How to correct bad porch light installation?

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  #1  
Old 07-27-15, 06:19 PM
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How to correct bad porch light installation?

I'm replacing deteriorated porch lights that were installed on new construction 22 years ago, obviously incorrectly. I've removed one light, and attached 2 pictures of the connection box, and one picture of the other light, yet to be removed. You can see from the installed light that there is no support to hold it upright, and the weight has buckled the siding. As confirmed when I removed the other light, the connection box isn't attached to anything...the original installer just sandwiched the vinyl siding between the connection box, "seal" plate, and the light fixture. Oh, and I found nothing to actually seal out rain...no caulk, no gasket, just multiple generations of mud wasp nests inside the box to give an indication of how "water tight" the installation was.

Behind the siding is just the ~1" insulation board, then batt insulation filling the gap to the inside of the interior dry wall. So how best can I properly secure the junction box (or a better box) to support the weight of the light? The door frame is about 8-10 inches to one side and I think a stud about 6 inches to the other side. I'm not versed in pulling siding off and reinstalling, and don't know if I need to. I'm thinking I'll need to cut a larger hole to allow space to get some kind of bracket behind the siding and exterior insulation board, but don't want to cut anything until I get some advice.

Any suggestions on a general plan, what other type of box I may need, and how to secure it to support the light's weight? Also, thinking I may need to do something behind the now permanently buckled siding crease to pop it back out.

Thanks for any suggestions!
Jim

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  #2  
Old 07-27-15, 06:30 PM
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My recommendations is to switch mounting blocks. Arlington makes a new one that has a built in junction box. Fits the siding better and carries the weight better. I use the top one most of the time as it fits the siding better.

You've got an interesting siding type there and it may require a little customization.

Arlington 8141DBL Siding Mounting Kit With Built-In Box; Paintable/Textured, 6.900 Inch Length x 0.500 Inch Width x 10.200 Inch Height

Arlington 8141-1 Vertical Siding Lamp Mounting Kit with Built-in Box for 1/2 Inch Vertical Siding LAP
 
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Old 07-27-15, 06:48 PM
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Does that connect to the existing connection box? What supports the weight--just the siding still?
 
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Old 07-27-15, 07:21 PM
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No....it has it's own junction box. No longer uses the original one. You may have to drill the block and use screws that will be hidden by the fixture since you already have a hole in the sheathing where the old junction box is.
 
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Old 07-28-15, 03:49 AM
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Since you only have foam behind I would use construction adhesive behind the block linked to. The existing box is removed .
 
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Old 07-28-15, 04:03 AM
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You mean there is no OSB behind the siding?? Goodness! Unzipping siding is not the end of the world. Start on the piece below the fixture and hook where the siding is locked. Pull out on it and "unzip" it. Do the same for the next layer. The one where the opening is cut, as well as the one above that one. You may be removing 12' lengths of siding, but, again, it is normal. Do not remove any nails. Just lift the siding off the nailheads and lay them aside. Don't remove the top piece that you unzipped. You can, then, modify the space where there is nothing to incorporate some sort of support for the fixture. A 2x10 connected across the two adjacent studs will suffice.

Then, start with the bottom piece of siding, hook it on the nails and re-zip it on the bottom, repeating yourself as you go up until all the siding is zipped back in place.

This tool will help immensely in removing the siding. Wiss Siding Removal Tool-WSR1 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 07-28-15, 05:01 PM
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There must be plywood behind the insulation in which case I would this box screwed directly to the plywood ,use an oscillating tool to cut the vinyl siding and insulating board to match the box size,chaulk around the opening if needed, I just an installation like this and it worked great.
http://www.aifittings.com/catalog/fi...ctions/L-1.pdf
Geo
 

Last edited by Geochurchi; 07-28-15 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Add the link
  #8  
Old 07-29-15, 08:09 PM
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Nope, no plywood, no OSB...just vinyl siding, foam sheathing, batt insullation, and interior drywall. Is this a potential code violation? More photos attached below--sorry for the poor quality, using a flashlight at night with a cell phone camera. The first one shows the cross section of the hole with the connection box pulled out. The other two show the cheesy spring thing attached to the box that popped open behind the foam. Therefore the only structural support for the light was the force sandwiching the light fixture and mounting block on the outside and this sharp-edge metal piece on the back of the foam on the inside. No wonder the lights sagged so bad. Oh, and the light mounting block was for a straight type of siding where mine is "dutch lap", which has a contour that the block they used has crushed. I don't know a lot about home construction, but as a PE, I can say this installation really sucks. I think as part of the new light installation, I will have to put something under the siding to pop the crushed part back out.

How's this for an idea, offered by a coworker, that would at most require me to slightly enlarge the hole and maybe replace some insulation that may get disturbed: Use a ceiling fan "twist and lock" mounting bracket that can be inserted into the hole, and then expanded to lock it against the studs on either side, as shown in the 4th picture.

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  #9  
Old 07-30-15, 03:19 AM
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That is a viable option, but you will have to return to an octagon or round box which will come with the brace. The light switch box is not a good support item for lighting.
 
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Old 07-31-15, 02:28 PM
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Is there a lot of that type of construction in your area? That's scary stuff.
Geo
 
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Old 07-31-15, 03:12 PM
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You could add two furring strip behind the foam and screw the Arlington box to the furring strips.
 
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Old 07-31-15, 03:59 PM
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Is this a potential code violation?
I don't know but it must be a tough house to heat. (a bit breezy too ?)
 
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