Electric box for ceiling fan install ?


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Old 01-27-15, 07:00 PM
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Electric box for ceiling fan install ?

I want to install a ceiling fan to an exsisting outlet in my family room. I do not know whether the previous owner had a light fixture or ceiling fan. The wires that are there are a black, white, red and copper ground. So can anyone tell me if the electrical box is OK to use for ceiling fan or not? Is there a way to know by just looking at it?Name:  20150127_151308.jpg
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Old 01-27-15, 07:22 PM
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I would say no. It does not have separate 10-24 screw mounting posts, nor is it marked as a paddle fan box.
 
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Old 01-27-15, 08:18 PM
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That is definitely a fan box. You can tell by the two nuts at the back of the box that go to the bar hanger. A standard 4" bar box also has four ko's on the back.

It is hard to tell what size screws those are and I don't recall seeing that type of threaded connection on the sides for the screws.
 
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Old 01-27-15, 10:02 PM
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So now I'm confused. One person saying it is not and another saying it is. Which is it for sure?
 
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Old 01-28-15, 03:32 AM
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I am not familiar with this particular brand of box, but since the box has no provisions for the 10-24 screws to attach directly, I would have to say it is not fan rated. Normal boxes can be mounted on spanner bars, but the key is the ability for the screws to be attached directly to the base of the box and not to the "ears" so to speak. More research, and I'll report back.

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Old 01-28-15, 03:33 AM
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Does it use 10-24 fixture screws? If so it is fan rated. If it use 8-32 it isn't.
 
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Old 01-28-15, 02:51 PM
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When you guys are saying if it uses 10-24 screws are you referring to the 2 screws with the nuts around them or the two screws on the outer edge..one of which is screwed over a tab? Do I need to unscrew the screws to find out or what?

So if I understand correctly since my box do not have actual holes under the 2 "ears" for the screws of the mounting to go then this would not be a fan box? I should not mount the fan bracket to just those 2 ears only correct?
 

Last edited by joemann; 01-28-15 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 01-28-15, 03:42 PM
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See picture. Purchase Two #10-24 Machine Screws (1-1/2" long).
If the screws fit in these holes, you are good to go.
Personally, I agree with PJ and can almost guarantee you this is a fan rated box.

If you already have the new fan, there should be #10 screws in box.
 
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Old 01-28-15, 03:47 PM
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See if you can tell what size screws the holes circled in red are. It's hard to tell from the picture.
10-24 is the size normally used in a fan rated box. I'm fairly certain that is a fan box but I can't place or locate the manufacturer of it.

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You can easily change that box for another if you'd like. The two nuts circled in green are what hold that box to the bar that spans the ceiling joists. I believe what you have is similar to the picture below.

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You're getting faster Brian
 
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Old 01-28-15, 09:44 PM
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If the 10-24 screws fit in those ears then all is good correct? So attaching the fan bracket to just the ears of the box will be fine with the 10-24 screws even though they are not posts in the box and do not go all the way to other side of box?
 
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Old 01-28-15, 10:05 PM
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That is correct.
A side note: Your house is probably fairly new and looks like it was set up for fans. You have black and red wires, you should have 2 wall switches. One will control fan and the other light.
This is good and fairly rare in California, unless requested by buyer.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 02:48 AM
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Yes house was built in 2005. I have a 3 switch on the wall in the hall leading up to the family room where this ceiling fan will go. One controls the lights for the hall lights, middle is for a wall outlet that I have a floor lamp plugged in, and last one is I assume for this ceiling outlet. I looked at this switch and it has both the black and red connected to it plus the ground wire.

Since I have a remote with the fan that controls both the light and fan should I just connect black to black, white to white, and green to ground and leave the red capped?
 
