Habitat Happenings

Installing a Light Fixture

Instructions for Replacing a Light Fixture


  1. Start by turning off the power to the fixture’s circuit at the service panel.
  2. When you remove the fixture base on a wall or ceiling-mounted fixture, or the cover plate on a strip fluorescent fixture, test the wiring to verify that the power is indeed off. Probe each set of insulated wires with one lead of a neon tester and the metal box or grounding wire with the other. If the tester lights, the power is still on.
  3. Remove the screws or cap nuts that secure a globe or glass light shade.
  4. Remove the screws or cap nuts that secure the fixture, fixture body or canopy to the outlet box. Support the full weight of a heavy fixture during this step and the next. Get help for a heavy one, especially if you are working overhead from a ladder.
  5. With the wiring in the outlet box now accessible, repeat the power test described in step 2. When you’ve confirmed that there’s no power in the outlet box, remove the wire connectors that join the fixture wires to the house. If the fixture body is grounded, remove the screw or nut that secures the grounding (green) wire.
  6. You must secure fixtures that weigh over 50 lbs. (23 kg) independently of the electrical box. If you have access from above, install wood bridging between the joists above the box. Then screw the box into the bridging from below. If you don’t have access to install a support from above, purchase retrofit mounting hardware for a ceiling fan and install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Compare new mounting-hole requirements with the existing provisions at the outlet box. If necessary, purchase a new mounting strap or a universal mounting plate, which will accommodate virtually any fixture.
  8. Connect the new fixture to the same wires that connected the old fixture, and mount the fixture to the box with screws or cap nuts as required. Create a loop in the wires with long-nose pliers, then wrap them clockwise under a terminal screw. Or use electrician’s pliers to twist the wires from a prewired fixture together with the house wires, then secure them with wire nuts. Cut off excess with wire cutters.
  9. Mount the fixture with to the junction box and secure with external screws or nuts that came with your light fixture.


Door Knob Replacement

Instructions for Replacing a Door Knob

Remove the Old Doorknob

  • Unscrew the screws that are holding the doorknob in place.
  • Pull on both knobs at the same time and they will come apart. Remove the old doorknob and set it aside.
  • If you want to replace the strike plate, remove it by unscrewing the screws and pulling it from the door frame.

Install the New Doorknob

  • Place the new latch into its place and screw into place.
  • Put both doorknobs and trims in place on either side of the door. Make sure that they fit together on the inside of the door and that the holes for the long screws line up.
  • Insert the long screws into the doorknob on both sides. Tighten the screws alternately, first on one side, and then the other.
  • Make sure the screws are screwed in tightly. If the doorknob rattles, the screws must be tightened.
  • Place the new strike plate onto the door frame and screw into place.

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