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The Curse of The Bathroom Light Fixture

This, my friends, is a tale of woe and despair.  A story about a woman and her nemesis, the dreaded bathroom light fixture.

It all began simple enough, as these tales often do.  The woman bought a house.  A house which may or may not have been built by monkeys.  At the very least it was built by incompetent morons and then owned by even more incompetent morons.  The woman spent many many hours fixing up the house (you can read some of her earlier frustrations here).  It was finally time to re-do the bathroom.  A simple job.  Paint the ceiling, paint the walls, paint the trim, change out a cabinet, change out a light fixture.  The woman had done these tasks several times before in other rooms of the house.  No problem, right?

Wrong.  So very very wrong.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The heroine of our story follows the same simple steps she has used before for such tasks.  Go to the store, pick out and purchase a light, bring it home.  Remove the current light fixture, seen here:

ugly ass 80s light

So the woman goes to shut off the electric to the BATHROOM.  Looks at the electric panel.  Shuts off the one labelled “bathroom”.  Light is still on.  Hmm… She is aided by her lovely daughter and asks, “how about now?” as she shuts off a different breaker.  “Still on”.  Hmm… she proceeds to shut off each breaker one by one.  Finally, the power goes out to the bathroom.  Thanks to the breaker labelled “bedroom #1″.  OF COURSE.  So begins the curse of the bathroom light fixture.

Next she removes current light fixture.  However, the prior (idiot) owners had placed the mirror frame directly touching the light fixture, and then painted them both, effectively bonding the two together for all of eternity.  So she pries apart the mirror frame (without ruining it, because she actually planned to keep it) and the light.  Having finally broken them apart, she removes the light fixture (by totally destroying it, partly because she had to, and partly because it felt good), only to find the junction box significantly off of center.

Why does that matter to the woman?  Well, as seen above, the previous light fixture was (ugly) a long wide panel, so it didn’t matter where the junction box was, although one would assume a good builder (*cough* monkey *cough*) would put it center anyway.  The new fixture had a (CENTERED) circle plate and branched out.  Now the woman could actually see where the electrician BEGAN cutting the hole for the junction box centered, and then decided to move it over (and did a crappy patch job).  There was actually a stud in the wall at center, and so he had to move the box over (however, he still loses points for not checking for that first as one can tell by the attempted cuts).

Exhibit A:

off center junction box installed by monkeys

This does not thwart our leading lady, she returns her cherished light fixture and finds one with a long wide panel for a back. She moves on with her mission and spends a grueling day priming and painting nearly every paintable surface in the bathroom.

Paint dry, room shining like a jewel in the sun, she proceeds to install the new light fixture.  Only to find the hole in the back panel of the fixture is a half-inch diameter and no where near the junction box.  The woman is faced with a decision.  Move the junction box?  Or make a new hole in the fixture panel?  Either way, she knew she would need supplies, like a great adventurer before a … great adventure.  She went to the mega super home buiding supply store place and bought a Dremel.  She could cut holes in metal, saw through drywall, leap tall buildings in a single bound!

Except she couldn’t.  She got home and tried to cut a new hole in the fixture panel.  With sparks flying and bad smells emanating, she chickened out.  Heartbroken, she backed down from the great beast.  But then, like all epic stories, she went to work.  Where a co-worker mentioned he had metal punches.  He punched a new 1/2″ diameter hole in the fixture panel!

Energized by this new twist in her story, she returned home to slay the cursed bathroom light fixture beast.  Only to be thwarted yet again.  This time by drywall anchors.  The instructions said to drill a 1/2″ hole for the mighty anchors.  The anchors of course did not fit in a 1/2″ hole.  Not to be stopped, she drilled a bigger hole and got the anchor in.  Success!  Oh no!  Only to be thwarted again!  When drilling the hole for the other anchor, she hit a wall stud!  “The stupid builder must have left a curse upon this room, causing his stupid to spread!”, she thought.  Luckily, she had spare wood screws and managed to finally get the fixture panel attached to the wall.

Many of you think (hope) this is the end of our story, but alas it is not.  The fair maiden went to put the three glass “shades” on the fixture when CRASH, the box fell to the ground smashing one of the shades to pieces.  Our dear heroine was nearly broken.  To be so close, and now so far.  She called the super mega ginormous home building supply store and asked if she could swap out a glass. Luckily, they were able to help her on her quest.  Returning home, once more, in hopes of triumph, she finally, finally completed the fixture installation.

Her darling, precious daughter then entered the bathroom to delight in the woman’s accomplishment.  “Mom, is that upside down?”

not friggin upside down okay

* It is NOT upside down.  Both the picture on the box, and the instructions clearly stated that this was the proper direction.

  • Roy Rumaner

    Kathy, your writing style rocks. Your construction style however needs a little work. (j/k)

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    Then again the box could have been printed wrong

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WA4M67LPO7UGDEF42RSWCJUHTY Jennifer

    very appraoching it is…realy good stuff …nice work….
    merchant cash funding

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  • Ken Polleck

    I recently selected light fixtures for a new home, and the lighting “consultant” stated that most fixtures are designed to be installed either way–and that they can even be swapped (well, maybe you won’t want to do that) if you change your mind.  Most times, however, sconces point up and bathroom fixtures point down.

  • tastefullyfurrnished

    I have the same problem in my bathroom, the hole being off center, so I will need to get a light fixture similar to the one you have. I love the look of yours, where did you find it? Thanks.
    Amy