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Old 01-29-15, 03:03 AM
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With the power off, pull the switch to the ceiling fan and let us know which wires are connected to it. If fairly new, it is possible the 14-3 was put in place according to new rules requiring same in a switch loop, leaving the neutral capped at both ends and using the red and black as the loop. Once we find that out, we can advise which wires to connect to the fan, and yes, using the remote of the fan/light, you will only need one switch, if at all.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 07:18 AM
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I just connect black to black, white to white, and green to ground and leave the red capped?
Not necessarily. It looks like you will connect red at ceiling box to black of fan. Your switch has a red wire and black wire connected to terminals. The black should be incoming power (not fan black) and the red is switched power to fan box.
If you look in the 3-gang switch box, you should see a black wire capped off. This is the black going to fan box. It's there in reserve in case you did want to add separate switches for light and fan.

So I was wrong in my previous post. You do not have 2 switches to control fan and light separately, but the electrician prewired for this if ever desired.

All of this should be tested with meter or voltage detector.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 08:27 AM
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You may find the black wire at the ceiling always hot and the red wire switched.

That method allows for light to be controlled by the switch and the fan to be controlled by the pull chain.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 01:33 PM
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Yes indeed, I didn't think of that. That makes sense. You would still have the option of a second switch at some future time.

You're good PJ.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 02:47 PM
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So my fan is a Casablanca with no pull chain. Just halogen light on bottom and with remote. So if I want to just not use the wall switch at all would I be just connecting the black/black, white/white, and green/ground and with the switch in the on position I can then just operate the fan/light with the remote? Or would I do the red/black, white/white, and green/ground if I want to the leave the swtich to always on, but turn on and off the fan/light with the remote only?
 
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Old 01-29-15, 03:33 PM
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A couple of things. You need a tester. This should be a meter. A cheap analog multimeter will do and is preferred by the moderators here. You should never work on electric without being certain there is no current.

So, using meter, you will confirm the black wire at ceiling is always hot.
You will confirm red wire at ceiling is switched.

You then have your choice of which wire to use. Either fan will only be controlled by remote (black), or fan will be controlled by remote with the option of turning off wall switch (red).

Obviously, if you choose to use wall switch, it will have to be on at all times for remote to work.

For me, I would connect to wall switch even though it's not needed. That way someone coming in later will not wonder what that switch is for.

It is important that whatever wire you choose, the other one (black or red), be capped off with wire nut and taped.

Your wiring is probably black = always hot; red = switched. But as stated before, a test is needed to confirm.

White to white and connect grounds.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 04:57 PM
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Thanks Brian for your input. When you say I need a meter should I get one of these detector types

Shop Southwire Analog Voltage Detector at Lowes.com
Shop Southwire Analog Voltage Detector at Lowes.com

or this type:

Shop Southwire Analog Multimeter Meter at Lowes.com
 
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Old 01-29-15, 05:12 PM
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Get the last one posted, analog meter with probes. $12.98
The voltage detectors are meant to simplify, but actually take electrical experience to ensure you are not getting false readings.
 
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Old 02-04-15, 02:39 PM
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My fan came with 2 1" 8-32 screws. I tried the screw into ear of the electrical box and they fit. The instructions also mention securing the bracket with these 8-32 screws that were provided. So am I Ok to go with these and box should be fan rated even though the screws and holes are not 10-24?
 
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Old 02-04-15, 03:05 PM
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The box is fan rated. Those threaded blocks pivot to allow the use of either 8-32 for a fixture or the 10-24 for a ceiling fan. I would go get two 10-24 screws for the greater strength they provide.
 
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Old 02-04-15, 03:47 PM
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If 8-32 screws are for fixtures only how come my fan were supplied with these and not 10-24? My fan weighs 19 pounds. So you do not think 8-32 would be suitable for this fan even though that is what manufacturer recommended? If do need to get 10-24 screws should I get 1" or 1.5" screws?

One other thing is the fan box sits about 0.5" further up from where the ceiling hole is so the ear holes are also about 0.5" up from the opening as seen in my pics. Is that an issue or not?
 
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Old 02-04-15, 03:55 PM
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The box should be set back no more than 1/4" from the front of the drywall. I would use a BE-1R box extender to fix this.

Again, thew threaded bosses rotate so either a 8-32 or a 10-24 can be used. You turn the block to align the proper size tapped holes for the usage.

