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Topic Title: A little tip for removing downlights without damaging the ceiling
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Created On: 15 May 2013 08:42 PM
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 15 May 2013 08:42 PM
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aligarjon

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I thought i'd share this as it might be useful to someone. I had to replace 22 downlights earlier with led fittings and they were a right pig to get out without the springs damaging the ceiling, especially as this one was double boarded.

Anyway after taking chunks out of the skim on the first 2 as the plaster was quite brittle behind the edges of the fittings i thought i'd have a go at removing the spring first. I did this with a screwdriver by levering them from the retaining nibs on the fitting. It worked an absolute treat, by removing one the fittings just dropped out.


Gary

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Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 16 May 2013 04:20 PM
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sparkiemike

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I have done this too - imo the JCC fittings are the worst offenders.

I see you can get plastic rings to protect the plasterboard
http://www.litering.co.uk/styled-2/index.html - not tried them.

On one of the other forums some bloke came up with a idea that seemed quiet good. Basically a small bit of 9mm plywood with a U shaped cut-out (slot) on one of the edges. The slot has the same width as the diameter of the downlight. Remove the downlight just enough to slide the plywood in, so it sits in between the plasterboard and the underside of the bezel of the downlight. The springs need to align with straight edges of the slot. Keep the tool against the plasterboard and pull the light out.

Not tried it yet - but will keep the idea in mind for the next similar job
 16 May 2013 05:00 PM
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mkmike

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Originally posted by: sparkiemike

On one of the other forums some bloke came up with a idea that seemed quiet good. Basically a small bit of 9mm plywood with a U shaped cut-out (slot) on one of the edges. The slot has the same width as the diameter of the downlight. Remove the downlight just enough to slide the plywood in, so it sits in between the plasterboard and the underside of the bezel of the downlight. The springs need to align with straight edges of the slot. Keep the tool against the plasterboard and pull the light out.



Not tried it yet - but will keep the idea in mind for the next similar job



I think I may give that a try shortly, changing out 42 downlights to LED fittings, having already changed 12 out at the customers house and dealing with crumbling plasterboard from the old fittings, this could save me some grief :-)
 16 May 2013 08:00 PM
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mikejumper

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Originally posted by: aligarjon
......i thought i'd have a go at removing the spring first. I did this with a screwdriver by levering them from the retaining nibs on the fitting. It worked an absolute treat,....

With the added advantage that the springs don't ping back on your fingers like a mousetrap; no matter how hard I try one always catches me with my guard down.
 16 May 2013 08:12 PM
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SKElectrical

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Originally posted by: sparkiemike
I have done this too - imo the JCC fittings are the worst offenders.


I see you can get plastic rings to protect the plasterboard

http://www.litering.co.uk/styled-2/index.html - not tried them.

On one of the other forums some bloke came up with a idea that seemed quiet good. Basically a small bit of 9mm plywood with a U shaped cut-out (slot) on one of the edges. The slot has the same width as the diameter of the downlight. Remove the downlight just enough to slide the plywood in, so it sits in between the plasterboard and the underside of the bezel of the downlight. The springs need to align with straight edges of the slot. Keep the tool against the plasterboard and pull the light out.




Great idea the plastic rings. I would buy that product every time.... if only I could pick it up locally.
 16 May 2013 09:15 PM
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leckie

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I agree. Super idea, been doing some today in a lath and plaster ceiling!
 16 May 2013 10:28 PM
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Legh

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Originally posted by: mikejumper

Originally posted by: aligarjon

......i thought i'd have a go at removing the spring first. I did this with a screwdriver by levering them from the retaining nibs on the fitting. It worked an absolute treat,....


With the added advantage that the springs don't ping back on your fingers like a mousetrap; no matter how hard I try one always catches me with my guard down.


I must have strong fingers or have used weak springs in the past.

I find that if you edge the fitting out gradually to a point where you can grip both springs with your fingers then the fitting just drops out.

It must be part of the modern training - use plenty of hand lotion to keep those paws nice and supple

Legh

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 16 May 2013 10:28 PM
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21stcentury

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If the down lights are not fire rated then remove lamp, then rotate fitting so that the springs are in a new position and hopefully a less crumblier position, down lights should then come out without further damage with assistance of pressure from the rear of the fitting. Similar process for fire rated down lights but without the pressure from rear of the fitting, now these can be a bugger to get out!
 18 May 2013 12:41 AM
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stateit

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical

Great idea the plastic rings. I would buy that product every time.... if only I could pick it up locally.


Can see it working with pressed fittings with a recess around a flanged edge but not with die-cast fittings with a fully flat edge... You'd end up seeing the DLs raised off the plaster surface by a grommet?

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 18 May 2013 08:44 AM
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tomgunn

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What I do is to pull the fitting down at an angle and just hold and push the exposed spring in and it comes out easy, ( simple.... squeak!!! ).

Tom

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Edited: 18 May 2013 at 10:30 AM by tomgunn
 18 May 2013 12:56 PM
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Legh

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I'm surprised nobody had considered changing the design of the fire rated fittings to something like the method used to hold dry lining boxes in place. Push down and push in. the reverse would be just as easy. Apply a flat blade screwdriver, pull out and push up and out it drops.

Legh

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Why do we need Vernier Calipers when we have container ships?

http://www.leghrichardson.co.uk

"Science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space - but any objections."
 18 May 2013 06:51 PM
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aligarjon

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Originally posted by: Legh

I'm surprised nobody had considered changing the design of the fire rated fittings to something like the method used to hold dry lining boxes in place. Push down and push in. the reverse would be just as easy. Apply a flat blade screwdriver, pull out and push up and out it drops.



Legh



yes or maybe sprung against the inner top of the can. push up and in. lever out with a screwdiver. it really can't be that difficult can it.

slightly more tricky for a double boarded ceiling .

Gary

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Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
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