3 Tips for Wiring an Antique Chandelier

An antique chandelier will add elements of history, charm, and elegance to your indoor decor that is unrivaled by any other type of light fixture. Chandeliers date back to medieval times, when they were constructed with wood. Chandeliers can be found now made of a variety of materials in a wide array of styles, from wrought iron to a chandelier made of antlers. If you are looking at installing an older chandelier, you may need to rewire it to ensure it is not only beautiful, but functional and safe. Here you will find some tips to help in this process.

1. Removing Old Wiring

Removing old wiring isn't as easy as it may sound. Older wiring used to be covered in cloth instead of plastic, and can catch on the inside of the chandelier's arms and leave behind unsightly and hazardous bits of cloth. Use a Teflon spray if possible to coat the interior of the arms before pulling out the old wiring. This will dry to a hard finish and ensure that bits of the cloth are not left behind. You can also try snaking a small plastic tube through the arm of the chandelier, capturing the old wiring inside the tube. Once you get the tube through the other side, pull out the old wiring, leaving the tube inside the arm to facilitate the installation of the new wiring.

2. Replacing Wiring

Frequently, replacing the wiring can be difficult, as routing the wiring through the arms of the chandelier involves twists and turns that are difficult to negotiate. By snaking a small plastic tube through the arm of the chandelier, you will create a smoother passageway through the arm to route the new wiring. You will need to take into consideration when purchasing the wiring what kind of voltage is needed for each bulb that the wiring is supplying electricity to. The people at your local hardware or DIY store are very helpful and informative in this area, and can usually tell you exactly what gauge of wire you will need.

3. Supplies and Tools

You will want to have on hand a good supply of the materials and tools that you will need for the project. You will likely need lots of electrical tape for the job. You will also want to have on hand scissors, wire nuts, wire strippers, needle nose pliers, regular pliers, wiring and new sockets (if needed). If you are looking a changing the finish on the chandelier itself, do a little research beforehand to ensure that it is done in a way that will give you a lasting quality finish.