Replacing Bathroom Light Fixture

Detailed Instructions on How to Replace a Bathroom Light Wall Fixture

By Mark J. Donovan

If your old brass bathroom light fixture is looking shabby fear not, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg replacing it by calling in an electrician. Replacing a bathroom light wall fixture is an easy DIY homeowner project. Also, you can find modern and affordable bathroom light fixtures at any home improvement center.

To replace a bathroom light wall fixture you’ll need a few basic tools. The tools required include wire cutters, pliers, needle nose pliers, electrical tape and a couple of screw drivers.

As with any electrical project cut off power to the bathroom light fixture at the main electrical circuit panel box first.

Then check to see if power to the bathroom light fixture is indeed off by toggling the light switch associated with it a couple of times.

Once you’ve confirmed that power has been removed from the bathroom light wall fixture, remove the bulbs and globes.

Replacing a bathroom light fixture starts by removing the bulbs and globes of the old fixture. Removing bathroom light fixture from the wall.

Remove Old Bathroom Light Fixture

Next, twist off the small ball-nut caps that hold the light base to the electrical outlet box. After removing the small ball-nut caps pull the base of the bathroom light fixture away from the wall.

Disconnect the copper ground wire from the bathroom light fixture to the electrical box. Then untwist the wire nuts that hold the white and black wires together.

With the wire nuts removed you should be able to now disconnect the old bathroom light wall fixture from the electrical box.

Then remove the old light mounting plate from the electrical outlet box.

Attach New Bathroom Light Fixture

To attach the new bathroom light fixture to the wall, fasten the mounting plate that came with the new light fixture to the electrical outlet box. Use the screws that came with it and attach the mounting plate to the electrical box per the light manufacturer’s recommendations.

Next, screw into the mounting plate the long screws or threaded tube, depending upon the type of bathroom light wall fixture you are replacing. Only screw them into the mounting plate about 1/8 to ¼ of an inch.

Wiring to bathroom light fixture coming out of the electrical box.

Then attach the light fixture’s ground wire to the bare copper wire coming out of the electrical box. Then tie the twisted and attached pair to the green nut on the mounting bracket.

Using a wire nut that came with the new bathroom light fixture twist together the white wires associated with the bathroom light fixture and the white wire emanating from the electrical outlet box. You may need to strip or trim the wires first. Typically the wires should have about 5/8 inch of insulation removed from their ends. After twisting the wire nut onto the ends of the white wires, apply electrical tape around the wire nut and the insulated ends of the wire bundle to ensure a fully insulated and tight connection.

Repeat the process for the black wires.

Newly installed bathroom light fixture.

Mount the base of the bathroom light wall fixture onto the two long threaded screws or tube that are attached to the mounting bracket. Make sure the bathroom light fixture is level once you have placed it on the screws/threaded pipe.

Once it is properly positioned attach the new ball-nut caps to the ends of the screws/threaded pipe. If the ball-nut caps do not snuggly hold the base to the electrical outlet box, pull the base back from the electrical box and thread the long screws/pipe further into the electrical mounting bracket. Then retry mounting the bathroom light fixture base onto the mounting bracket and reattaching the ball-nut caps. If the ball-nut caps mount snuggly up against the surface of the light fixture base, you can move on to the next stage.

If the replacement bathroom light wall fixture includes glass globes attach them to the light fixture. Then install the manufacturer’s recommended light bulbs.

Finally, turn power back on to the bathroom light fixture at the main electrical circuit panel and test your newly installed bathroom light fixture by flipping the light switch on and off.

For help on your bathroom remodeling project, see my Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet provides a request for quote checklist section that you can provide to prospective bathroom remodeling contractors. It also includes a comprehensive bathroom remodeling cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his projected remodeling costs for every phase of the project.

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