How many metafites does it take to change a light bulb?
June 16, 2007 8:18 PM   Subscribe

How many metafites does it take to change a light bulb?

My husband and I just moved into our first house and there are two things we're stuck on right now:

The first being, how do we get to the lightbulbs in these fixtures? We tried removing the glass part and it didn't come out.
Burnt Out Photo:
Working Light Photo:

Secondly, we have a sprinkler system but can't figure out how to operate it...where would the controls be typically and what might they look like?

Thanks guys!
posted by jesirose to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't do anything but speculate (pry the thing out?) on the light, but for the sprinkler system, I've always seen the controls located in the basement (including in my house).

It may be a fancy electronic device with buttons and a little LCD display, or it may be a rotary timer type thing. In all likelihood, it's got a 'cover' so it'll just be some sort of gray box on the wall.
posted by fogster at 8:21 PM on June 16, 2007

Try pulling softly on opposite sides frame. Many of those use spring loaded hooks.
posted by ?! at 8:22 PM on June 16, 2007

Most likely, the frame piece will just slide or pop out, or be held up with tabs or wires that can be gotten to. Other than that, go into the attic and attack it from that side.
posted by frogan at 8:23 PM on June 16, 2007

Secondly, we have a sprinkler system but can't figure out how to operate it

If you're really planning to count on that sprinkler system actually turning on in case of a fire, your best bet is to have it professionally inspected.
posted by frogan at 8:24 PM on June 16, 2007

I have the exact same light right over my head right now. I just took this photo of me yanking on the metal frame - just pull it straight down. Get your fingertips in between the ceiling and the frame and pull down. That bit of black you see on your first photo is a foam gasket - make sure you don't grab that instead because it might rip.
posted by iconomy at 8:32 PM on June 16, 2007

fogster - no basement, we're in Texas. I'll look around for the box, thanks!

I'll pass on the light advice to my husband.

frogan - lawn sprinkler, not indoors.

posted by jesirose at 8:33 PM on June 16, 2007

Thanks iconomy!!
posted by jesirose at 8:34 PM on June 16, 2007

It worked perfectly, he got it open! AskMeFi to the rescue!
Let there be light!
posted by jesirose at 8:34 PM on June 16, 2007

lawn sprinkler, not indoors

In the basement, in the garage, outside near where the water pipe comes into the house ... look for the box.
posted by frogan at 8:35 PM on June 16, 2007

Oh that's my friend's hand in that one photo. Have to give credit where credit is due. She was my hand model in one shot ;)

Glad the photo helped!
posted by iconomy at 8:36 PM on June 16, 2007

We had a sprinkler system once, the control box was in the laundry room... But, if you bought/rented the house from someone, can you contact them and ask?
posted by amyms at 8:48 PM on June 16, 2007

My lawn sprinkler controls are outside, next to a spigot. It's a gray plastic box that when closed, looks very similar to the control box for the phone lines. Look down low, near the foundation.
posted by donnagirl at 9:18 PM on June 16, 2007

Also, when you find the sprinkler box, note the brand and model of sprinkler control, then look for a pdf on the web on the corporate site (that's what I did when I moved into a house with a system).
posted by mathowie at 9:23 PM on June 16, 2007

Sprinkler controls:

Last house, outside in a box mounted on the side of the house in the side yard.

Current house: in a box mounted on the wall inside the garage.

What do they look like? Plastic box 6x6 or 8x8 inches. It"probaby has a brand-name label on the outside, like RainBird" or "Toro" or maybe "Orbit".
posted by Robert Angelo at 10:05 PM on June 16, 2007

Our irrigation controls are in the laundry room but they could be anywhere- they are electrical controls to the physical valves. Inside these green plastic boxes in the lawn are the physical valves that can be turned on by hand if you want to test the system.

Our control box is black, about 6"x 10" with a dial control, several buttons and a liquid crystal display that normally displays the time. It is plugged into the wall and has wires from all the valves running to it.
posted by pointilist at 10:22 PM on June 16, 2007

And getting the operating instructions pdf on line was a great move.
posted by pointilist at 10:23 PM on June 16, 2007

Sprinkler control box usually looks something like this when open. It could also be digital inside, so it may not have controls exactly like this image.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 11:04 PM on June 16, 2007

Please make sure the sprinkler system is properly set up to only water areas that need it (e.g., not the street, driveway, or sidewalk), and that it doesn't operate on an automatic needs-it-or-not schedule. Sprinkler irrigation systems are a huge waster of water, and so many of them seem to run even when it's raining or about to rain, and to shed water into the street.
posted by amtho at 5:34 AM on June 17, 2007

The controls for the sprinkler of our first house were located in two holes out beside the street next to the main water cut off valve. It was a b*&@$ to find them and then to use them. The house was built in the 80's so no new fangled digital box or controls. Just old fashioned valves with metal wheels to turn them. In a hole. By the road.

Our current system is top of the line with the mac daddy digital box system that never works because it keeps getting zapped by lightning. On second thought, the old school valves in the hole weren't so bad.
posted by pearlybob at 8:07 AM on June 17, 2007

Thanks for all the sprinkler advice!
posted by jesirose at 9:28 AM on June 17, 2007

Don't forget to check your breakers to make sure everything is powered up, too, including the sprinklers.
posted by misha at 11:57 AM on June 17, 2007

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