for Cold Climate Housing and much more

Last Updated: , Created: Friday, November 2nd, 2001

How do you cover up an old chandelier electrical box?

One viewer wanted to get rid of her centre room chandelier in favour of floor standing lamps. So just how do you cover that hole in the ceiling?

First remove all the electrical connections and cap off each wire with a cap or wire connector. If two or three wires are already tied together, keep them together. That will make it much easier to figure it all out if someone wants to reactivate this ceiling light. Don't forget to cap off the single wires each one by itself. Otherwise, you may create a short circuit. Do the same thing with the light switch if you are eliminating it at the same time.

You can put any decorative cover over that ceiling box, from a simple clean paintable plate, to the fancy original chandelier cap with all the chains removed. If this electrical box is in an insulated ceiling with a cold attic above, you should add a strip of weather stripping foam to the ceiling before putting on the plate. A razor blade will cut the excess off clean. The foam, and a dab of caulking in the centre if there is a wire hole there, will make this box air tight and stop warm moist air from rising into the attic.

You can also get blank covers for the switch plate if you want to pull out the switch. Since all the electricity is protected with the caps, you could just leave the switch. It will do no harm.

Note:  It is illegal to hide any electrical connector box in a wall or ceiling.  So you cannot drywall over these boxes without totally removing the wire and assuring that it is removed on the power panel end as well. 

Keywords: Lighting, Wiring, Air Sealing, Air Barriers, Ceiling, Attic, Electrical

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