remove about 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) of each wire’s insulation, so the bare wire is exposed.
Step 14: Join the neutral wires together.
The neutral wires carry current to the ground in normal use. Find the chandelier wire that has an identifying mark such as a groove, ridge, or lettering. Place the bare end of this wire together with the end of the white-insulated wire coming through the junction box, and twist it together with a wire connector.
Step 15: Join the hot wires together.
These are the wires that carry current to the chandelier. The black insulated ceiling wire should be joined with the insulated chandelier wire with no identifying marks and should be connected the same way. Twist the bare ends together with a plastic wire connector.
Step 16: Bolt the chandelier into place.
After mounting and wiring the chandelier, screw in the bolts or lock nuts to secure it to the ceiling. This process may vary according to your chandelier model, so you may need to read the instructions to locate the attachment points.
Step 17: Test the chandelier.
Install the bulbs, switch on the power, and test the chandelier. If it does not come on, you may have connected the wrong wires. Be sure to switch off the power before attempting to switch the wire connections. Call an electrician if you cannot get the chandelier to work yourself.