Rewiring pendant light

catherinetDecember 7, 2013

We are changing out our pendant lights over the kitchen counter. This is going to be rough to explain, 'cause I don't know all the correct names of things.
My husband and I got one light almost changed and ran into a problem. We're not the most mechanical people, but he assured me our house wouldn't burn down.
We used the new bar that is attached to the electrical box.

Everything went well until we went to screw in the plate at the top of the light fixture and every time we would go to attach the screw cover (that matches the pendant stem), onto the screw hanging down, it would spin loose. Hubby tried adding a washer and nut to the top of the screw (closest to the bar on the electrical box) be able to stabilize the screw (so it just doesn't turn and turn and turn).

Hubby had to leave for awhile, but he's thinking all he needs to use is one of those washers that's broken in one place (I forget the name of it), and that will totally stabilize the screw.
Are we barking up the wrong tree? Have I totally confused you??
We've tested it and the light does come I believe he wired it correctly.
Any better thoughts as to how to stabilize those 2 screws that hang down from the bar, to hold the plate on the top of the pendant light? I'm hoping to offer my husband a couple other alternatives, to shorten the amount of frustration time for him. :)
Thanks for your help!

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Two nuts one atop the other may also lock it in place or one top and the other on the bottom of the mounting bar.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Thanks saltcedar.
I didn't know if there was something missing from the nuts and bolts that came with the light and maybe we just weren't using the right stuff. But I guess with all the things coming from China, sometimes you have to punt.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Lock washers (the washer that is broken in one place) probably won't help. Can you provide the name/model of the lights so perhaps we can look up the installation manual ourselves?

I've also used Loctite on some installations. That is liquid thread locker. You put it on the threads, let it dry overnight, and then you can put some force on it without turning. There are both "permanent" and "temporary" versions. The "permanent" would be best for these applications. You can get the stuff at any big box home improvement store.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Thanks jreagan.

Actually, the lock washers did work. But this morning, when my husband looked at the parts again before putting the second light up (before he went to the store to buy more nuts for the jury-rigging), he realized that he hadn't used the brace bar correctly.

He assumed with the first light that he needed to put the screws that point downward (to hold the plate to the ceiling) into the long slots on the brace bar (since that's the way the previous light did it). But he realized that there were small round holes for those screws on the new brace, and they have little threads on the back that would grab the screw from below. Plus, it made lining everything up right, sooooo much easier!
So........we spent a few extra hours on the first light than we needed to! But we're glad he realized it for the second light today. Today, it took less than an hour.......and some of that time was spent trying to attach the ground wire. They only left about 1/2" of it in the box to attach anything too.
So........we now have 2 new, nice hanging lights! Now we're just hoping the house doesn't burn down. ;)

Thanks again for your suggestions.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 12:22PM
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