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Old 07-10-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Hi everyone,

I would like to install a ceiling fan in our bedroom in our new house. The house is a 1925 bungalow in Denver (proper). I removed the existing light and found what you see in the pictures. There is what I think are the original wires coming in upper left and a switch leg in red and hots going out to outlets in the two bushings in the lower portion. Coming out of the rear of the ceiling box in the attic are 3 black conduit. The box is mounted to a 1x4 (or so) fastened to the old ceiling boards (as best I can tell, there is drywall on the ceiling now)

The yellowish half circle in the upper right is an empty knockout (flush to the mounting board)

Can one of you folks knowledgeable on remodels help me out with this? The circuit the current light is one has quite a few other items on it, including a bathroom, so I would like to run a new circuit or tap off of another for the fan power. Is there a way I can do this? How should I support the weight of the fan?

I hope I've included enough information, but let me know if there is anything else you need to know. I can take more pictures if need be.

Thanks
Bob
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Lucky you! You have conduit feeds for your overheads. This will allow you to pull new circuits if you choose. Pull your ceiling fixtures and figure out where the conduits go by gently pulling the wires. I doubt you'll need a whole new circuit for the fan, though. If you'd like, more than likely, the conduit hits a switch in the room and you can pull two switch legs. One for the fan, and one for the light.

Those pancake boxes do not need to be supported any more than they are. There is a steel bracket that hold it to the top of the joist that is about 1/4" thick and about 1/2" wide. They won't budge without a sawzall and a wrecking bar. You may have to rig something up to hang the fan with the center hickey. Modern fans have brackets that accept two screws. I've drilled and tapped the actual box in the past, but there are ways to make the hickey work as well. Good luck!

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Old 07-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #3
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Thank for the info!

Here is a picture of the top side. I don't see a bracket? But between the ceiling boards and the 1x8 I think I'll be alright. There is a cutout in the ceiling fan bracket that a longer nipple screwed into the hickey will fit into.

Is there a good way to extend the round box for the drywall someone put up over the plaster ceiling?

Thanks
Bob
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:30 PM   #4
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Bob, the bracket is actually on the top of the box and the bottom of the joist. The hickey tightens on it and holds it in place. I'm not aware of any box extensions, but you might try wiremold. They may have something that might do the trick. The box in question is referred to as a pancake box.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Thanks for the help Goose!
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:53 PM   #6
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Okay...I have been looking everywhere for help with this and this post is the first I have found anyone in a similar situation as me.

I am looking to add a bathroom vent to my 1920's home, currently there is only a light in the bathroom and it very much needs to vent the moisture.

Naturally I went up into the attic to look at the mount, etc. This is a second story room and it appears all of the electrical is done from the attic. The pictures above illustrate the very same thing I see, except that from the top I can in fact see the where and how the hickey (if that is what its called) is mounted to the joists.

Now, unlike putting in a ceiling fan as I said I am looking to put in a vent, which clearly requires removal of this junction. Any advice on how best to approach this? Honestly I'd almost rather re-wire the entire upstairs if I could only understand how the wires depart from this point, is that possible?

Thanks and I'm sorry for digging up an old thread.
Chris.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


It would be easier to use the existing box as a junction and run a new tail out to the fan housing. You can only do this is your existing wiring is grounded. You would also need to have enough space in the box to make the connections. You would need to calculate the box fill. Ungrounded circuits should not be extended.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:44 AM   #8
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


So you suggest just leaving the light as it is and run a new line to the vent, meaning open a new hole in the ceiling for it as well? I suppose that is possible. I tested the only outlet in the bathroom and it certainly is grounded (GFCI outlet as well) but I am less certain that the switch and light are grounded.

If that still fits in code I suppose that would in fact be the easiest although I am tempted to do more because I know I will want to do more to the floor eventually.

Hmm...thanks for the advice. Also can anyone tell me exactly what that conduit piece is actually called? Is it a hickey or just an old junction box? I can't find a term out there identifying it when talking to people.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Hey Druder! Lets back up a bit. When you say you want to install a vent and not a ceiling fan I'm really confused. (sometimes I confuse easily) But I thought the only way to vent a bathroom is to install a fan or open a window. Unless you just install a pipe to let air in an out, but that would not require electricity.

In any case, assuming you want to install a fan or vent with a switch, You need to find a hot wire to feed the new fixture. Then you simply install yopur switch to turn the power on of off. I know this is simplistic but I hope it can get you started. How you fish wires to the new switch is a separate issue.

"Hickey" is simply a term some of us use to name something when we do not know what it is called! I thing it was describing one of the parts that come with a ceiling fan that may or may not be used depending on the installation.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


'round these parts we'd call it a 'do-hickey'
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:30 PM   #11
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Installing a ceiling fan in a 1925 ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by theduder View Post
So you suggest just leaving the light as it is and run a new line to the vent, meaning open a new hole in the ceiling for it as well? I suppose that is possible. I tested the only outlet in the bathroom and it certainly is grounded (GFCI outlet as well) but I am less certain that the switch and light are grounded.

If that still fits in code I suppose that would in fact be the easiest although I am tempted to do more because I know I will want to do more to the floor eventually.

Hmm...thanks for the advice. Also can anyone tell me exactly what that conduit piece is actually called? Is it a hickey or just an old junction box? I can't find a term out there identifying it when talking to people.
You need to start your own thread so the responses to posting don't get intermixed.

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