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        Confused by lack of/ box choices for vanity lighting Sign In/Join 
        posted
        My husband had house wired by certified electrician. I purchased some vanity lights and when I went to install them my choices for two bathrooms were a wire sticking out of the drywall not even centered and don't appear to have a light box, the other was a rectangular plastic box .. also off center... how do you work with that? thanks
         
        Posts: 9 | Registered: Sep 22, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        You'll have to move them. Other than being centered on the vanity, there is no standard height as different fixtures will fit differently. Some hafe a large metal base plate with a second cover plate - leaving a hollow space to cover any wire and splices. This could still work with either of your set-ups as the input point of the wire does not need to be on center.

        If you are using a smaller fixture with a single 4" base, then you'll need to install a 4" remodel box and route the wire through it.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10421 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        This is why it is important to make decisions before the work gets done -- such as what lights are you going to use. Then the electrician should set it up for your new lights to work. Sometimes, extra framing needs to be added to center a box. And I prefer everything has a stud to go into, whereas some people actually think a drywall screw will hold in drywall, which is stupid in my book when you have the framing open before adding drywall.

        Some lights, commonly called "Bar lights' really don't require a center box or feed to install the lights. Other lights will require you have the box exactly where you want it installed. And that might require taking out some drywall, adding boxes, repairing holes, adding drywall and tape and mud it. Then, maybe, an extra large mirror can hide some DIY repair work.
         
        Posts: 977 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I wired my house in Canada and centered all my boxes above the vanities, thought it was standard? When I seen this mess I was trying to understand what I was missing, is it done differently in the USA. How hard would it have been to have put in three proper light boxes, centered? My husband has no clue about wiring and trusted this guy to do what was required, so because a so called qualified guy did this I thought I must be missing something somewhere? I still don't understand why when a box was put in it was rectangular? thought i was missing something there too, am I? Bottom line, shoddy work .. no GFCI protection on the jacuzzi tub, and them outlets that are installed but there are no wires even connected... how do they work? Needless to say this guys work is bad... thanks for the feedback. I was hoping I wouldn't have to go to them bar lights .. kind of not nice looking.. thought there may be some adapter thingee out there because I don't plan on securing lights just to the drywall either.
         
        Posts: 9 | Registered: Sep 22, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        It sounds like you didn't have much of an electrician -- but did he know you had 3 lights to install is the question. And he should have asked what you intend to install. How hard is it depends on locations, pipes in the way, framing needed to be added, etc etc. But if you wanted 3 lights, he should have known that ahead of time, and set up the proper boxes for it.

        I have never seen anyone put a rectangular box for that situation. Click on this link for what I commonly use: lamp box

        I prefer to use a 3 inch box because it fits more lamps with smaller bases, but will also allow for install of the 4 inch bases of lamps. Also, with a 4 inch box, your drywall work has to be good or there might be gaps that will show around the base of a lamp. (some drywallers aren't worth the money).

        Building codes in the USA require a GFCI outlet for the plug in on a Jacuzzi tub, I'm not sure about Canada but can't help but think it would be the same. Also, a bathroom outlet is required to be GFCI protected. And that wire is to be a dedicated circuit for that bathroom (coming from the circuit panel), or it can extend to another bathroom. If that wire goes from the electrical panel to that bathroom only, it can then carry power to turn on the overhead lamp. But if that wire goes to both bathrooms, then it cannot operate the overhead lamps. And it is required to be a size 12 wire, with a 20 amp breaker (appearance is a 'yellow' sleeve by Romex)

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
         
        Posts: 977 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        If you had the lights before the rough in was done you should have let the electrician know what you wanted to put in. He could have then put the wires in the right place with the proper box. Not knowing this he gave you wires. It is easier to patch a small hole in drywall from the wire than to remove a box that is in the wrong position.

