retrofit pot lights in ceiling

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  #1  
Old 09-18-04, 02:25 PM
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retrofit pot lights in basement ceiling

I don't have access to the ceiling and I'm not sure which way the joists run. Currently there are two pots in there now, but I want to add more in different locations. Short of pulling down the drywall I don't see any other way of running my wires. The new lights will be in the ceiling close to the side walls. I'm considering pulling down say 12" of drywall in a 6 foot piece on either side of the room to expose the joists and help with running wires, and then patching the drywall. I've done quite a bit of wall patching before but never a ceiling so I'm a bit worried. Will this be difficult? Also, the ceiling has a popcorn finish, will it be difficult to match this? Am I better off buying the gun to spray it or trying to rent it?

thanks!

the dude
 
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  #2  
Old 09-19-04, 09:28 AM
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Patching is patching anywhere you have to do it is the same. Why don't you put this post minus the patching issue in the electrical forum where you will find out the best way to run the wires so as to create the least amount of work.
 
  #3  
Old 09-19-04, 10:51 AM
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Miscellaneous notes:
(1) A simple stud finder will tell you where the joists are and which way they run. Or just poke a few small nails into the ceiling as probes.
(2) Now's as good a time as any to get rid of the outdated popcorn ceiling. Have a small sample tested for asbestos before you mess with it.
(3) You might just want to rip all the drywall off the ceiling and put up new stuff when you're done.
(4) If you want to install new cans in the same joist cavity as an existing can, then it's trivial.
(5) The existing cans can be removed from below without drywall damage, even if it doesn't look like it the first three times you look at it.
 
  #4  
Old 09-19-04, 11:30 AM
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Thanks for the reply. How do you go about removing the popcorn effect from the ceiling without damaging the drywall? Is it a quick process? I've read something about wetting it down. As to your point #5 I've wondered about this, because if the existing pots use joist hangers as I'm sure they do, then how do you go about removing them without damaging the drywall? Is there any other way to run wires through the ceiling without pulling the drywall?

thanks
 
  #5  
Old 09-19-04, 06:22 PM
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After testing the popcorn for asbestos and confirming that there is none, then just cover the floor, mist the ceiling with water, wait twenty minutes or so, and lightly scrape it off with a wide drywall knife. Since the popcorn ceiling was often put over a bad taping job, be prepared to sand the ceiling with a drywall sander and put a finish coat of mud on the seams before painting.

To remove the pots, you disconnect them from the hanger which is attached to the joist. The hanger stays there when you pull down the can. Look carefully inside the can for screws or tabs.
 
  #6  
Old 09-19-04, 06:23 PM
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Pull one of the pots and look up in the hole. This should tell you where the joists run.
They do make very long bits (6') to go through several joists from one hole.
 
  #7  
Old 09-20-04, 07:59 AM
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thanks for the replies. I think the 6' bits your talking about are very expensive though. I'm hoping I can take down small sections of the drywall to be able to run wires to where I want the pots and anything to assist in the process is great! Speaking of taping/mudding and bad jobs. I've never really known if I'm doing it correctly. What I usually do is lay down a thin layer of mud, then take a piece of tape (paper) that is as long as the seam I am trying to cover, then I rip both ends of it to try and get a nice taper (taking off one layer of the paper while leaving the other layer), then I press this into the thin layer of mud with my putty knife, running it all the way down the seam, then apply another layer of mud. Make sense?

the dude
 
  #8  
Old 09-20-04, 08:33 AM
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Well, this isn't a drywalling forum, but I've done my share. It depends on whether you are talking about a butt joint or a tapered joint. For a butt joint, you need to build up about an eighth of an inch of mud over the joint and tape and let it dry. They you can taper at least 18" to either side on the second and third coats. If you don't build it up over the joint, you can't taper it and you can't hide the joint.
 
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