Light install, wires, but no box

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  #1  
Old 03-05-03, 07:48 PM
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kparton
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Light install, wires, but no box

Hello,

I'm replacing a fluorescent light with an incandescent fixture. removal of the fluorescent went well, but I am left with a small hole in the ceiling with the needed wires coming through. I'm having a hard time learning how to put in a junction box around the wires. Is this possible? Does it have to be attached to a joist above the fixture (hope not)? Is this something I can do myself? I was assuming it wouldn't be too hard, but I'm not finding a clear description of how to do it.

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 03-05-03, 08:40 PM
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You can easily install an "old work" box that attaches directly to the drywall. This will not work, of course, if the lighting fixture you plan to install is heavy. Old work boxes are carried by all home centers. Ask for them in the electrical aisle.
 
  #3  
Old 03-06-03, 06:59 AM
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kparton
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Will the old work box have a weight rating on it? I don't think this light is particularly heavy, but I'm not sure what the requirements would be.

Thanks,
Kevin
 
  #4  
Old 03-06-03, 07:41 AM
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hotarc
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I don't think the box will have a weight rating on it, but what you need to worry about is the ceiling drywall holding the box, since that bears all the weight. When you get to the homecenter you'll see how these boxes work. They have a couple of ears or flaps, attached to screws, that fold out and hold the box tight against the wall or ceiling. If you are just trying to install a simple light fixture weighing 6 or 7 lbs, you'll probably be okay. Just don't try and hang a large chandelier or ceiling fan from an old work box.
 
  #5  
Old 03-06-03, 07:54 AM
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lestrician
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I wouldn't count on an old work box to bare the weight for any type of fixture. Instead, I would attach the fixture itself separately to the ceiling. This can be acheived by a number of means, perhaps the easiest for a lighter fixture will be to use Molley bolts. Of course, you will still need the old work box to make up your joints, just don't use it to hold up the fixture.
 
  #6  
Old 03-06-03, 07:54 AM
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kparton
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I talked to the company I bought it from and the fixture is 13 lbs, so that's a good bit more than what you listed there (basically double).

The hole they cut is right next to a stud above the ceiling drywall (it touches the ceiling drywall). Is this where a junction box would be mounted? I'm thinking about taking down another light that I know has a junction box just to pay more attention to how it is mounted.
 
  #7  
Old 03-06-03, 08:22 AM
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lestrician
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Can you get to this place above the ceiling? If so, you can buy a box with brackets rated for your fixture, and attatch it to the joists from above the ceiling, then make up the box from below. You would probably want the box to go in the hole they cut (if the right size, or if you can cut it out to be the right size)
 
  #8  
Old 03-06-03, 08:27 AM
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kparton
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I can get into the ceiling by cutting out some drywall (I'm not afraid of the repair, I've already had to do it on the walls). But I want to make sure I know what I'm doing first. Or at least I'm close to knowing what i'm doing.

The hole they cut for the fluorescent fixture was small and just enough to pull through the wires, it looks like a pretty halfway job. I would have to cut a bigger hole regardless. So the joist I connect to is the one that my drywall is in direct contact with right now? I hate to beat a dead horse, I'm just not sure how the box will fit in there. I'm going to sneak out at lunch and go to the hardware store to check the old work boxes and junction boxes out.

Thanks,
Kevin
 
  #9  
Old 03-06-03, 08:29 AM
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hotarc
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If you have access to a framing member, then by all means attach the box to it. In this case you would use a regular round light fixture box with nails attached to it. You may have to enlarge the hole a bit to get the new box in there, but drywall repair isn't that difficult. Or you can even purchase what is called a ceiling medallion. This is a decorative--somewhat--plastic plate with a hole in the center for the fixture box, that measures anywhere from 6 to 16" in diameter and is used to cover the mess that is sometimes created with the replacement of a fixture box.
 
  #10  
Old 03-06-03, 08:52 AM
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You can abuy a mount theat will fit through the hole for the box and screw open to fasten into the joists. The box then fastens to the bracket.
I found a link one called a asfety brace.
http://www.westinghouseceilingfans.com/ac_fanbrace.html
 
  #11  
Old 03-06-03, 10:21 AM
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Take an octagonal metal fixture box with romex clamps and cut a hole with a sheetrock saw in the ceiling the same size as the box. The hole where the wires come through the sheetrock will be incorporated into the larger hole you cut for the box. Make sure that when you push the box into the hole, one side of the box will be flat against the side of the framing member. This should be one of the two sides that does not have a romex clamp. Drill a couple of holes in that side of the box so you can screw it to the framing member from the inside of the box (at a slightly upward angle, obviously). Before mounting the box, pull your cable into the box through a romex clamp. This way, you won't have to repair any sheetrock and will have an installation that will be plenty strong enough for your fixture.

