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Old 02-02-2010, 07:35 PM   #1
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


Hi. I recently bought a home where the last residents took the ceiling fan that was installed over the dining room table. I would like to hang a small chandelier and I don't think I would have a problem doing so except for one issue. The electrical wire is hanging down directly out of a 3.25" beam that is going across the ceiling and it looks like the previous owner just attached the ceiling fan directly to the wood. I guess my question is how bad is it to install a chandelier directly to an exposed wood beam without using a ceiling outlet box? I figure I can screw the chandelier directly into the beam and tuck the wires into the canopy. I am sure it is not advisable but I see no other way. Do you see any other way? I attached two pictures to give you a clear idea of what I'm talking about.
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam-pic1.jpg   Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam-pic2.jpg  
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


To be legal, you need a box mounted to the bottom of the beam. You could probably get away with a round 1/2" pancake box. Spray paint the box to match the finish of your fixture.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:34 PM   #3
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


Although there's technically a possible issue with box fill, I think a pancake box SECURELY fastened to the beam would be a heck of a lot better than what you've got now.....Which is just plain dangerous. Connections need to be made in a box!
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #4
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


I tried to find one showing it attached to the ceiling
I'd go with metal over the plastic

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


and the box should be properly insulated - no wire connections should ever contact wood.

Last year I took down an old light fixture in the laundryroom - and the ceiling was charred where there was a wire short. . . eep!
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


A simple plastic grommet is the only additional device necessary/required. It'll insulate the romex from the edges of the box knockout and will secure the wire in place. As mentioned, the wire connections must not occur in the beam, they must be in the box.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:39 AM   #7
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


Thank you all for replying. I did not know they made such slim boxes like that and I think that will actually work out perfectly. THanks again!
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:35 AM   #8
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


How "tall" is the item you're installing? If you drop it down 12" would it be too low?

If the item is small and an extra 6" or 12" is ok - your alternative could be a short or long pipe setup - often used to hang lighting from peaked or tall ceilings. (It's just a hollow tube - it attaches to your ceiling or stud at the top and the other end has brackets on it to attach your light/fan directly to it. You then run your wires up through the pipe - no one's the wiser).

They make them for ceiling fans and for light fixtures.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


Can't really do the pole idea as I needed to loop the chain to a hook because the hole with the electrical wire was not centered. Anyways the pancake outlet box worked great. The canopy of the chandelier actually covered almost all the outlet box so there was no need to paint it. Heres how it came out. Thanks again.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:53 AM   #10
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


Cool deal . . . you got to it quick. (I'm usually all talk and then procrastinate
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:33 AM   #11
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Nice fix, I really like that ceiling
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:33 AM   #12
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Hanging Chandelier directly to exposed wood beam


Nicely done, and safe!
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