Out With The Ugly Kitchen Light

by Josh on November 15, 2009 · 3 comments

in Projects

Another loose end to be tied up with my bedroom project is replacing a short section of wiring for the switch to the kitchen overhead light.  As a side benefit, I will have to take down the horrible kitchen pendant light I’ve wanted to replace since I moved in.  Here is the hated light:

Ugly kitchen pendant

The wire between this pendant and the wall switch passes through the middle a former crawlspace that is now going to be a closet. After testing that I had turned off the kitchen light circuit, I removed the ceiling fixture and exposed the electrical box and old wiring.

old kitchen light wiringLook at those wires– is it too late to put the pendant back?

Inside the ceiling box there were wires with crumbling insulation and a connection made by stripping insulation from a wire that ran unbroken in and out of the box. Yikes!

Despite the ugly wires, the armored cable to the wall switch came out easily and new romex went back up just as smoothly using a fish tape after I removed the old switch box.

kitchen switch box removed

new kitchen light switch boxIn the end I pulled new wire from the switch to the ceiling light, and from that light to another kitchen light connected by existing rigid conduit. I replaced the switch and box with new, but the kitchen light was replaced with a simple jelly jar light that I removed from a closet during the bedroom demolition. That light is just a placeholder until I decide on a permanent solution.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vinnie November 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Those look like some nasty old wires.

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Chris March 8, 2010 at 8:28 am

You mentioned that you ran the new cable (Romex) through existing conduit, did you uitilize the armored cable exterior as conduit? I know that is against code but my expierence with BX/Armored cable, it is usually difficult to remove because of the large ‘staples’ that secure it within the walls. Thinking about uprading some the wiring within my 1932 Tudor and do not want to damage/destroy out plaster walls.

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Josh March 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Chris, the conduit that I ran the Romex through was rigid pipe conduit between the two ceiling boxes. The armored cable pictured coming out of the wall is for a switch that was added in an earlier remodel which didn’t open the wall and so wasn’t stapled to the wall studs. I just pulled out the armored cable and replaced it with Romex.

Pulling Romex through an armored cable seems like it would really chew up the Romex wire insulation. If I had to choose between opening up a plaster wall or creating an electrical hazard and code violation, I’d open the wall. But I would try to do that as slowly and minimally as possible once I was certain that the wires inside really needed to be replaced.

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