Ask TOH | Pendant Light, Succulent Plants

Host Kevin O'Connor travels to Nashville, Tennessee, where he helps a pair of homeowners brighten up their kitchen with some new pendant lighting. Then, up in the loft, houseplant expert Carrie Kelly shows Roger how to care for cactus plants and other succulents.

Installing pendant lighting in a kitchen

Kevin visits a pair of homeowners near Nashville who want to add lighting over their kitchen's peninsula counter. They went to a local home center where the homeowner selected "pendant" light fixtures. Back at the house, they were joined by a local electrician to help with the installation. The electrician decided to take power for the new lights from an existing row of light switches over the kitchen counter. The existing switch box was only big enough for two switches, so a "three-gang" box was needed to replace the old "two gang" box. With the old box removed and the hole cut larger to accept the new box, they went up to the attic and drilled a hole down through the wall's top plate. The electrician then pushed a "fish tape" down through the wall to where the new switch would get installed. Down in the kitchen, Kevin attached the new conductors to the fish tape and the electrician pulled it up into the attic. With the switches installed in the new box, the electrician then used a plumb bob to accurately locate the position of the new light fixtures in the ceiling over the peninsula. After marking the ceiling, he drilled pilot holes for each fixture and found that all three lights would be installed directly under a joist. Since the joist would not allow room for regular-sized junction boxes, they used thin-profile boxes called "pancake" boxes, which were recessed into the drywall and screwed directly into the joist. With the boxes installed, wires were fed into the boxes, the connections inside the boxes were made, and the light fixtures were secured to the boxes.

Where to find it?

Expert installation assistance was provided by:

A&F Electric
2300 Kline Ave.
Nashville, TN 37211-2130

Pendant lights can be found in any lighting showroom or home center. The homeowner selected a model that is manufactured by:

Hampton Bay
Brushed Nickel w/Marble Glass Mini Pendant
Model #07540

They are available from The Home Depot.

What is it?

The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.
Richard showed a foot-operated device used for flushing a toilet.

Where to find it?

Footflush ®
Manufacturer: Foot Flush International, LLC
PO Box 860
North Haven, CT 06473

Selecting cactus and succulent plants

Up in the loft, Roger was joined by plant expert Carrie Kelly, who showed several different types of cactus and succulent plants. She explained the difference between a cactus and a succulent, and gave some tips on planting and caring for them.

Where to find it?

Cacti and succulents can be found at many garden and home centers, especially in the southwest. The plants that Roger and Carrie showed were provided by:

Mahoney's Garden Center
242 Cambridge St
Winchester, MA 01890

Several plants were also provided by:

ArizonaEast Distributors
1014 W. Summer Ave.
Minotola, NJ 08341

Have a question you'd like answered?
Submit your question to the Ask TOH Team.

TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.

Ask TOH TV Partners