Any DIYers have tips for cramming in wires while swapping out lights?



Dream Jobbed 2.0

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So my wife and I purchased her childhood home from her parents last week and while the whole house is recently updated her parents had questionable taste. The worst offenders are in the overhead lights and ceiling fans. I’ve started swapping some out but the biggest challenge has been hiding the wires. I’ve tried trimming, taping and just cramming as hard as I can (). Any of you more seasoned homeowners have a go to trick or is this just one of those nearly impossible tasks?
 
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So my wife and I purchased her childhood home from her parents last week and while the whole house is recently updated her parents had questionable taste. The worst offenders are in the overhead lights and ceiling fans. I’ve started swapping some out but the biggest challenge has been hiding the wires. I’ve tried trimming, taping and just cramming as hard as I can (). Any of you more seasoned homeowners have a go to trick or is this just one of those nearly impossible tasks?
The wires from the fixtures, or the existing wiring in the house? The fixture wires can be trimmed to any length you desire. The existing wiring in the house I wouldn’t play with too much. You should have 6-8” or wiring extending out of a junction box, anything less makes it hard to work with. As far as house wiring easiest way to get back in box is to “accordion” it in back and forth from end to end in the box. Let me know if you have any further questions (I’m an electrical contractor so it’s not personal opinions I share, it’s trade specific)
 

Dream Jobbed 2.0

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The wires from the fixtures, or the existing wiring in the house? The fixture wires can be trimmed to any length you desire. The existing wiring in the house I wouldn’t play with too much. You should have 6-8” or wiring extending out of a junction box, anything less makes it hard to work with. As far as house wiring easiest way to get back in box is to “accordion” it in back and forth from end to end in the box. Let me know if you have any further questions (I’m an electrical contractor so it’s not personal opinions I share, it’s trade specific)
Only trimmed the new fixtures. Will have to try accordion style when I tackle the next fixture. Thanks
 
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I follow this guy on youtube, and he's got some really good DIY advice for just about any job. He give some good tips if you search his channel for "wiring"


The big thing is do what @Platt81 said and make sure you don't have an absurd amount of wiring coming out and then just mash them in there accordion style. Zip ties can help to keep them from un-bunching
 
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Make sure ends are secure in wire nuts and tape around them tight. Turn them on and off before you finish the job just to be sure,circuit breaker off then close it up
 

temery

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Make sure ends are secure in wire nuts and tape around them tight. Turn them on and off before you finish the job just to be sure,circuit breaker off then close it up

Tape the wire side by side good and tight, then fasten the wire nut. Fold remaining wire until it all fits in the open space. They don't give a lot of room. I wasn't comfortable "cramming" the wires in when putting in outlets, so I called an electrician. He checked my work and did the rest. It's not pretty but it worked.
 

dennismenace

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DIY and electrical work don't go together for me. Very minor stuff (outlets, wall switches etc.) I either pay a knowledgeable handyman or an electrician. It's a risk vs reward thing to me. Your house is a huge investment and the life of your family even greater. There are better ways to save money for me than this imho.
 
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DIY and electrical work don't go together for me. Very minor stuff (outlets, wall switches etc.) I either pay a knowledgeable handyman or an electrician. It's a risk vs reward thing to me. Your house is a huge investment and the life of your family even greater. There are better ways to save money for me than this imho.
I mean, he's swapping light fixtures, not rewiring his house. Totally agree though that most electrical jobs aren't worth the risk...I work around enough large machinery and have had to watch guys work on panels with a partner holding a rescue hook to know that's not something I want to mess with
 
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I'd be more worried about getting on I95 than simple household electric, like fixtures,switches,etc.The worst that can happen is fixture doesn't turn on or breaker kicks out,fire no.
 

dennismenace

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I'd be more worried about getting on I95 than simple household electric, like fixtures,switches,etc.The worst that can happen is fixture doesn't turn on or breaker kicks out,fire no.
I had the misfortune in college of thinking I could mastermind the disabling of a wall light switch (which happened to connect to the outlet my alarm was plugged into). People would sometimes come into my room and turn the light on, wake me up etc. so I decided no problem; I'll just take the plate off and "disable" it.
Well, I somehow "completed the circuit" between the two screws which held the wires with my large Stanley screwdriver. As flames shot out of the hole in the wall I got sent a few feet into the opposite wall and banged my head against it and the screwdriver was melted right down to the handle. The wall was blackened above the hole and had there been wallpaper instead of paint it could have been fire ( outside or inside the wall). This was an 8 story apartment building so not sure what circuit breakers they had. Lucky I wasn't electrocuted.

The problem with electricity is what you don't know (or are careless about) that can bring disaster.
 
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I had the misfortune in college of thinking I could mastermind the disabling of a wall light switch (which happened to connect to the outlet my alarm was plugged into). People would sometimes come into my room and turn the light on, wake me up etc. so I decided no problem; I'll just take the plate off and "disable" it.
Well, I somehow "completed the circuit" between the two screws which held the wires with my large Stanley screwdriver. As flames shot out of the hole in the wall I got sent a few feet into the opposite wall and banged my head against it and the screwdriver was melted right down to the handle. The wall was blackened above the hole and had there been wallpaper instead of paint it could have been fire ( outside or inside the wall). This was an 8 story apartment building so not sure what circuit breakers they had. Lucky I wasn't electrocuted.

The problem with electricity is what you don't know (or are careless about) that can bring disaster.
Post/handle
 
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I had the misfortune in college of thinking I could mastermind the disabling of a wall light switch (which happened to connect to the outlet my alarm was plugged into). People would sometimes come into my room and turn the light on, wake me up etc. so I decided no problem; I'll just take the plate off and "disable" it.
Well, I somehow "completed the circuit" between the two screws which held the wires with my large Stanley screwdriver. As flames shot out of the hole in the wall I got sent a few feet into the opposite wall and banged my head against it and the screwdriver was melted right down to the handle. The wall was blackened above the hole and had there been wallpaper instead of paint it could have been fire ( outside or inside the wall). This was an 8 story apartment building so not sure what circuit breakers they had. Lucky I wasn't electrocuted.

The problem with electricity is what you don't know (or are careless about) that can bring disaster.
A “surge” of electricity from a light switch can’t send you across the room. Your overblown reaction to some sparks may have thrown yourself across the room, but not said switch. Also, the two screws that you are claiming you crossed with your screwdriver would just turn the light on, maybe creating a small spark, but nothing to warrant throwing yourself across the room. You would have to dead short to ground or neutral, not between the two screws.
 

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