Stupid bathroom soffit

Old 08-07-09, 03:37 PM
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Stupid bathroom soffit

Am remodeling a small powder room. For some weird reason the builder originally put a soffit over the vanity with a lovely recessed can light. Since most vanity lights are wall mounted, I plan to remove the soffit and reroute the wiring to the wall. I can remove the soffits, having done them all in my kitchen, but not sure how to run the wiring from the ceiling box to a box in the wall. Hate to hire an electrician as my husband and I are fairly handy, but not sure of the steps after "shut off power".
Old 08-07-09, 08:32 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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This is one of those cases where you will not know until you open the soffit. You can remove the inside part of the can and reach your hand up there and feel around for where the wiring goes and see if maybe you have enough cable to relocate the lighting.

If it feels good and you open the soffit, there might be some hidden reasons why the soffit was built in the first place.

After you expose everything, and find you have enough cable, you really only need to install a new box using a round nail on or remodel box.
Old 08-08-09, 11:40 AM
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step by step

if you are lucky, one you remove the dry wall on the soffit
you have you fixture exposed, you might find as Ironhand says, enough slack to re route the cable into the wall where you want you fixture to go.

after you kill the power, remove the cable from the down light fixture, you see wire nuts inside the junction box mounted to the fixture, pull the cable out, cap off the wire in the cable with the wire nuts.

now determine you center point in the wall

sometimes you have a stud at dead center
if you do you need a 3" "pancake" box ( metal or plastic), since it can mount on a stud directly ( cutting the drywall hole for the pancake junction box and the box will sit flush with drywall.), and the cable comes in through one of the knock outs on the side,

you may or may not have a pathway to feed the cable down through the wall and to the junction box, if you are lucky and the cable is long enough, you feed it down the wall, to the 3" hole, and secure it to the back of the pancake junction box with a romex 2 screw connector, this will clamp down on the cable ( don't over tighten ),

now you can secure the box to the stud. make sure the 2 small screw that will hold your fixture are in the horizontal position and reasonable level. keep about 10" of wires free from the outer cable jacket, if you box is metal, put in a ground screw ( green ) and wrap the bare copper wire ( the ground wire ) around and underneath the ground screw in clockwise fashion, now tighten the ground screw. now cut all of your wires to about 6" in length, and strip the wire lead about 5/8" to 3/4" max. cap of your leads.

finish all you misc demo, framing and dry wall work
texture, paint, the hang you new fixture, secure the light fixtures' backing plate ( the wires usually pass the the center of the backing plate (, black goes to black ( hot ), white to white ( ground ), green to bare copper ( ground ).

now turn power back on.

you should be good to go.

consequently, if there is nothing at dean center where the junction box would be located in the back / sink wall, use a 3" plastic round cut in box, and when you secure the light fixture, you might also use 2 auger anchors to help support the fixture ( sometime the wider bar light fixtures will be pre drilled and provide this all ready.

if the cable is not long enough you have 2 options. junction the run in the ceiling with a new junction box ( like a 1 gang junction box ) and extend the cable by junctioning it in the box to the new light junction box location and a cover plate after you have it drywalled, or re pull a new cable from the switch box to the new location of your light junction box.

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