As touched on earlier, if you can access the crawl space above the ceiling, you can do the same thing with a nail-on plastic or bakelite fixture box from above without having to repair any sheetrock.
 
  #12  
Old 03-06-03, 11:21 AM
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kparton
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Thanks a lot, I'm going to experiment with this when I get home. I got the octagonal box, I'm just afraid that the orientation of the box needs to be at an angle to the framing member because the piece that the light screws into needs to go parallel to the wall, but it goes diagonally across the junction box, I'm not sure I can remedy that problem. I know that probably makes no sense at all, but the light I am installing is basically 3 pendants on a single rod, but not track lighting. It needs to be hung in a certain orientation, parallel to the wall, that I'm not sure I can do if I attach the side of the junction box to the framing member.

I have learned a ton though, I'm going to see what I can do.

Thanks,
Kevin
 
  #13  
Old 03-06-03, 11:57 AM
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What does your fixture bracket look like (attaches to the box and the fixture)? Fixtures and brackets are generally designed to allow for necessary orientation of a fixture. If for some reason your bracket only allows a single orientation, you could get a different type of bracket. Describe the bracket you have and how you intend to use it.
 
  #14  
Old 03-06-03, 12:13 PM
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kparton
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Please forgive my inability to describe this well and with the correct terms, I have been installing all my lights into junction boxes that are already there, so i don't know the jargon.

Basically, they sent me just the flat piece that will connect to the junction box (it will be connected diagonally from what I can tell). Then there is a plate that fits over this (I think in the same orientation) and the top of the "track" screws into this, the wires are fished in through the middle. I'm not sure how either of these pieces will be connected, unfortunately, I don't have the instructions with me. There is then a housing that holds all three of the pendants that fits over the top of the trak and then bolts in (this is no problem).

The only thing I am thinking is that they did send me a threaded tube that goes through the middle of the flat piece that connects to the junction box. I'm not sure how I could use this, but it was included. They basically sent 4 screws, two of which have sharp ends, but they didn't not itemize which is to be use for what, and it's hard to tell from their instructions.
 
  #15  
Old 03-06-03, 12:29 PM
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Does the "threaded tube" (nipple) screw into the flat bar? Does it also fit through a hole in the middle of the fixture? Does it have a cap that will screw onto the end of the nipple. If so, you mount the flat bar on the box with the two 8-32 screws (diagonally). You screw the nipple into the bracket far enough such that about a 1/4 inch or so will stick through the surface of the light fixture when held up against the ceiling. Bring your wiring out beside the bracket and make your splices. Push the wires back in the box and put your fixture on over the nipple, aligning it as needed. Screw on the cap nut and tighten as snug as you can (finger tight) and you should be done.

If this won't work, then the other piece you were describing may need to be used in lieu of the flat bar. You would need to spin it so that there will be two screw holes that line up with two holes in the fixture itself for mounting. Your fixture should either have 2 small holes (for screws) or one larger hole (for a nipple) in the surface for mounting and it sounds like you have two different types of brackets. I may be totally wrong, try again if I am.
 
  #16  
Old 03-06-03, 12:37 PM
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kparton
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I know that the nipple will screw into the flat bar, I'm just not sure if it then fits into the fixture. I'm going to check that as soon as I get home. If it doesn' then I see what you're saying and it won't be a problem. It would seem to make sense that it could be installed this way, since it can only go in one orientation. It's just not the method they use in the meager instructions.

I'll post later tonight or tomorrow about the outcome.

Thanks again,
Kevin
 
  #17  
Old 03-06-03, 03:42 PM
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kparton
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Thanks so much for your patience and help. The method we talked about worked and I have a working, mounted light. Thanks a lot, I'll probably have more questions later.

Kevin
 
  #18  
Old 03-06-03, 06:38 PM
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kparton
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It's done! I have the light installed with the junction box screwed to the framing member and all is working. There's no drywall repair, which is always nice.

Thanks for all the help.
 
  #19  
Old 03-07-03, 05:12 AM
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Which mounting method / bracket did your light fixture require?
 
  #20  
Old 03-07-03, 06:49 AM
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kparton
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Well, the instructions showed a method that I still don't understand how it would work. It involved 2 mounting screws, but there were no holes to screw them into, so I'm a little unclear on that. I ended up putting the junction box in the way we said, from the side of the framing member with 2 screws (unfortunately, when i screwed it in, it pulled it a little above the level of the drywall bottom, but it was OK). Then I installed the "flat bar" with the nipple screwed in. I then attached the ground wire and put the power wires from the lamp through the nipple and connected them to the incoming power from the switch. Then the nipple fit through the mounting plate and the top cover of the fixture that sits flush with the ceiling. I had a nut and washer to on on the nipple ready and just screwed it in to secure all of these parts. Then the bottom part of the fixture witht he actual pendants just fit right onto the top cover of the fixture and attached to that.

It all worked out just fine and looks good. Very pleased with the results.
 
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