Ceiling Fan Junction Box Loose

Old 09-05-21, 07:17 PM
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Ceiling Fan Junction Box Loose

Hello! Just purchased my first home and part of that came with some quality of life improvements. One of those improvements we wanted to make was placing a ceiling fan with a light in a bedroom that currently does not have a light or a fan. I removed the cover and discovered that the junction box says "acceptable for fan support." However the junction box is loose (upward pressure only) on the side the wires enter from. The other side is sturdy in both directions.

I don't exactly have easy access to the attic (mainly because I don't own a ladder yet and we have 9ft ceilings and the attic has a lip that is about another two feet.

Is that normal for the junction box to have that upward pressure give?

Numbers on box

Fan Support Stamp

Overall of junction box

Close up of numbers on box

Do I need to figure out where that looseness is or is it safe to mount the fan there, or should I just put a standard light fixture?

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Last edited by Jomom50; 09-05-21 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Pic of fan support cert blurry
Old 09-05-21, 09:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

There are boxes and then there are boxes. I like to install a rugged box that I know will be solid and strong.

This is a "nail on" box. It's held to the joist with two nails. It is fan rated but in my opinion is not terribly strong. The side of the box away from the joist moves..... like you've found out. However it is fan rated and should support a fan ok.

Nail on box for fan

For that type of installation I prefer to use a smart box. It has three screws that go thru the box into the joist. More secure. Smart fan box
Old 09-06-21, 10:59 PM
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So could I just knock that old box out pretty easily and replace it with something like this?

I have watched a few videos and it looks like most people just put a block of wood in the junction box and give it a few whacks to get the old one out.
Old 09-07-21, 07:13 AM
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The old one will come out pretty easily doing the wood/hammer trick. The box PJMax posted will be easier than the expanding box bracket you posted because the box is right next to the joist/truss. On the expanding bracket, the box will be shifted over due to the "leg".
Old 09-07-21, 10:39 AM
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Both PJ and Tolyn are right. But if the bell cover of the fan is big enough to cover the hole, I think the ceiling brace you choose is a bit easier to install and make sure it's very secure. Just my opinion. My son did the same thing about a week ago at his house using the expandable brace.
Old 09-13-21, 04:50 AM
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Got it done!

Sorry for the late reply. Things have been hectic. I was able to get the box out by using a two by four and a hammer. Took a little bit of effort cause that thing was really in there.

I replaced it with a box similar to that smart box, but ended up getting a Raco metal fan box at Lowe's. It was item number 37751 and model #294. It was fairly straight forward to install and align. It supports up to a 70lb fan and 150lb light fixture.

Upon starting the project I realized the hole in the ceiling was too big for the fan I had and needed to get a flush mount that covered a wider area.

However thanks to you guys I was able to get it in,, without paying some contractor to do it for me!

Thanks a bunch. I will attach a picture of the installed fan later.

Thanks again guys!

Removed box

Box on the floor, came out in several pieces.

Box I usee

Box on Lowe's website
Old 09-13-21, 11:03 AM
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Great! I agree, that's a much better fan box, well worth the effort.

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