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Old 02-21-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
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Metal bar in way of junction box


I removed the light above my vanity and found that the the previous installer did not install a junction box. The house was built in 1985 so I think there should have been one. Anyway, there is a metal bar that is crossing the hole that conflicts with a new installation. I am prepared to cut this bar away to make room but I would like to know what it is before I create a new problem.

Does anybody have any idea what this is? And if I can cut it away without any regrets?

The bar is shown in both of the attached photos. For background. This is an exterior wall. There is a stud located about 1" to the right of the existing cut out. There is a vent pipe on the left edge of the cutout. The metal bar appears to extend from the stud on the right generally in the direction of the stud on the left (outside of the photo). I have seen something like this as bracing for pipes in other locations of the house but in those cases they used copper pipe.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Derek
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Metal bar in way of junction box-wiring1.jpg   Metal bar in way of junction box-wiring2.jpg  

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Old 02-21-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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Metal bar in way of junction box


It looks like an expansion bracket that a pancake box would attach to.
This is where you took the light down from? What was holding the light up?

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Old 02-21-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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Metal bar in way of junction box


It sort of looks like a bar from a round junction box in the below link:

http://tnblnx3.tnb.com/cgi-bin/emAlb...ch%20Boxes;i=0

When you want to center a round box in between studs (such as for a wall mounted fixture like that), you either have to put a horizontal piece of wood in between the studs to mount a round box to, or you get a box like in the link, where the bar spans in between the studs and the box slides along the length of the bar to wherever you want it. But obviously the box itself wasn't on there in your case. Maybe the electrician installed the bar and box, but left it protruding out to far past the front surface of the studs, and so someone later just took the box off after the drywall was put up? Just a thought. The bar could be something completely unrelated to what I suggested, but it looks strikingly similar.

Separate question: so if there was no box, how was the light actually attached? What held it to the wall???

You should try to reach your hand into the hole and feel the other end of the bar to see if there is anything on it, or if it just is attached to the stud for no apparent reason. Or stick a little mirror in there to see.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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Metal bar in way of junction box


The original light was about 3 feet long and was attached by sheetrock screws on either end (see attached photo).
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Last edited by dstu; 02-21-2010 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:01 PM   #5
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Metal bar in way of junction box


Some light bars do not need j-boxes the housing acts as a j-box having a place for a connector. Looking at your pics I would suspect that they originally had a pancake box connected to the bar, and since they used a light bar they took the box down to use elsewhere since they didnt need it there.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:25 PM   #6
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Metal bar in way of junction box


The link adpanko posted looks like a match. I guess the question I have to ask now is do I find a box to fit the bar or remove the bar and install an standard box.

Thank you both for the rapid feedback!

Derek
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:29 PM   #7
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Metal bar in way of junction box


How heavy a light are you putting up?
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:36 PM   #8
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Metal bar in way of junction box


It is small with three lights.

The more I look at the bar hanger installations I think that this is installed backward. The bar is flat against the sheetrock so there isn't room for a box if I had one. I think that the only way to go is to remove it and attach a standard box to the stud.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:46 PM   #9
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Metal bar in way of junction box


If its less than 6 lbs you could possibly use an old work box.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #10
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Metal bar in way of junction box


This might be the combination that was origionall there. These are found at WWGrainger othe supply houses should have them.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:34 AM   #11
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Metal bar in way of junction box


I'm agreeing that there was,originally intended, a box there, then removed. I agree with "codeone" on the pancake box. Pancake boxes are available without the bar. That bar does appear to be in backwards, and probably missing the clamping attachment. IMO--pull the bar out, install a new mounting unit. IF you have the depth, use the standard depth box, if not, a pancake box. Good Luck, David

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