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I had to change some lights on a living room light fixture a few weeks ago and got the cover off with no issue and changed the bulbs. The issue occurred when I tried to put the cover back on, the central thread came off somehow and I can't get it to screw back in.

Light Fixture

I dug around in it today (after turning the breaker off), taking off both screws either side of the central hole but was unable to remove the fixture entirely. I'm assuming the nut that holds the central screw is just loose somewhere up there, but I'm not sure since I wasn't the person who originally installed the fixture.

What steps am I looking at to get this fixed?

Thanks!

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You're right: there's almost certainly a nut floating up there on top of the fixture. The only way you're going to get it is to pull the fixture down a bit:

  1. Note the two Phillips-head screws near the center, each in the narrow end of a keyhole slot. Loosen each of the screws about 1/2". When you're loosening the second one, the fixture will get wobbly

  2. Turn the fixture about 15° clockwise, so that the larger end of the keyhole slots drop off of the screws and you can lower the fixture

  3. Without straining the wires, and being careful where you put your hands, find the AWOL nut that's sliding around the top of the fixture.

  4. Use the nut to re-fasten the central post to the fixture. Tighten it well! (Bonus points for putting thread-lock on it.)

  5. Put the fixture back up onto the Phillips-head screws, rotate it counter-clockwise to lock it in place, and then tighten the screws

  6. Now you can mount the cover back onto the post.

  • I'll try this tomorrow morning when I've got some natural sunlight to work with as well as my flashlight. When I took the two Phillips out today the fixture didn't budge at all but maybe I need to give it some more force. – Crag Dec 24 '16 at 4:15
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    The fixture might be painted to the ceiling. – Daniel Griscom Dec 24 '16 at 13:20
  • It wasn't painted over, just put in place while the paint was still wet it seems. A small flathead pried in at three points was all it took to lower the fixture. No thread lock right now, but it's on the list for the next trip to the hardware store. I'll just fix all 5 fixtures in the place so it's not a problem in the future. Thanks again. – Crag Dec 24 '16 at 20:44

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