Attach Ceiling fan to aluminium fan beam

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Old 09-11-10, 07:53 AM
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Attach Ceiling fan to aluminium fan beam

This summer I had my back deck covered with a very nice flat bottom aluminum roof. My contractor did an excellent job but does not do electrical work. He installed two 3 inch by 3 inch fan beams for me to mount new ceiling fans. I have the new fans and I have installed several indoor ceiling fans in the past by myself and I know how to do the wiring. Now my problem is that I have no idea how to attach my new fans to the metal fan beams. There are no instructions with the new fans. My best guess is the fans weigh about 35 pounds. Please give me some guidance as to how to connect these fans to the fan beams. These will be flush mounted fans I think they call the attachment box a pancake box. There will be no down rod.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

cebceb
 
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Old 09-11-10, 08:01 AM
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If the attachment box carries the weight of the fan, it must be a fan rated box.
 
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Old 09-11-10, 08:25 AM
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Attach ceiling fan to aluminum fan beam

The attachment box came with the fans and I am sure it is fine. I know how to attach the fan to the attachment box. I do not know how to attach the box to the 3x3 inch aluminum beam.
 
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Old 09-11-10, 09:07 AM
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Box beam? I beam? Chanel beam? Angle beam? Is the back face accessible for tightening nuts? A picture might help us advise.
 
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Old 09-11-10, 09:40 AM
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http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html

I would think that 4 self tapping sheetmetal screws..prob about #10 or #12 if you can find them would be more than enough strength. Thats assuming they aren't just thin sheet metal formings. Since you used the term "fan beams" I would guess the contractor has installed more than a few of these roof structures?
 
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Old 09-11-10, 11:00 AM
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I have a very nice photo of the fan beam but I just cannot figure out how to attach it to this message. Anyway, the fan beam is a 3x3 inch hollow box beam and the wall thickness is about 1/8 inch. Of course, the wires will be inside the hollow box. I like gunguys idea to use self tapping sheet metal screws and I think this will work. The contractor is great and has installed hundreds of the "fan beams" but he just does not want to get involved with telling the customer how to attach the fans. I think he might be concerned about possible liability.

I would feel better if I had a bolt head inside the beam but this is just not possible. Anyone have an idea about using toggle bolts since I can drill holes into the fan beam. So far, sheet metal screws seems to be the best idea.

I wish I could show you my photo, but the top of the box beam is touching the bottom of the roof with no space in between.

Any other suggestions.

Thanks, cebceb
 
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Old 09-11-10, 12:31 PM
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See the post above yours on how to put pictures in. I would probably use two screws and two 3/16" Pop rRvets. The screws for strength and the Pop Rivets in case the screws vibrated loose. If you can find high strength stainless 3/16" blind rivets then just use four of those.
 
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Old 09-11-10, 12:36 PM
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Ahhh...yeah..metal on metal...Pop-rivets would be great...

No sharp points or threads, no loosening.

Sorry about the link not showing up right....click on it and it will explain how to post pics.
 
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Old 09-11-10, 01:07 PM
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Old 09-11-10, 01:45 PM
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Man...that looks pretty nice...and def strong enough. I'd try and put some sort of isolation between the box and beam (even if it's just rubber gasket material)...might help with vibration.
 
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Old 09-26-10, 07:35 AM
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Thanks to all of you for the suggestions as to how to attached the ceiling fans to the beams. I used four good size self tapping sheet metals screws. And as gunguy suggested I used rubber plumber washers to isolate the fan box from the metal beam and avoid metal to metal contact. I used Minka Aire fans since they had less depth then others I could find online. They are very stable, well balanced, and no noise or vibration. I decided not to go with the pop rivets since after testing one of the sheet metal screws, I was sure four would easily carry the load. I used good lock washers so they will not vibrate loose. I installed two fans this time and it took about about 6 hours total time. Later I will install two more fans. I wish now that I had purchased 52 in. fans rather than the 44 in. The next that I install will be 52 inch since I need a little more air movement. Here is a photo of the fan installed. What do you guys think? I think it looks pretty good but would like to hear from you.

Fan attached to beam | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Thanks again for all the good suggestions.

cebceb
 
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