Ceiling fan help!

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  #1  
Old 05-31-08, 10:19 PM
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Post Ceiling fan help!

Hey everyone....just moved into a new house, and noticed when we moved in that there are 2 ceiling fans that have probably about 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between the top of the canopy and the ceiling. Just originally thought that maybe screws just had to be tightened etc. (FYI one is ceiling hugger other is not) I tore apart the ceiling hugger and took it down to see what was going on. Noticed that the fan body would move side to side. Upon further inspection I noticed that the box was actually moving side to side. When I look into the box, i see one single screw in the center of the box (its plastic) and the fan screws screw into the threaded holes on either side of the box. I tried tightening the screw and it didnt budge much. So then i loosened the screw and kept trying to get it out as it seemed it was loosened all the way, and the box would not budge out of the ceiling. I was hoping maybe I could get a peak at what was above it. No such luck. I really have no idea if this is a fan rated box or not. I was kind of hoping they put the proper box in because the house is only 4 years old, but i have never seen this type of box before and as of the moment dont have access to the box from above to confirm, as there is blown in insualtion i would have to dig through and its really hot up there. does anyone know if this might be a fan rated box or has seen it before to tell me what that single screw is even screwed into? I have retightened it and reinstalled the fan, and I still have a slight side to side motion of the box. thanks again!
 
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Old 06-01-08, 11:46 AM
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It does not sound like it is fan rated but the correct way to tell is to look for a label in the back of the box that says "Acceptable for fan support".

If this is what your box looks like it is not fan rated. The holder bars are not designed for the weight and the screw holes are not correct.



 

Last edited by pcboss; 06-04-08 at 04:56 PM. Reason: added image
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Old 06-01-08, 03:51 PM
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If it is what I think it is ,it is a fan box. This type ties into the truss with the single screw in the center then the other two screws screw into the truss to secure the fan in place. I have used them and they do work, but if the wood screws holes are getting elongated you may need to replace the unit. You can replace it by taking the three screws out, and the wire and it should come out of the round hole in the dry wall. The wire may give you the most problem to slide the unit out.
 
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Old 06-02-08, 09:20 PM
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10-11...the 2 screws that the fan screws in with only thread into the box...so im not sure that we are talking about the same box. If we are on the same page with removing the box, how would i release the wire?

PCboss...Anyway you can try to repost that picture it doesnt seem to be showing for me...thanks! Also, would the label be INSIDE the box, or on the back of the box thats in the attic? Thanks again for all of your help!
 
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Old 06-03-08, 08:51 AM
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I've never yet seen a plastic box that was fan-rated.

Fan brace kits, for about $20 or less, allow you to install a fan-rated box and appropriate support without going up into your attic. They are available at all home centers and fan stores.

But it's not a problem if there is a gap between the top of the canopy and the ceiling.
 
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Old 06-03-08, 03:40 PM
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Thanks. How would I get the box out of the ceiling. I can only see that one screw in the center. Someone had mentioned that I would need to get the cable to come out of the box. Is there any secret to releasing that cable from the box? I would hate to have to change this box, but if it is not correct, I guess I may need to do so. Also, I am thinking this box must be screwed into SOMETHING else in the ceiling as, it appears that this single screw looks to be a machine screw. Thanks again for your help
 
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Old 06-04-08, 09:55 AM
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I don't think I understand all your questions or exactly what you're looking at. But many people here are better than I am at decoding stuff like this.

How you get the box out depends on exactly what you have. Certainly remove all the screws you see. Then figure out how the box is attached, from the top or the side. If attached from the side, you can usually pry it away from the structural member it is attached to. If it is attached with screws or nails, you usually only need a small clearance to insert a hacksaw blade (or sawsall) and cut the nails or screws. Getting the cable out of a plastic box is usually easy--you can use a screwdriver to pry open the flaps. But it depends on what kind of plastic box you have.

This is something you need to be there and see to know exactly what to do.
 
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Old 06-04-08, 05:10 PM
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There are plastic fan rated boxes. Most have a metal bracket on the top of the box so that the mounting screws thread into the metal.


The labels are normally inside the box to show "acceptable for fan support".
 
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Old 06-04-08, 07:51 PM
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so if that is the case PC boss...what would be making it move side to side? Loose mounting bracket possibly? I dont recall seeing a label in there anywhere....Thanks for all the help
 
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Old 06-04-08, 07:58 PM
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Unless I am missing something here along the way.,,

To the OP you stated that the box only have one screw to hold the bracket ?? if so I think I know what you are talking about but bear with me i will try to find a photo to describing this one and do you have digtail camera with you ?

