Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>problem with chandelier arm....need advice
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SophieC
problem with chandelier arm....need advice

I have 2 out of 5 chandelier arms in which I can not get the old wiring out. I am in the process of rewiring it and am having problems with the 2 remaining arms. There isn't much left sticking out of the arm to grab. Does ANYONE have ANY suggestions as to how I can get the old wiring out? I've thought of a copper solvent to break up the copper wire, but not sure if it would get through the plastic insulation. The arms are brass.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice

As brass is a copper/zinc alloy I would be careful using a chemical that would dissolve copper.

Connect a vacuum to one end of the arm we'll call that end "A" and feed a heavy thread into the other end Called "B". If the vacuum can pull the thread through disconnect the vac and start pulling the thread through end "A", as you do wrap it around the wire end at end "B". After you have several turns around the wire hold the the end "B" taught and pull on end "A". With the thread wrapped around the wire and held taught with a little luck you will pull the wire out.

Jack

SophieC
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice

Jack,

I will see what I can do with your suggestion and post the results. I hope it can work.

A. Spruce
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice

You may also be able to take a 3" deck screw and carefully use it to reach down the tube and pull the wire out. Run it in maybe an inch or so, then pull it with a pair of pliers. Carefully clamp the lamp arm in a vice or to a bench so that you have both hands to carefully work the screw and pliers to maximize your efforts. I use this trick frequently to clear the tip of a caulking tube or glue bottle.

SophieC
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

As brass is a copper/zinc alloy I would be careful using a chemical that would dissolve copper.

Connect a vacuum to one end of the arm we'll call that end "A" and feed a heavy thread into the other end Called "B". If the vacuum can pull the thread through disconnect the vac and start pulling the thread through end "A", as you do wrap it around the wire end at end "B". After you have several turns around the wire hold the the end "B" taught and pull on end "A". With the thread wrapped around the wire and held taught with a little luck you will pull the wire out.

Jack

OK Jack, I tried this method and it didn't work. I put my shop vac on one end of the arm and some thin string on the other end. It did not pull the string through...not even in the slightest. :( I'm guessing the wire in there is taking up all the space. Unfortunately, I put the arm in a vice grip and tried tugging more on the wires that were exposed. All I managed to do was break off what was sticking out. So now I have 2 arms with the wires still inside and nothing sticking out of either end. :confused:

A. Spruce wrote:

You may also be able to take a 3" deck screw and carefully use it to reach down the tube and pull the wire out. Run it in maybe an inch or so, then pull it with a pair of pliers. Carefully clamp the lamp arm in a vice or to a bench so that you have both hands to carefully work the screw and pliers to maximize your efforts. I use this trick frequently to clear the tip of a caulking tube or glue bottle.

Spruce....I'm not quite sure I understand this method. Here is a picture of the 2 arms in question.....

JLMCDANIEL
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice

Sophie,
It's possible the the insulation may haave over heated and melted sticking to the inside. I wonder if acetone would disolve the insulation in the wires.
Jack

NEC
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice

Jack is old and does not spell very well but I agree with his assessment.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice
NEC wrote:

Jack is old and does not spell very well but I agree with his assessment.

Thanks, I think. What were we talking about.
Jack

A. Spruce
Re: problem with chandelier arm....need advice
NEC wrote:

Jack is old and does not spell very well ...

And forgetful too! :p;):D

Sophie, you use the threads of the screw to bite into the wiring and housing to pull it out. Jack may be right, that the plastic housing may have glued itself to the arm, which will make this a tough task if that's the case. At any rate, I'd try the screw to grab a hold of the wire. Try it from both ends. If that doesn't work, then we may have to step things up a notch. Rather than attempting acetone or other solvents, I'd first try freezing the arm. This will make the plastic and wire brittle and it might just break free of the metal arm. You might need to try freezing the arm, then dousing it under a hot faucet which will expand the metal while the plastic/wire stays constricted, again breaking it free of the arm.

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