Using a junction box whenever you install an electrical device like a ceiling fan, or light, will help to connect wires and mount the base of the item. A junction box is available in either hard plastic or metal and in several different shapes and thicknesses. Installing a ceiling fan requires the use of a junction box. If you are going to be installing a ceiling fan, here are some tips to follow when mounting the junction box.
1. Use Metal, Octagonal Junction Box
Out of the two different materials that are used for a junction box, you should always choose a metal one for the ceiling fan installation. An octagonal box will also help you to install the mounting plate much easier. You should look at a 4-inch box to make sure that there is enough room for the wires.
2. Mount Directly to Joist
When installing the junction box for a ceiling fan it is important to remember two things. The fan is heavier than a regular ceiling light and there is a lot of torque on the mounting screws as the fan spins. The junction box should be mounted to one of the ceiling joists. If the fan is going to be located in a spot where there is no joist, then it needs to be held in place through a 2-by-6 cross brace.
3. Use 2-Inch Screws for Junction Box
The weight of a ceiling fan can easily reach between 30 and 50 pounds. As the blades are spinning on the ceiling fan there is a lot of pressure on the junction box. It should be mounted with screws that are going to be long enough to give it good holding power. Use 2-inch wood screws with a tight thread pattern. If the fan is on the heavy side, you may want to box-in the junction box with extra studs along side it.
4. Mount Directly to Beams
There are special mounting brackets for ceiling fans that are going to be secured to exposed beams. For this reason, the junction box should be mounted directly to the surface of the beam and not on the side. This is the same for slanted beams also. An angled bracket, and extender, will level out the ceiling fan.
5. Break Out Two Tabs for Wires
Many people try to bring in the wires and send them out through the same hole in the junction box. This should be avoided with a ceiling fan installation. Make sure to bring the wires in through one hole punched out of the back. Then send out other wires (if needed) through another hole on the other side.
6. Use Hanger Bracket
The hanger bracket on the bottom of the ceiling fan should be installed to the junction box first. This will allow you to work on the wires of the fan without it pulling on the wires themselves.
7. Always Use Wire Nuts
When running the wire through the junction box, make sure to use a wire nut to keep it in place. This will also seal off the junction box in case of any sparks.