Replacing fan- bad previous installation

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Old 05-18-08, 05:58 PM
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Replacing fan- bad previous installation

I am looking for suggestions on an odd situation that I found.

My Sister wants to replace an old ceiling fan in the house she just bought with a new fan. I took the old fan down to find it attached to the metal trim of an old can light. After taking out that trim I am left with a 7" hole up there next to a joist.

I went over the common solutions, but I am not sure what to do.

Adding a 2X4" to span across the joists will be hard with such a small hole. The same goes for the type of fan box that has the bracket on the side to be screwed to joist.

Using the fan box system made for this situation, the $15 Home Depot bracket that threads open and compresses against the joists, won't work because the ceiling is 1 1/2" thick (wood covered with plaster, the house was built in the 1800's). The box would be up way too high, they don't make one for such a thick ceiling.

I really don't want to cut open any more of her ceiling, I'd hate to have all that 120+ year old plaster crack and fall off.

Suggestions?
 
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Old 05-18-08, 06:09 PM
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Once you install the fan brace kit, you can probably buy a longer u-bolt to replace the one that comes with the kit. Use a metal plate across the u-bolt to secure the u-bolt to the brace, and then use double nuts to secure the electrical box to the end of the u-bolt. Alternatively, you could probably use some sort of spacer (piece of wood?) to fill in the gap in the u-bolt between the electrical box and the brace.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 06:13 PM
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I'm not sure if they make a longer U bolt. Doing it that way would also possibly make for a loose box (solidly attached, but able to move back and forth) which might not be good for a fan.

I wish I could find a box deep enough to just replace the one that comes with the kit.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 06:18 PM
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How far off would you be with the regular brace kit?

Having the box rock a bit is not much different than the fan itself rocking. A well-balanced fan should not rock. Besides the wood holding up the plaster should help stabilize it.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 06:24 PM
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I believe the brace kits have 2 sizes, the largest is for 5/8" or 3/4" thick ceilings (I forget exactly how large). The ceiling is almost 1 1/2" so it would be about 3/4" space.

Since it's only a 7" hole my Sister was going to use a 12" medallion to cover the hole around the box, to avoid having to patch it. Because the box and fan won't be receiving any type of support or restraint from the ceiling, I need to make the box very solid on it's own.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 06:28 PM
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3/4" is pretty small. I don't think a spacer will add much instability. As I said, a well-balanced fan won't rock. Consider fans installed in drop ceilings. They don't have much support from the ceiling itself, and the fan sits considerably below the mounting above.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 06:36 PM
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Yeah, you're right.

The only problem would be finding a longer U bolt.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 06:44 PM
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If the fans are well balnced from factory it will not rock or shake the junction box at all and i know pretty good percentage of the fan i ran into have downrods and they are not much a issue with it.

If some reason why if you are condersing about to secure the 7 inch [175MM] hole take a either 3/8 or inch plywood and cut out both box opening and sized to the can opening and put in there it will act like brace as well.

Merci,Marc
 
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