Ceiling Light Fixture with Wires but no Box

Old 09-24-20, 06:56 PM
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Ceiling Light Fixture with Wires but no Box

I just bought a house, and in the process of painting/upgrading before we move in, I have begun finding all the little "gems." In this case, the light fixture in the laundry room. The screws were rusted out; took them out to find the box holes were stripped. Tried to take that out, but it crumbled apart in the process. There's a ton of loose insulation in the attic, and with the way the ducts and crossbeams are, I can't reach where the box is attached up there, so I'm stuck with a broken ceiling box and no way to replace it. Also, the initial light fixture also rusted around where the screws hold it up, so I'll need to replace it anyways.

Wires are fine, just there's nothing but ceiling drywall to mount the light to. My thoughts are that I can put in a new lightweight light fixture using mounting tape/adhesive and avoid using screws; does anyone know of a lighting fixture that is flat enough on the back where this is possible? I'm three and out at Home Depot in new fixture attempts.
Old 09-24-20, 08:09 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

So there is a partial box in the ceiling. Is there just one cable entering the box ?
You may be able to break the box out and pull the cable out of the hole.
A surface fixture like a 2x4 strip light can be installed with no box and you could screw the fixture up to the ceiling.

Maybe a picture would help..... How-to-insert-pictures.
Old 09-25-20, 04:11 AM
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Hi, seems like there might be other issues if the ceiling box and screw are rusted out.


Last edited by Shadeladie; 10-02-20 at 07:53 AM.
Old 09-25-20, 04:18 AM
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I would be concerned as to why the box rusted out depending on your location. I've seen it in older, air conditioned houses in the south with poor attic insulation. The cold air conditioned leaks up around the light fixture causing the moisture in the hot humid attic air to condense which leads to rust and corroded wire connections. If that's not it is there any evidence of a roof leak? Or, is this house just really, old?
Old 09-25-20, 10:11 AM
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As long as the drywall is in reasonably decent condition, a standard old work ceiling box can be used.

Any standard, 5-10lb fixture should be fine mounted on a box like that.

Could always stick a wire up there to find the closest joist (that the cable reaches to) and cut out for a new box that screws to the joist.

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