electrical box mount to small for fan?

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Old 10-01-12, 11:31 PM
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electrical box mount to small for fan?

I removed our old broken fan, but found that the new mounting bracket is too wide for the electrical box mounting holes. They are less than 2.75" wide. My bracket has slots for variable mounting widths, but it is too tight to mount the screws straight.

Do I need a new electrical box? I replaced a light in another part of the house on the ceiling and had the same problem. The holes in the ceiling mounted box are just too narrow.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 12:04 AM
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That is only one problem. The box is also not fan rated so it needs to be replaced anyway. If the two screws hold the box to a ceiling joist and the existing box is one half inch deep it can be replaced with a four inch fan rated pancake box. Fasten the fan box to the ceiling joist using #10 x1-1/2" pan head sheet metal screws or mounting screws included with the box. Do not use wood screws because they are not threaded all the way. Use 10-24 machine screws to mount the fan bracket to the posts not the ears.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-02-12 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 10-02-12, 08:23 AM
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the old box is screwed to the ceiling joist , but above the sheet rock. Its nestled in very tight. I am guessing I have to bust out the sheet rock to replace the box.
The old box has round opening, but it is square above the sheetrock.

I dont understand the "existing box is one half inch deep" part. Is that mounting depth?

If I bust out the sheetrock, how do I repair the hole.

thanks guys.


 
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Old 10-02-12, 08:29 AM
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I dont understand the "existing box is one half inch deep" part. Is that mounting depth?
No, I was asking how deep the box that is there is.

I am guessing I have to bust out the sheet rock to replace the box
No. Trace the outline of the new box on the Sheetrock and cut as much as you can with a Sheetrock saw (AKA Jab Saw) then carefully cut the part over the joist with a wood chisel.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 10:25 AM
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the old box is 1.5" deep.

I got the cover off the box and unscrewed the box from the wood. It still wouldnt come out. Thats when I noticed the box has wings or tabs screwed to the side as well. THis is getting harder than just switching fans.

Anyway, does this whole things still need to come out, or can I just get a new cover plate?

the only 1.5" fan box they had was this one in the photo.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 10:30 AM
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The box in the bottom picture would be fine. I'm confused by the first two pictures. They are not ceiling boxes. Were they above the existing three inch ceiling box?
 
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Old 10-02-12, 10:38 AM
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when I first saw this it had a round opening, but that was just a cover. there were screws under the sheetrock holding the round hole cover to that square box.

THere are 2 screws on each wing holding it opposite where the wires enter.

Once I cleared the drywall to pull out the box, it wouldn't budge. I thought maybe it was glued, then I felt inside and found those extra bits.

Now to get at those 4 screws is impossible without cutting out way more drywall.

So I have Spackle, but I think this is going to be a rather large hole to get the screws out.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 11:21 AM
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THere are 2 screws on each wing holding it opposite where the wires enter... Now to get at those 4 screws is impossible without cutting out way more drywall.
You can use a reciprocating saw with a metal-cutting blade, or a mini-hack saw, to cut the screws, by sliding the blade in between the box ears and the joist they're screwed to. Thai should create only a narrow cut in the drywall.

You don't need to get the old 4" square box out of the ceiling. You can leave it in top of the drywall. You just need to get it out of the way so you can install the new box.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 06:03 PM
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They gotta release that wiring out of the old box. No strain reliefs or plugs. i would pry the box from the joists since it appears to be held in with nails and since it is above the sheetrock for the most part. I'd pull it and install the new deeper box. Don't get flustered with repairing the ceiling as the bell on the new ceiling fan will cover the booger, hopefully.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 06:18 PM
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The electric code requires that the gap around electrical boxes be repaired if greater than 1/8". You could cut out a 12" square and install a piece to patch the area.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 08:30 PM
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Well I tried prying earlier. This is screwed in for sure. I knocked out the plugs trying to pry this thing out this morning.

The bell of the new fan is small, so after I try to cut through the screws ill see how bad the damage is. I had to take a break and go to work. I'll try to get more done Thursday.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 05:17 AM
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You could use a medallion over the patch to hide it if your not good at patching.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 03:01 PM
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And if you don't like the 31" one Ray posted, that covers half of Iowa, you can get one 10" in diameter which may be more subtle.
Ray, where did you find that gargoyle??!!!
 
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