Question on junction boxes

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Old 04-30-11, 09:51 PM
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Question on junction boxes

I tried to replace the light fixtures in my kitchen today. I purchased new ones at Home Depot, the Hampton Bay brand. After hours of this
I realized that there was just no way to make it fit in my junction box. I tried returning it and purchasing a different light but same problem. I tried to explain the problem to the associate at home depot but they don't even sell a junction box like the ones in my home there. My neighborhood was built mid eighties.

Here is a diagram I made of the junction boxes in my ceiling http://i.imgur.com/2pj5O.png

So here are my questions, is there any way I can purchase light fixtures that will fit in my home and how can I be sure what I'm purchasing will work for what I have? Is this size junction box really that rare?
 
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Old 04-30-11, 10:14 PM
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Replace the box with the correct type of box. A round old work ceiling box would work fine for light weight lights.

An actual picture might help us tell you how to remove the existing box without damaging the Sheetrock. If you can do that it will leave a hole small enough that it will actually need enlarging for the new box so no patching needed.

Above answer assumes non metalic cable.
 
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Old 04-30-11, 11:05 PM
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Here's a photo for you. http://i.imgur.com/nIzbl.jpg

Is my only option to replace the box? That's way more than I bargained for when I set out to replace a light fixture!
 
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Old 04-30-11, 11:27 PM
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I retract my original statement. That is a ceiling box. Probably an old 3" one.

You weren't trying to mount the light directly to the box were you? A mounting bracket goes first and they should fit a 3" box. The light goes on the bracket. The bracket should have been included with the light.
 
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Old 05-01-11, 12:15 AM
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Yes I was using a mounting bracket. I tried the brackets that came with the lights and also a universal bracket. The problem is that the entire setup is wider than the hole the box sits in. Since I don't have a picture of it to show you here is a diagram I made
imgur: the simple image sharer

Basically the screws that act as the posts for the light covers to screw onto are wider than the junction box. This is true for all Hampton Bay light fixtures I looked at at Home Depot. The associate was able to figure out that the only way to mount the lights on a 3" old style round junction box was to thread the post screw from behind the box. But my box isn't the round style and it doesn't have a place to do that anyway.

I suppose if my junction box isn't some strange non-standard size I can just keep buying light fixtures till I find one that fits...
 
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Old 05-01-11, 04:55 AM
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Yes, the spanner bar will be wider than the junction box. That's no problem. They are made to accommodate both older 3" and more modern 4" boxes. You will install your spanner to the box inside the longer slots as you drew up. you may have to chip some sheetrock away to allow for your mounting screws to extend up into the ceiling void once you install the fixture bell, but, again, that's no problem. Usually just the force of the screw will eek it's way up through the sheetrock, but you can help it along by poking a small hole for it to travel through.
Sorry Ray, I was awake.
 
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Old 05-01-11, 06:06 AM
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I suppose if my junction box isn't some strange non-standard size I can just keep buying light fixtures till I find one that fits.
Unlikely. Modern fixtures are for 4" boxes. Your box was standard when installed. Just mount as Chandler suggested. If wood or real plaster predrill clearance hole in ceiling for screws. Wrap tape on the drill bit a half inch from the tip so you don't deill too far and hit a cable.
 
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