ceiling fan wobbly, electrical box is loose

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Old 09-10-16, 12:47 PM
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ceiling fan wobbly, electrical box is loose

I had ceiling fans installed in all the bedrooms and den when I moved in 12 years ago.

The fan in my son's bedroom has been wobbly for awhile and I finally decided to figure out what the issue is. It appears as if the electrical box itself is wobbly - it moves when I move the fan.

So I took the entire fan and the fan bracket down so I could tighten the electrical box. It appears though that this particular box has one screw at the top which tightens in to something (I don't know what). And this screw is very tight already. The box does rock/move though when I push on it. So the structure above it is somehow loose?

I'm just wondering what the best approach is here. Do I need to go in the attic to check the structure? What can I expect to find? Is there something I can do from the bedroom? I haven't been in this attic before and the bedroom is a bit far from the attic access.

Suggestions?

Thank you!
 
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Old 09-10-16, 12:51 PM
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What can I expect to find?
You can expect to find a standard bar box that is not rated for or intended for hanging a ceiling fan on it.

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Old 09-10-16, 12:53 PM
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You may need fan balanced or the box may not be fan rated. Pictures of box will help.
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 09-10-16, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

Pete -- yes, it looks like that..... see attached pic.

Is this not a fan-rated box? The contractor had to install electrical as there was none there, so I'd be unpleasantly surprised if he didn't use the correct box.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-10-16, 01:19 PM
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That is a lighting fixture only box. It will need to be replaced. It can be done all from down below but it can be tough to remove that bar behind the box as it's attached to the joists.

Replacement box........
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A strong and solid electrical box is important for a proper fan installation but is rarely the cause of a wobbly fan. That's caused by a blade problem. It can be they are out of balance. I've found that many times the screws are not tight where the fan brackets attach to the motor.
 
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Old 09-10-16, 01:36 PM
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Thank you!! I'm really surprised he didn't use a fan rated box. But we will replace it!

I wouldn't necessarily say the fan wobbled but it was the entire fan structure that wobbled... I think due to the electrical box... We will find out for sure after we replace it...

Thank you!!
 
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Old 09-10-16, 03:46 PM
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Note fan rated boxes don't utilize the ears of the box for fitment of the fan, but 10-24 screws that extend further in and more solidly. Determine if you can, if you need the bar mentioned. Sometimes boxes are next to ceiling joists, which would allow you to use a different attachment method.

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Old 09-10-16, 08:17 PM
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Thank you! I will see what I can find out about the current installation.

Also, this may be pertinent, particularly to the point about it rarely being the electrical box that causes a fan to wobble..... I actually think you may be right as to be honest, I don't think we noticed any wobble for a very long time. But my son has a basketball hoop in his room and between that and other things like stuffed animals, he may have done something to cause the blades to be unbalanced.

I assume we should still put in the correct electrical box, right? And then troubleshoot the fan/blades after reinstalling it??

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-10-16, 09:42 PM
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I assume we should still put in the correct electrical box, right? And then troubleshoot the fan/blades after reinstalling it??
Definitely. You don't want the fan to fall from the ceiling.

Double check all the blade screws for tightness too.
After all that.... if the fan still wobbles.... try swapping two blades.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 12:49 AM
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Many times depending on the ceiling fan manufacturer you can buy new fan blades. Sometimes taping a penny onto the end of a fan blade will also stop the wobble. I imagine to get the old box out you may need to cut away some of the ceiling but once you do it should be easy then to put up the new box. If you still have contact with the contractor you might want to point out his error this could have been very dangerous over time. Many times I go behind a contractors back and check on him or her just to be on the safe side. I suggest you check the other fans too.
 
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