        If I were wiring your house I certainly would have asked you what your plans were. If you didn't know I'd probably do the same thing your electrician did. Light bars aren't exactly the going style these days and haven't been since the 1980's.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 846 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        hire a bargain, gain a headache. I had to redo a whole ton of stuff that a licensed master electrician with a prestigious firm did for the folks that was way subpar.

        might of been that his apprentice and gofer were Old Crow and Mr. Jim Beam.

        you have to supervise and have a contractor who can look you in the eye, too.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5817 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        House was built a few years back before I knew my husband and never finished so I was not involved. So if the previous poster would have done the same thing this electrician did then you obviously know what lighting options you are leaving for the homeowner ... what are these options? That was what I wanted to know in this scenario... if the homeowner would not know, if I were an electrician I would do the work in a manner that would leave them the most options ie. centered light box no?.. this type of work seems to limit the options available. I am not even certain what my options really are in this scenario other than mess with drywall, or what, try find a bar that has enough space to accomodate the uncentered wire?? So, if previous poster would do the same .. can you tell me what options I have at this point then? thanks
         
        Posts: 9 | Registered: Sep 22, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        photos of the existing?

        you can always use Wiremold to move the line over and put up a track light with flood fixtures. use a stud finder to avoid both pipes and live wires. most now have an AC detector and a metal detector switchable on the unit, and they're reasonably good at it. decades ago, I took a little 386 chip amplifier and a scarred tape head to make my own AC detector. if it hums, tape it over with blue tape and don't mess with that area.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5817 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        mizzfixit,

        If I put the box in the center above the non-existent mirror you'd complain I put it too high or too low. If I put two on either side of the non-existent mirror they'd be too close or too far apart or you'd want it above the mirror. Or you might have wanted a fixture in the ceiling.

        This isn't the end of the world, you can get the wire where you want it, it may take some drywall repairs to make it happen. Or go pick out a fixture that works with where the wires are currently. If you need a box an old work round box can be cut into the wall quite easily. If there is a stud right where you want the box your can use a "pancake" box that mounts directly to the stud and is the same thickness as the drywall. For just about every problem there is an off-shelf solution available at the home center or certainly at a real electrical supply house.

        It isn't terribly difficult to move the wire to where you want it based on the type of fixture you want and repair the walls. I wouldn't do wiremold, I'd rather cut holes in the drywall and refinish the walls. I only use wiremold when fishing the walls is impossible such as a concrete block wall.

        Here is a online retailer with 41 pages of bathroom lighting options. http://www.lampsplus.com/products/bathroom-lighting/

        Which style/location do you want? Some surface mount fixtures, especially fluorescent types don't need a box, the wire is connected to the fixture with a Romex connector. Others require a round mounting box and the connections are made in the wall.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sparky617,


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 846 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by mizzfixit:
        I wired my house in Canada and centered all my boxes above the vanities, thought it was standard? When I seen this mess I was trying to understand what I was missing, is it done differently in the USA. How hard would it have been to have put in three proper light boxes, centered? My husband has no clue about wiring and trusted this guy to do what was required, so because a so called qualified guy did this I thought I must be missing something somewhere? I still don't understand why when a box was put in it was rectangular? thought i was missing something there too, am I? Bottom line, shoddy work .. no GFCI protection on the jacuzzi tub, and them outlets that are installed but there are no wires even connected... how do they work? Needless to say this guys work is bad... thanks for the feedback. I was hoping I wouldn't have to go to them bar lights .. kind of not nice looking.. thought there may be some adapter thingee out there because I don't plan on securing lights just to the drywall either.

        I wonder how the builder had this pass its electrical inspections. Hum, two side to every story as well. Just saying.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1535 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by swschrad:
        photos of the existing?

        you can always use Wiremold to move the line over and put up a track light with flood fixtures. use a stud finder to avoid both pipes and live wires. most now have an AC detector and a metal detector switchable on the unit, and they're reasonably good at it. decades ago, I took a little 386 chip amplifier and a scarred tape head to make my own AC detector. if it hums, tape it over with blue tape and don't mess with that area.

        While wiremold is a quality product it is also the ugliest product as well. Even the paintable plastic version on the market. More streamlined but still out of place looking.
        I would hack out the drywall as much as needed to make a proper looking job. But that is just me.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1535 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by Sparky617:
        If you had the lights before the rough in was done you should have let the electrician know what you wanted to put in. He could have then put the wires in the right place with the proper box. Not knowing this he gave you wires. It is easier to patch a small hole in drywall from the wire than to remove a box that is in the wrong position.

        If I were wiring your house I certainly would have asked you what your plans were. If you didn't know I'd probably do the same thing your electrician did. Light bars aren't exactly the going style these days and haven't been since the 1980's.


