Using vintage fixtures in new construction?

flgargoyleAugust 18, 2012

I am building a fairly authentic Craftsman house, and would like to use period-correct lighting fixtures where practical. It turns out that vintage fixtures are MUCH cheaper than reproductions! Am I going to have inspection trouble using these fixtures? I would re-wire them regardless, and maybe even replace the light sockets, so the vintage part would be purely decorative. Am I going to have to jump through hoops to do this, or would the average inspector not even notice?

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Basically, electrical inspectors come in and inspect wiring before any fixtures are installed. that is the electrician stuffs the wiring in the boxes so the inspector can see everything was installed correctly all the way to the box. This is done before any drywall is installed. Once that inspection passes, inspector is done. Next drywall is installed, walls are finished and THEN you install receptacles, switches and fixtures.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:37AM
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Could gig you on UL listing, but that is about it.

Many places do a final inspection after everything is closed up.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:50AM
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    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:24PM
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having a final electrical inspection is rare?

I can't comment on how they do things in your neck of the woods. However you can't even get your C/O here without having a final.
And I have gone through the rounds with inspectors on UL listings on things like elk antler chandeliers

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:00PM
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I was away for about four years. Sometime during that time, my hometown grew an inspection process. Prior to that, the ONLY inspection consisted of the power company verifying that there is a main breaker and a ground rod, and that there's no dead short. If you passed all those, you got your power...

The first time I did a service, it took far longer than I had planned and I didn't even have the ground rod in the ground yet when the poco showed up... they turned it on anyway... so the way I normally describe the inspections is: "you need a main breaker and a ground rod. having them installed is optional."

Things are different everywhere.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:42PM
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For the many years I was working with my son in Dallas, so called final inspections were rare. I am now retired. He tells me now there is a type of final inspection where they check that all the receptacles, switches and fixtures are installed and that GFCIs are installed where they are required.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:31AM
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They do a rough and final electric inspection- I don't know what those consist of yet. The fixtures I bought are porcelain wall fixtures for a bathroom. I can't imagine that they would actually take them off of the wall to see if they are UL listed. I suppose if I change out the socket with one with a UL label, I would be covered anyhow.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:47PM
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My suspicion is that if fixtures look "normal", they will figure all are UL approved. Assume you don't have any antler chandeliers.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:38AM
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I am in upstate SC and used quite a few antique fixtures in our new/old house build.

I rewired all fixtures.

The main problem I had concerning code was the size or lack of the back plate for some of the fixtures.

I bough some wonderful antique sconces that never had a back plate.
I never used them as I could not retrofit a back plate that looked appropriate for the fixture and would cover the electrical box in the wall.

Our electrical inspections were done before the fixtures were installed.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 9:36AM
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I'm in upstate SC too- Greenville County. So far, the inspector hasn't been very fussy.

The sconces I bought look like reproduction ones offered by Rejuvenation for $160 each! I paid a third of that for a pair of authentic ones. I haven't looked into mounting them yet. It looks like they would mount via a threaded stud, with a knob showing on the outside. I'm guessing it would have been that fine thread hollow tubing used on most lamps. I'm pretty sure I can get all of the bits and pieces to mount them to a box.

The tricky thing might be using my 1906 Westinghouse ceiling fan, which still works. I plan to have the motor re-wound anyhow for safety sake.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:09PM
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