Use the longer screws.
 
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Old 02-04-15, 04:01 PM
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My fan weighs 19 pounds. So you do not think 8-32 would be suitable for this fan even though that is what manufacturer recommend and supplied?
 
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Old 02-04-15, 04:03 PM
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I would not hang any fan on an 8-32. Not only is weight a consideration , but you also have a torque issue.
 
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Old 02-04-15, 04:14 PM
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So from where the ear holes/edge of fan box to the outside surface of ceiling it is right around 1/2". If I am getting 1.5" 10-24 screws would I still need some sort of extender or I should be OK?
 
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Old 02-04-15, 04:26 PM
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You need an extender to fill the gap. The BE-1R will slide right into the box above the fan bracket.
 
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Old 02-04-15, 04:41 PM
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Thank you for the feedback.

So I was able to scrape off the paint from the box and it has the following written: "Acceptable for fan support when secured with 10-32 screws provided".

So should I get 10-32 or 10-24 screws? I assume the ears rotate to accept 10-32 as well.
 
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Old 02-04-15, 04:53 PM
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Use the 10-32 holes that the boss is tapped for. Rotate the boss 90 degrees.
 
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Old 02-04-15, 09:48 PM
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I went to home depot to find the type of extender you mentioned and was unable to find any. Two people helped and nothing similar in stock. I asked if just attaching the fan bracket with 1 5" 10-32 should be fine (with no additional extender) and they said should not be an issue since with the longer screws and since the box itself is attached to the beam above and will support it just fine.
 
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Old 08-05-16, 01:14 PM
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I have the same box...

First I just want to say I'm new to owning a house and new to DIY projects of any kind.

I wanted to install a ceiling fan as well, and while searching the internet for a fan box that looked like mine, I came upon this post - which shows the same exact box we have.

1. I was trying to verify if this is a fan box because paint covers any writing on it, so I can't tell. The builder should have put in a fan box (we requested), but I've lost a little trust in the builder's subcontractors (especially electrical), so wanted to verify it...and with the exception of this post, there is no other picture of a fan box that has the threaded rotating/pivoting bosses. What brand/model of fan box is this?

2. Although it seems secure, my "fan box" does move if I push at it (i.e. it's not SOLID) and has a slight give). Is that normal?

3. To the OP: how did the fan install turn out? Is the fan stable and secure?

I'd appreciate any information on this. Thank you in advance!
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Old 08-05-16, 04:31 PM
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Janua, welcome to the forums! The box you have is a fan rated box if the rotating securements will accept a 10-32 screw. The "give" you mention is possibly from the bar the box is attached to. This box was wired previously, before paint was applied. I can see where the grounding wire was secured via a green screw in the center top of the last picture. You need to replicate this by attaching the grounding wire to the box before it goes to the fan. IF the blocks don't accept a 10-32 screw then the box is not fan rated.
 
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Old 08-06-16, 08:48 PM
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I scratched off some of the paint on the pivoting parts and it rotates with one side that says FAN 10-32, so that confirms the fan box issue - thank you.

As far as the "give", is there a way to make it more secure, or tighten it?

I think there are instructions to connect the ground wire to the fan's mounting bracket, but will confirm that once I get home.

We have two wall switches: one turns on the light fixture (red wire) and a separate switch which operates the black wire (which was capped off when I took down the flush mount light fixture - as seen in one of the pics), so I may come back to ask/confirm if I'm connecting correctly once I get back home. This forum is a great tool/learning resource - I'm learning a lot from other people's q&a's too! Thank you!
 
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Old 08-06-16, 09:57 PM
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Try tightening the nuts holding the box to the cross bar. If that doesn't work you may have to remove the nuts, drop the box, and check the cross bar.

Ground wire needs to be pigtailed to both the box and the fan.
 

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Old 08-07-16, 06:07 AM
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Screw hole is circled in green. You can even see where a ground wire was attached to a screw at one point because of the paint. (22" screen FTW)

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