Friday, October 3, 2008

What happens when...

You live in a 100+ year old house in Somerville and want to change a light?

Well you have to call an electrician because the box in the ceiling and the light attached to it are original to 1900. All of the light fixtures in my house have gas lines coming into them! Gas lines! for actual gas lamps! Apparently in 1900 they wired the houses for electricity, but since most didn't have that yet - also installed gas lines in every room to have gas lights until electricity was installed.

Which brings us to modern day. We have lights in every room. They are ugly and dated so we want to change them. We attempted on our own and turns out - the entire box housing the light fixture and the gas line needs to be taken out to install any light fixture made in the last 30 years. Oh and of course that is uber expensive to do... Great. Now I know why all the previous owners of the house chose to leave the lights as they were.

A view of the hole in the ceiling with gas line coming out:


Chris said...

There are adapter kits you can buy at Home Depot which allow you to use the old hardware to install a new light. The gas lines might get in the way though. I have the same problem in my my house. For one light I did change the hardware out and put a box in, but it was a difficult and unpleasant job, let me tell you.

DJDiva said...

Yea we attempted to use the adapter in the hallway, but couldn't get the light flush with the ceiling so it was hanging down from the ceiling which wasn't good. It was a chandelier type of light - but the little part that goes flush with the ceiling didn't fit. So the electrician has to fix our handy work.

It took our electrician about 3.5 hours just to get the dining room light in there. It's going to be a long, painful, expensive process.

Samantha LeVan said...

When I lived in PA, I looked at houses that had the old knob wiring in the attic. Wicked dangerous. Probably also had the gas situation but I never got that far. I wanted something much newer and not so scary.