Wiring a gas light for electricity?

jlc102482August 10, 2011

I thought I read somewhere (I wish I could recall where) that it is difficult to impossible to wire a gas light for electricity due to the narrow interior openings inside where the wires would go. Is this true? I want to install period lighting (chandeliers) in my old home and would prefer to go with antique gasoliers rather than electric reproductions. If they are too hard to rewire, though, I may have to change my plans.

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Carol_from_ny

It can't be too hard. I have two large wall hanging lights that were originally gas. They are now electric. Somebody must have thought they were worth the effort.

I have friends who own old houses and have looked for gas lights. The biggest problem they have run into is the gas lights have already been electrified.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Billl

Just about everything having to do with restoring an old house is difficult. That doesn't mean it isn't worth the effort. :)

As a practical matter though, wires are smaller than any gas tube I've seen. They will fit in. How difficult that fit is will depend on the complexity of that path. A gently arc is certainly easier to coax a wire through than a path with lots of sharp bends.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 3:29PM
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columbusguy1

My attic sconce is a combination gas/electric...the wires are on the inside, so I can't think it would be too hard. My house is from 1908.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 4:15PM
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kudzu9

Since a gas sconce doesn't have an Underwriters Lab certification, you would be installing an illegal electrical fixture, which could pose a fire or shock hazard. You may want to ask your home insurer if they are ok with this kind of thing first...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:33AM
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brickeyee

"Since a gas sconce doesn't have an Underwriters Lab certification, you would be installing an illegal electrical fixture, which could pose a fire or shock hazard. "

Use UL listed materials for the mod and you are fine.

No reason to tell your insurance company anything.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 9:32AM
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kudzu9

UL certification does not apply just to the materials (i.e., switches, wires, etc,), but to the entire fixture, including whether/how it is grounded. And the reference to the home insurer was an attempt at irony, which apparently was lost....

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 1:14PM
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brickeyee

"UL certification does not apply just to the materials (i.e., switches, wires, etc,), but to the entire fixture, including whether/how it is grounded."

Folks have been making light fixtures out of objects (wine bottles, artillery shells, even turned wood lamps) for a long time.

You are greatly exaggerating the risk and difficulty.

Use UL components and it will be fine.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:28AM
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kudzu9

"You are greatly exaggerating the risk and difficulty."

No, I'm just stating facts, and the OP can take it from there....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:24AM
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brickeyee

""You are greatly exaggerating the risk and difficulty."

No, I'm just stating facts, and the OP can take it from there...."

Next thing you will claim us that you cannot repair a lamp or fixture.

A gas fixture is metal.
The bulbs will likely be chandelier style.
Just about any zip cord inside a metal sleeve is not going to present any kind of fire hazard.

About the only thing that IS important is to make sure you have an adequate ground connection to the metal of the lamp.

It needs to be a tapped machine screw hole.
Self tapping screws are NOT allowed.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:13AM
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kudzu9

brickeyee-
Your advice would be much better received by many on these forums if you wouldn't try so hard to be a curmudgeon. Is it really that difficult to accept that reasonable people can have different points of view? I just try to be helpful when I reply to posts. I'm not in a competition to get the last word or see how sarcastic I can be.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:04PM
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jlc102482

To be on the safe side, I have decided to have an antique lighting specialist do the rewiring for me. Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:05AM
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