        Light bars while still plentiful in big box electrical departments are a last resort in style in my opinion. But In my world all the homes would look sadly the same.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1535 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I would have loved to just been able to install the lights I already bought without having to be doing further drywalling, wiring etc. Hubby got home today and he had assumed that all he had to do was hook up the lights. Says that was why he hired an electrician so he wasn't messing with installing boxes and wiring etc , stuff he says he knows nothing about, other than a straight light connect. He had a building permit but at the time there were no inspections being done at all. So I guess a person makes do with what they are left with, it would have been nice if the wire was centered somewhat, still don't get why he would install a rectangular box off center or even a rectangle one period, guess only he knows the answers .. thanks for all the feed back on this, confirms that it is not light ready at all ... just didn't know if I was missing something. Will look at all the options suggested.
         
        Posts: 9 | Registered: Sep 22, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Frodo
        posted Hide Post
        in most of the homes i have been in...the wire sticks out behind the vanity...and the glass guy,,,when he sets the mirror...cuts the rock and moves the wire to the cut out in the mirrior, it gets covered by the mirrior. nobody knows there is a hole in the sheet rock behind the mirrior..common pratice
        an electrician just aint smart enough to put that lil ole wire in the right spot..!!! LOL
        seriously....its common pratice
        just kidden sparky.....
         
        Posts: 4052 | Location: I live in southern mississippi | Registered: Jun 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by Frodo:
        an electrician just aint smart enough to put that lil ole wire in the right spot..!!! LOL
        seriously....its common pratice
        just kidden sparky.....


        Frodo,
        I know you're poking fun, but with the wide variety of light fixtures out there the likelihood of the electrician meeting Mizzfixit's placement are probably 33% at best. When we built our house we had to pick all the fixtures out before the rough in. In current house I have above the mirror fixtures, though not lightbars. In my first house I installed a pair of wall fixtures beside the mirror. Both of those options have many examples available today.

        Had I wired my own house I would have certainly done things differently. Instead of one outlet that is mounted directly in the middle of my bed I would have installed an outlet that didn't fall behind the bed on both sides, with the top switched and the bottom always on. Seems intuitive to me, lights switched, alarm clock not switched. He did get the switched part right but the outlet is extremely difficult to reach behind the headboard. I'd also always wire an outlet right by the door to plug in a vacuum cleaner.

        One woman I knew complained that her electrician wired her chandelier right in the middle of her dining room. Didn't he know she'd have a hutch on the one end so it should have been off center? Well in my house in addition to the hutch we have a sideboard, so I guess he should have wired it off center in two dimensions. Had he done that and we didn't have the hutch and sideboard the fixture would be off. Without specific direction the electrician is going to locate the box for a dining room chandelier right in the middle of the room, less risk of screwing it up.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 846 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by mizzfixit:
        I would have loved to just been able to install the lights I already bought without having to be doing further drywalling, wiring etc. Hubby got home today and he had assumed that all he had to do was hook up the lights. Says that was why he hired an electrician so he wasn't messing with installing boxes and wiring etc , stuff he says he knows nothing about, other than a straight light connect. He had a building permit but at the time there were no inspections being done at all. So I guess a person makes do with what they are left with, it would have been nice if the wire was centered somewhat, still don't get why he would install a rectangular box off center or even a rectangle one period, guess only he knows the answers .. thanks for all the feed back on this, confirms that it is not light ready at all ... just didn't know if I was missing something. Will look at all the options suggested.

        Have you given the installer a call? Maybe he can help out. Sounds like if the house was wired properly and a mistake or two was made [it does happen] he may be willing to help you out. Good luck.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1535 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        Sparky617, bedrooms are tricky for that exact reason you mention. Any outlet location in the middle of a fairly lengthy wall is next to useless. Bound to get covered by something after the furniture move in.
        And switches that control a light while in or about the bed are becoming very popular these days.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1535 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I like the idea of switches near the bed, but I can see where that could be problematic for an electrician to do without specific directions by the owner/decorator.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 846 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I wasn't even in the picture when this house was wired, otherwise I would have done it and I know I could have done a better job and it would have at least been to code.. which it isn't now. I would have had to learn what the code was but whoopie, I can read. It is obviously communication problems then the electrician in your scenarios should ask instead of guessing? Then everyone is happy. Husband said he told electrician he was putting lights above every mirror, he just assumed a light was a light ... yes he can still put a light above every mirror but now we have to mess with drywall, boxes .. a dumb ass rectangular box?? he is not even consistent on how he does it? But yep, we can still put a light above there .. hope hubby didn't tip him.
         
        Posts: 9 | Registered: Sep 22, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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