If so can you take a photo of the box then we can able tell from there.

{ there are some free photo site like photoshop . com you can up loaded and paste the photo there then get a link here so we can able look at it }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-04-08, 08:19 PM
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Thank you for your reply French...I will see if I have some spare time this weekend I will take the fan down and try and snap a picture for you..
 
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Old 07-07-08, 04:18 PM
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Question

BMC - I was looking for some help when I came across your posting; your mounting sounds like mine when I took the light fixture off my ceiling to install a ceiling fan. I first removed the light fixture and installed the fan - only to find the box move side-to-side slightly like you suggest. (When I turned the fan on high, it really moved badly.) I was afraid that the box would ultimately come down after running the fan for some time.

Since I too couldn't figure how my box was attached, I went to my basement to a room without a ceiling and looked at the box. One side of the box was attached with nails to the side of the beam. It was installed for a ceiling light fixture, without the intention of supporting a fan.

There are 2 screws/nails holding the box in place on one side only. Hence, when I installed the fan, one side would sag slightly, more so when the fan ran on high.

I'd like to know how to reinforce the box. I don't think I'll be able to so I'm thinking of mounting the fan mount to the beam directly, which will therefore not be directly over the box....it will be slightly offset and may not totally cover the opening.

Any suggestions out there?
 
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Old 07-08-08, 05:49 PM
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I'd love to hear how this worked out. Exact same box and I can't read the writing inside it although I have to admit it doesn't seem real steady for a fan. I'm pretty sure it's on a hanger, but if you move it perpendicular to the hanger, it goes back and forth a lot. Can't for the life of me get it down though. After removing that single screw in the center, I can twist the box and everything, just can't pull it down. Might be some flanges on the side that the drywall are possibly stopping, but just don't know...
 
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Old 07-08-08, 07:55 PM
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If you have a plastic box, you can assume that it is not fan rated. Although pcboss has educated me a bit to the fact that some plastic boxes are fan rated, it is extremely unlikely that a box you have in your ceiling now is such a box. Also, you should also assume that an existing hanger is not fan rated either. There are many flimsy hangers in use that cannot safely support a fan.

If the box looks like one you could run over it with your truck and not damage it, it may be fan rated. If not, it isn't.

Everything is removable with enough force. You probably just aren't using enough force. You probably need to mangle that hanger to get it out.

The exception to the above is if the builder prewired the box for a ceiling fan. Most builders don't do this unless you ask them to and pay them extra to do so. If the builder has prewired for a fan, there are usually two switches in a double-gang box on the wall. Furthermore, there will usually be exactly one black wire, one red wire, one white wire, and one bare wire (usually no more) in the ceiling box.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 08:25 PM
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As John has said, from the description of the last 2 posts it does not sound like either one has a fan rated box installed. Both of you need to replace the boxes with ones "acceptable for fan support".

Perhaps you could use one of these and only need to patch a small area.

http://70.86.88.179/n_1.htm
 
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Old 07-08-08, 08:36 PM
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Thanks guys.

The box itself, after I did indeed apply enough force, is something like this: http://www.doityourself.com/invt/u740405.

It has the nailer tabs on the side, just like the one in the link (no nails of course), but it only has the one screw right in the middle. Not sure if it would hold 50lbs (like the link), but regardless, I can't imagine it working very well with a fan at full tilt.

Of course, my new problem, now that I have the box itself out, is getting the old hanger out. The old box is right between two joists, so the press on won't help. And the old one probably has nails right where the twist bar needs to grab for 'no attic access' box. I can probably 'mangle' the hanger enough, but the nails have me worried...

Thanks,
Don
 
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Old 11-28-08, 08:02 PM
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I know its been a really long time, but wanted to update my post. Ended up going into the attic for a different reason and decided that the fan box deserved a closer look. As it turns out the box had 1 machine screw holding it onto an adjustable bar that was nearly as thin as a suspended ceiling grid. The 2 feet at either end were attached to the trusses ( of course 24" on center) with cable staples. So went to lowes and got a ceiling fan box that you attach to a 2x4 similar to the one PC BOSS suggested, cut a 2x4 to fit between the trusses screwed it in and attached the box. I have fixed 2 so far, just one left to go and all my fans will be correct. Scary to think what was actually holding them up there!
 
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