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atnozm
Premium
join:2006-02-03
Schenectady, NY

Hanging Ceiling Fan

We bought this house recently in May. It was built last year and my wife has been begging for a ceiling fan in the bedroom since we moved in so I finally got around to picking one up. I pulled off the existing light fixture to see if the box was setup to hold a fan and as far as I can tell it isn't, it's just a regular light box screwed into the side of the joist with two screws.

So I picked up a brace that I'm going to install in between the two joists and then I have a fan rated electrical box on order (no one including the supply house had them in stock here). During my tour around the city trying to find the fan rated box, the guy from Home Depot told me that everyone just uses the standard boxes as long as you have it braced properly it's fine. I went to the supply house and ordered a fan rated box anyways, it will be here Monday morning. Was he right.... or was this typic Home Depot advice?


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
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I don't know if I've ever been to a big box that didn't carry a selection of fan-rated boxes.

I would NOT use a regular box for fan mounting.

If you have unfinished attic above you can just go up there and put a 2x4 cross-brace between the joists, use at least 3" screws or mending plates to attach it, and mount your fan box to that. I bought a bunch of metal braces and then figured out it was easier to cut through the unfinished attic floor and use scrap lumber.

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
reply to atnozm
Home D should have the fan rated boxes that have heavy duty metal braces. They should be down the electrical aisle where the rest of the boxes are.

These are packaged in cardboard boxes rectangular in shape. Make sure you get the one for retro work, so you can install it through the existing hole through the ceiling. I've done two of them here myself. Pretty straight forward.
--
"Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley." -Sun Tzu


stevek1949
We're not in Kansas anymore
Premium
join:2002-11-13
Virginia Beach, VA
reply to atnozm
Is this what you are looking for?

»www.homedepot.com/p/Westinghouse ··· 02049572

Speedy Petey

join:2008-01-19
reply to atnozm
If the old light box was screwed to the side of the ceiling joist look for something called a SmartBox. They make a fan rated version. A LOT easier.

Speedy Petey

join:2008-01-19
reply to atnozm

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Hahausuck
said by Hahausuck:

Home D should have the fan rated boxes that have heavy duty metal braces. They should be down the electrical aisle where the rest of the boxes are.

I think they are at least sometimes located in the ceiling fan area instead of in electrical but both Lowes and Home Depot keep them in stock here.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to atnozm
I've never seen a Lowe's Depot Menard's that didn't have fan boxes. In fact, they all usually have a good variety. A supply house having to order a fan box? That's insane.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Maybe it was a plumbing supply house.

--
The talented hawk speaks French.

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
Only a handy hack would go to a plumbing supply house and ask for an electrical box.

atnozm
Premium
join:2006-02-03
Schenectady, NY
reply to nunya
I was surprised too. I went to all the usual obvious places for DIYers, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire....twice (I'm not in New York I'm in Alberta, I think I have a random zipcode in my profile or something), Rona, Home Depot not a single one of these stores had what I needed in stock they have regular light boxes out the ass, but nothing rated for a fan. So I said screw it I'll go all the way to the industrial area to the electric place. They had none in stock either, they had 29 of them at a different store a couple hours away and are going to have one for me on Monday. I'm totally shocked how difficult it has been to get the box that I need.

I'm going to go look again today though, I refuse to believe that there isn't one to be found in this city. I need to pick up some plywood anyway (unrelated project).


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by atnozm:

I went to all the usual obvious places for DIYers, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire....

Canadian Tire in USA?


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
My guess is that he used 12345 for a ZIP code.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to ArgMeMatey
A metal box will do just fine. I've installed who knows how many fans using a metal box and all are just as secure today as they were when they were installed at least 20 years ago.

I've found fans installed with the plastic and bake lite boxes that have been in place for years. I did swap those out just to be safe.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
That's why I changed out a couple of the ones we have, I didn't like them being on the plastic boxes.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to ArgMeMatey
said by ArgMeMatey:

If you have unfinished attic above you can just go up there and put a 2x4 cross-brace between the joists, use at least 3" screws or mending plates to attach it, and mount your fan box to that. I bought a bunch of metal braces and then figured out it was easier to cut through the unfinished attic floor and use scrap lumber.

