Old style ceiling fan box?

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Old 09-06-10, 03:34 PM
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Old style ceiling fan box?

When moving a lighting location in my kitchen, an electrician noted that the existing box was actually an old style ceiling fan rated box. I'm also having work done in another room where I'm asking to have a ceiling fan box and a different contractor said they're going to check to see if it's already able to support a ceiling fan box and will put a fan-rated box in if needed. My question is, what is an "old style" fan box. I still haven't patched the hole from the old box (there no longer is any live wiring in it) so a picture of what the electrician called an old style fan box is below.

A ceiling fan was hanging from this box and there is another room with an older fan. I intend to replace that fan as well as another light with ceiling fans and want to know how to identify if the box can already support a fan. I assume where there currently is a ceiling fan is probably ok (my best guess at the fan age is about 10 years old), but I don't want to be making a false assumption and end up with a fan on my head.

 
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Old 09-06-10, 03:57 PM
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Boxes for ceiling fans have bigger screws to hold the fan assembly. What you have there is simply a box with an adjustable hanger.
 
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Old 09-06-10, 07:08 PM
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In my experience, those boxes were typically used for heavy chandeliers. The center stud takes the weight.
 
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Old 09-06-10, 07:21 PM
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That look like a standard octagon box with a stud to stud caddy bar on it to me. I maybe wrong though.
 
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Old 09-07-10, 05:41 AM
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There were no old school fan rated boxes. Fan rated boxes are a fairly recent development.

If the box provides the sole support for the fan it must be fan rated. If the fan can receive support by lag screws into framing above the box a standard box like you have can be used.
 
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Old 09-07-10, 09:42 AM
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Having recently installed a ceiling fan I've seen 2 various fashions. The Raco/Hubbel one just has a thicker gauge metal with 10/32 threaded.

The Westinghouse I've seen is slighly more superior IMO, as it has a good 1/2-3/4" post where long threaded screw sits into it....
 
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Old 09-07-10, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
If the box provides the sole support for the fan it must be fan rated. If the fan can receive support by lag screws into framing above the box a standard box like you have can be used.
So basically ceiling fan that was previously attached to this box should not have been? And if the ceiling fan I'm looking to replace is attached to a similar looking box (as I expect it to be), I should replace the box?
 
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Old 09-07-10, 12:01 PM
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I would say yes and yes to both of your questions UNLESS, you can put some lag bolts in that box and get it really secure to hold a fan. Also the cutout for that box looks like someone used a hammer instead of a keyhole saw... It offsets the hole which maybe a problem when installing a new fan because the mounting bracket will not line up right. You may have to cut (or hammer..) more of the drywall out to get a proper fit and patch the rest of it up if the shroud doesnt cover the hole.
 
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Old 09-07-10, 01:39 PM
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For you pros out there....dare I ask, but do you make sure you are using a 10/32 in a appropiate box when installing a ceiling fan.


FWIW, all of my old ceiling fans in current/former houses probably were hung off a regular octogon box that took a 8/32 screw...

My new install used 10/32 and I chose the Westinghouse as it had a *post* that had at least 1/2- 3/4" inch of threading in the post to hold the 10/32" screw
 
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Old 09-07-10, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pingable View Post
For you pros out there....dare I ask, but do you make sure you are using a 10/32 in a appropiate box when installing a ceiling fan.
Yes, the box must be fan-rated. This may require replacement of the box in an older home that has just plain steel boxes.
 
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