Old ceiling mount Electrical box

Old 05-07-18, 08:10 PM
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Old ceiling mount Electrical box

Hi, Trying to help out a friend hang a ceiling fan is his home. He told me the house was built in the 1920's. The house is a two story and were trying to mount a ceiling fan where the original fixture is in the living room on the first floor. What we ran into is what looks like a pancake electrical box. It's about 1/2" or so deep and there is a center "stud". I know it's 3/8" IPS as there was a "hicky" on it that went from that to 1/4" IPS. Now it's not a nipple. It's a solid chunk of iron that is threaded with what appears to be a lock washer under it. I'm assuming there is a joist behind it but, I don't see any nails or screws through the box. The thing feels really solid. I know we have to change it, but I'm wondering how it's mounted to the joist? Is that center "bolt" like a big lag bolt or something? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 05-07-18, 09:03 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Old style pancake boxes were usually screwed directly to the joist with flat head wood screws. The fitting sticking out is similar to what a gas pipe would have been. There were adapters available for hanging fixtures on it. A fixture bar could also be attached there.

Based on the age of the house..... that could possibly be an old gas line there.
Can you take an up close and personal picture of the box and post it for us.

There are several different types of boxes that will work there but I'm betting that you have BX cable and will require a metal box to be used.

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Old 05-07-18, 09:07 PM
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They make pancake boxes specifically for ceiling fans. The screws that hole the fan assembly are thicker and hold more weight than a standard pancake box.
Old 05-08-18, 05:40 AM
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Is there still gas in the house? I have removed boxes like that and found them still alive with gas.
Just saying

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