I have 3 ceiling fans installed in my house that have the metal bar that you turn to tighten, then attach the box to the bottom. Coincidentally, I also have 3 ceiling fans that wobble and the boxes are secure, but not very solid. It's been on my to-do list for some time to get up into the attic and use a properly secured cross brace and get rid of the metal bar.


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

reply to atnozm
OP, please ignore the unsafe advice in this thread. Spend the $6 to get a fan rated box. I HAVE seen the results of improper boxes / mounts - fans / fixtures literally fall from the ceiling.
Some people have just been lucky, that's all. The fine art 1/2 assing is 95% luck.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

atnozm
Premium
join:2006-02-03
Schenectady, NY
reply to atnozm
Thanks for the replies everyone. 3/4 of the people I have talked to have said "any metal box is fine". As tempting as it is to just take the easy route, I'm being patient and waiting for my ultra rare fan box to come in on order Monday AM. Not sure why it is so hard to obtain here, I think it comes with a free unicorn or something.

I have this metal bar thing that is supposed to be to brace a fan with, but I don't really like the looks of it and it looks like a bit of a pain in the ass anyway to be honest. I'm leaning towards cross bracing with lumber rather than this thing.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to atnozm
I have 6 ceiling fans all braced with 2x4's they will never move without a tornado.

3 of them extremely heavy old oil bath Hunter fans.


whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9

1 recommendation

reply to battleop
Click for full size
 
 
said by battleop:

A metal box will do just fine.

This is poor advice. Using a box that is not rated for a ceiling fan is not code-compliant anywhere the NEC is used (everywhere in the USA). Fans installed with 'any metal box' have ripped out and injured people as well as started fires. But you will save a few dollars. See photos for what could happen using a box not rated for fan support. When ceiling fans are mounted to standard fixture boxes, the forces and vibration eventually causes the bent mounting ears to break off at the least.

quote:
Ceiling Fan Boxes: Outlet boxes used as the sole support of a ceiling-suspended (paddle) fan must be listed and marked as suitable for this purpose. If the maximum weight isn't marked on the box, it is allowed to support a fan up to 35 lb. If the box is marked with a weight, it can support a fan up to that weight, but not more than 70 lb. Ceiling paddle fans more than 70 lb must be supported independently of the outlet box [314.27(C)].


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit

2 recommendations

said by whizkid3:

This is poor advice. Using a box that is not rated for a ceiling fan is not code-compliant anywhere the NEC is used (everywhere in the USA). Fans installed with 'any metal box' have ripped out and injured people as well as started fires.

Yup, nothing like hanging a spinning guillotine from a couple of tabs that only engage maybe 3 threads of the anchoring screws total.

If one is lucky when it comes down it will land on the coffee table mixing the adult beverages with the popcorn and scattering them to and fro, tripping a breaker in the process, putting the room into total darkness past the flash and ruining a Netflix evening with the OL.

Later on after the popcorn from the table and the ceiling has been vacuumed up and while “she” trying to salvage the carpeting from the red wine stains, (a bottle “she” bought), one can hang in the garage setting up a cot or a sleeping bag and ponder the savings and ease of using just any box.

Expand your moderator at work


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
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reply to atnozm

Re: Hanging Ceiling Fan

Today my first call was a ceiling fan not working. When I got there, it was quite clear it was on it's way down. A "reputable" handyman installed it. Left the old "fibersoap" box and the 8/32 threads had already wallered out. It pulled the wires apart because he cut them too short and got them wrapped around a screw.

After spending 30 minutes in an attic this morning, I'm trying to track down the boxes Petey posted, but I keep getting dead ends.
Where can I get these things online (or something similar)?
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
Smartbox is brand of Madison Electric Products. If you have a distributor of Caddy Fasteners, also a Madison brand, they should be able to get them. Their Super Rod product line has some interesting fishing stuff.

»meproducts.net/

--
Zach


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Found them at Home Depot, of all places. I ordered a few to try them out. I also ordered some of their other boxes to try out.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

atnozm
Premium
join:2006-02-03
Schenectady, NY
reply to atnozm
Fan box finally came in and we finslly got it put up. Braced with lumber rather than the metal bar thing I had. The box stamped right on it says suitable for fan support. Oddly though the ONLY thing different between this box and the light box I had was this one takes #10 screws and had star washers on it. Maybe the box was a little beefier as well not sure. Definitely says suitable for fan though.

It ran all day yesterday with no fires or decapitations yet so two thumbs up for now.