How to hang a dining chandelier

Written by valerie david
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How to hang a dining chandelier
(Photos c2008 by Valerie David.)

A chandelier adds illumination and elegance to any dining room or breakfast nook. Use the money you save on professional installation to buy a better light fixture with more of the features you want. With just a few tools and as little as one hour of work time, you will have a chandelier hanging in no time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Step stool or ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Electrical tape
  • Marker (optional)
  • Wire cutters
  • Two sets of pliers

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  1. 1

    Turn off the power to the junction box at the circuit breaker or fuse panel. Different fixtures in a room can be on different circuits, so be sure that you have turned off the right one.

  2. 2

    Take the new chandelier and its parts out of the box. Keep in mind that some assembly or adjustment to the chandelier may be required. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  3. 3

    Attach the chandelier mounting bracket into the junction box in the ceiling. The screws should fit into the appropriate holes in the junction box housing. Pull out both house wires (or sets of wires) from the junction box. It is easier to pull one wire out on each side of the mounting bracket.

    How to hang a dining chandelier
  4. 4

    Hold the chandelier up to the ceiling, letting it hang by the wire, while another person gauges the appropriate height. (Dining chandeliers should be approximately 30 to 34 inches above the table top, for a standard 8 foot ceiling.) When the chandelier is being held at the right height, mark the wire where it touches the ceiling with tape or a marker line.

  5. 5

    Add at least 1 foot of additional wire beyond the mark that you have just made. This additional wire gives you room to work with during installation. It also provides extra wire to lower the chandelier, if necessary, for any future changes to the table height. Cut any excess wire off, using wire cutters.

  6. 6

    Use pliers to open one loop at the end of the hanging chain.

    How to hang a dining chandelier
  7. 7

    Attach the open chain loop to the top loop of the chandelier. Use pliers to crimp the chain loop closed.

    How to hang a dining chandelier
  8. 8

    Extend both the chain and lamp wire upward. Shorten the chain to be slightly less than the length that you have marked on the wire with tape. (The extra distance will be made up by the hanging loop.) This will put the chandelier at your preferred height of installation.

  9. 9

    Starting with the loop attached to the top of the chandelier, wind the chandelier wires through every third loop of the chain.

    How to hang a dining chandelier
  10. 10

    Thread the wires through the centre of the metal hanging loop and nut. Slide the hanging loop and nut down until you meet the top end of the extended chain. Attach the top loop of the chain to the hanging loop. Crimp the chain loop closed.

  11. 11

    Hold the fixture canopy up to the ceiling, with the mounting screw extending out the centre. Adjust the mounting screw until it protrudes 3/8 inch below the canopy.

  12. 12

    Thread the chandelier wire through canopy. Be sure that the canopy is facing in the correct direction.

  13. 13

    Use wire cutters to clip the joined centre of the chandelier's double wire. Pull the ends apart to separate 6 inches of the two wires. The two separate wires will connect to the two house wires. The third, slender copper wire is for grounding the fixture.

  14. 14

    Strip the double wires about 1/2 inch from the end, using a wire stripper or partially closed wire cutters.

  15. 15

    Understand that multiple strands inside the wire will be fanned out. Twist these strands together to make the wire easier to work with during the installation process.

  16. 16

    Thread all three wires through the centre mounting screw. Reach inside the junction box to pull out the ends as they pass through the top of the screw. Pull the wires until the bottom of the mounting screw meets the top of the chandelier hanging loop.

  17. 17

    Match the chandelier wires to the house wires. Follow the manufacturer's directions for which wire to connect. Common practice is for one chandelier wire to be white or marked with white lettering. This marked wire will match the white house wire. Lay the matching wire ends side by side. Slide the wire nut over both ends and twist to tighten. The wire nut will wind the ends together and connect them. For added security, wrap electrical tape around the wires and wire nut to be sure that they stay fastened together.

  18. 18

    Push the house wires and connectors back into the ceiling junction box. The split chandelier wires will wrap around the bracket, but will be neatly concealed by the fixture canopy. The junction of wires at the bracket makes it easy to pull down the connectors, if you need to repair the wiring or take down the chandelier.

  19. 19

    Wrap the copper ground wire around the green screw on the mounting bracket. Tighten the green screw to make a solid connection. Stuff any remaining copper wire up into the junction box.

  20. 20

    Thread the hanger loop onto the bottom of the mounting screw until tight. Then turn the hanger nut until the fixture canopy is securely fitted to ceiling.

  21. 21

    Screw in shades, if necessary, and add bulbs. Turn the power back on and test the chandelier.

  1. 1
    How to hang a dining chandelier
  1. 1
    How to hang a dining chandelier
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    How to hang a dining chandelier
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    How to hang a dining chandelier
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    How to hang a dining chandelier
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    How to hang a dining chandelier
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    How to hang a dining chandelier
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    How to hang a dining chandelier
  1. 1
    How to hang a dining chandelier
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    How to hang a dining chandelier

Tips and warnings

  • As you tighten the hanging loop on the mounting screw, turn the chandelier in unison to prevent the wire from getting twisted too much inside the chain.
  • Be sure to follow all of the manufacturer's directions and warnings for installing the light fixture. Be careful to match the correct wires, and never attach the copper ground wire to the house wires in any way.

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