Ceiling fan fell, need help to determine the best way to replace ceiling box

Old 04-28-14, 11:14 PM
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Ceiling fan fell, need help to determine the best way to replace ceiling box


One of the ceiling fans in my house has fallen.
It appears the plastic casing of the electrical box split at one of the holes where the screws go.
I purchased the house with fans already, it seems the seller or the people he hired just used the old electrical ceiling box without giving it much thought.

I looked up the installation manual for the fan and it said to use only a box rated for fan use and to avoid plastic boxes.

So anyway, I would like to replace the ceiling box. The problem is the attic space is pretty cramped. The highest point in the attic I think is probably 4 feet at the most. The clearance I have at the location where the box is located is probably 2 feet, but all that area is buried in like a foot of loose (cellulose?) insulation.

I think the box might have a metal L bracket and nailed to a joist, like the one in the following picture which is from another light fixture that is very accessible.

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And this is the picture of the actual ceiling box from which the fan fell:
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What would be the best way to replace the box? From inside the attic or working from under the ceiling?

With all the insulation and cramped space in the attic, I'd have a bit of a hard time making my way to the area and making sure I stay on the ceiling joists.
Most of the house does seem to have plywood under the ceiling joists, would that be enough to support me (I weigh 180lb) if I can't stay on the joists?

Old 04-28-14, 11:41 PM
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Members ask questions almost daily about ceiling fans and when we mention fan rated ceiling boxes.... we become the bad guys.

That almost looks like the plastic Carlon box that is rated for fan duty. I can't imagine a plastic box being rated for fan duty.
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Your toughest job is to get that box unmounted from the beam. The new style fan boxes can be installed from below right thru the box hole. This style is my personal favorite.

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Old 04-28-14, 11:43 PM
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What you need is a Reiker ceiling fan box it can hold any fan and is incredibly durable. Here is a link to a PDF file I found online that shows how the box is mounted. The picture of the man working with one of these boxes with the brace is working on new work. On the PDF file you will see on the left the retrofit box here is the link . In my own experience I have had to take part of the ceiling down to get this to work. However with your box the way it is you may be able to move it aside.

Once moved aside you should then be able to take the old box completely away. The tricky part though will be in getting the wires down and I suggest you tie some string temporarily to the wires so you can fish them through the new box. As you can also see too there are many different types of boxes for different situations. So you might want to carefully look in the attic to see if the box is between two joists or not. I also caution you to turn the power off to that circuit before working on it. Those boxes are usually available at Home Depot or Lowes.
Old 04-29-14, 06:16 AM
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If your old box is next to the framing you could use a hacksaw blade to remove the old box and install one of these.
Madison Electric Products Smart Box Adjustable Depth 75 lb Ceiling Fan Support / 50 lb Light Fixture Support-MSBFAN at The Home Depot

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