Will this electrical box support a ceiling fan?


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Old 05-27-16, 08:43 AM
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Will this electrical box support a ceiling fan?

So, I don't have a lot of experience at this kind of stuff. I installed a ceiling fan in my bedroom yesterday and the fan wobbles on high speed. It moves maybe 1/2 an inch.

I tightened everything down. I have a habit of over torquing screws so I can't imagine anything is loose. I also used a level to make sure the mounting bracket was perfectly level. I had to add a couple washers to one of the screws to but after tightening the mounting screws down tight, the level said it was perfect.

After doing some googling, it appears it could be my box. For what it's worth, I believe this townhouse was built in the late 80s. There is also a ceiling fan downstairs in the living room.

I hope these pictures aren't too lousy. They are pictures of the box in the other bedroom. It looks like the same box. I figured it was easier to get to instead of removing the fan. I'd appreciate any help someone could give me.

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Old 05-27-16, 09:41 AM
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That is not a fan-rated box. Fan-rated boxes use larger screws (10-24) and they have posts rather than ears the screws go in to. That stated, ceiling fans often will wobble on high speed, especially if they are not balanced. Read the instructions to see if they mention balancing.

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Old 05-27-16, 09:56 AM
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Thank you so much. I guess I'll be trying to replace the box. How long until the fan comes crashing down?
 
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Old 05-27-16, 09:56 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

In addition to Furds reply...... that box in the picture is screwed into the bottom of a joist making it an easy replacement. Hopefully the box where the fan is.... is mounted the same way.


How long until the fan comes crashing down?
You really want to know ?
 
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Old 05-27-16, 10:07 AM
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Wait. Are you sure? I was just looking at this fan rated box and see it doesn't have posts for the mounting screws. It has tabs like the box I have. I don't know if you could tell from the images, but if you remove that mounting adapter for the light fixture and were only looking at the box, each of the mounting screw goes into two tabs, similar to the one in that link.

Also, another big detail I forgot to mention: the mounting screws that are in my box have star washers on them to prevent the screws from coming loose (just like the ones in that link also). If this box was only intended for light weight fixtures, why would star washers be necessary?

Thanks for helping me.
 

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Old 05-27-16, 10:21 AM
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Also, if the box is mounted directly onto a joist, wouldn't it be fan rated?
 
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Old 05-27-16, 10:29 AM
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What makes the box fan rated is the attaching screws. A standard box uses 6-32 or 8-32 screws. A fan box usually uses 10-24 screws. A box doesn't have to be mounted directly to a joist to be a fan rated box.

In the box you linked to there are two/three locations to catch the threads...... not just one like in a regular box.

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Old 05-27-16, 10:56 AM
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If you look closely at my third picture (the image from the closest perspective, if you ignore that mounting adapter plate that was only used for the light fixture, you can see one of the original mounting screws that I used to mount the ceiling fan. It has white paint on the head. It screws into TWO tabs/ears. Not just one. The one I linked to does have three tabs/ears but it would seem like with the box being drilled directly into a joist, the mounting screws being threaded into two tabs and using star washers, this would be fan rated. Matter of fact, the only difference I see between my box and the one I linked to is 3 tabs vs 2.

Oh and the screws mounting the fan to the box are wider in diameter than the screws you can more clearly see sticking out of the adapter plate. Maybe I should have taken better pictures.

Should I just shut up and get another box?
 
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Old 05-27-16, 11:59 AM
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Yes to the better picture.

That is a fan rated box as a standard round box doesn't come with the additional threaded plate.
(Not quite sure what's up with that threaded plate.)

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Old 05-27-16, 01:51 PM
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May be an older one if not labeled Fan rated.
 
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Old 05-27-16, 06:19 PM
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Thanks for your help guys. i guess I gotta figure out why the damn fan wobbles. I'm gonna look through the installation instructions to see if it mentions balancing.
 
 

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