Repairing ceiling mount electrical box


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Old 05-25-21, 08:24 AM
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Repairing ceiling mount electrical box

Hello! I just moved into a new home and found a ceiling mounted light fixture dangling crooked. I found that the blue plastic housing that the fixture was screwed into had the screw threaded ear snapped off. I don't have attic access above the housing, so what is the correct way to repair this? I'm assuming that the drywall needs to be cut large enough to pull the old housing out, but then how do I get a new housing inserted and mounted securely? Thanks in advance! I'm also trying to attach a picture of what it currently looks like.

Located in TX, USA


 
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Old 05-25-21, 09:38 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

it looks like the box is cracked. It certainly appears to be no longer solidly mounted.
It should be replaceable from outside the sheetrock without opening the hole much more.

Important question..... how heavy is the fixture ?
That will dictate what type of box you can use.

Pull all the wiring out of the box without disconnecting anything. Take a picture and post it.
The splices will all need to be opened to replace the box.

One of the two may be a possibility.
 
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Old 05-25-21, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for your response, Pete! So essentially, I do have to cut the drywall a little bigger to replace the housing..but when I replace it, how do I properly repair the extra gap left from the cut? Would I use some kind of drywall repair putty? The lamp is a mushroom style and I'm guessing weighs around 10 lbs with its glass cover.

I just broke the old box and pulled it out, it looks like the kind that slides on a metal rail.



 
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Old 05-25-21, 10:37 AM
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Even better! The hole in the drywall is likely cut about 1/8" larger than the box, so it should pull through. You may need to trim a bit of the drywall out, it doesn't look like it was cut quite circular, but as long as you're careful, you shouldn't have any drywall repair afterwards.

Get that same box with the metal bracket. Unscrew from the bracket, and just use the existing bracket - as long as it's still reasonably secure.
 
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Old 05-25-21, 10:44 AM
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Looks that is one location of two lights on the same switch. Basic splices.

Yes.... you can use the bar over. It will be tricky. You'll need to tape the bracket to the bar as the screws go up from the box and the clip may not want to stay on the bar. I left the amazon link as it shows all the angles.
4" new work plastic bar box
 
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Old 05-25-21, 10:52 AM
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@Zorfdt - I think it will be extremely tricky to get the bracket over the rail and secured to the box without opening up the drywall. The bracket has the screw threads and just floats on top of the rail - it's the screws through the box below adds the compression force to secure the entire assembly to the rail.



 
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Old 05-25-21, 11:00 AM
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You can use tape under the bar to hold the clip in place. Duct tape would work.
Pre-poke the mounting screw holes.
 
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Old 05-25-21, 11:09 AM
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Brilliant idea! Will be heading to Home Depot to pick up the parts. Thanks!
 
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Old 05-26-21, 05:57 AM
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Wanted to update that after getting several mouth-fulls of drywall powder and also in both of my eyes, the repair was completed successfully using duct tape to add material to the bracket so it would hold itself to the bar with friction. Thanks everyone for your help!
 
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Old 05-26-21, 08:29 AM
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several mouth-fulls of drywall powder and also in both of my eyes,
That's a given with overhead work in drywall. Dust mask and goggles help a little until the dust builds up on the lenses.

Glad to hear that it worked.
 
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Old 06-11-21, 10:14 AM
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You can use tape under the bar to hold the clip in place.
I recently helped my neighbor install an old-work bar-mounted box by Westinghouse. The clip was a friction fit onto the bar and there was a small magnet on the metal box to hold it in place while installing the bolts. I thought that was very clever and it worked perfectly!
 
 

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