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Old 06-26-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Hi everyone,

I was replacing a ceiling fan when I ran into a little pickle...
the base for the old fan was held by two 3.5" big nails. After removing the old base, I found that there was nothing but a small hole with the electrical wires coming out. This is how it looks as now:



So now Im trying to figure out how to hang the new base...
I don't think nailing it back is a good idea. I don't know what is up there, and last thing I want is the fan taking a dive on the baby room.

Access to the ceiling is not easily available (it is on the garage on the very other side of the house)

Any recommendations are very appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 06-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Best is to get access from above if possible and install a proper box.

If getting access from above is not an option, then to consider an old work ceiling fan box similar to this: http://www-public.tnb.com//shared/inst/ta02461-tb2.pdf

A google of old work ceiling fan box will find various options.

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Old 06-26-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


What you have now is a violation of the NEC. Even if it was just a light fixture, it would require a box.

Do you have access to the attic? If so you can pull the wires back up and install a box, the correct connectors and eventually the fan. You can screw a fan rated box to a 2x4 and screw it to the ceiling joist. Or you can buy a box that has expanding arms to secure to the ceiling joist's. But those connections must be in a listed fan box.
I will attach a picture similar to what you can buy as far as expanding arms with box. You would just have to be sure it rated for fan duty.

The assembly shown can be installed without getting into the attic. But I would go up if I could and use a 2x4 if it was my job.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:21 AM   #4
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


It appears that there is a framing member in the center of where you want to mount the fan. This plastic box will work just fine. This can be installed without access from above.
Pass & Seymour S116FAN Ceiling Fan Box



Here is a link to a How To Install a Ceiling Fan from This Old House.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:21 AM   #5
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Got to Home Depot and buy a ceiling fan box. They have a bar the squeezes between the ceiling joists by using a wrench. and the box hangs on the bar. you just have to cut a hole the size of the box. I have used a couple of them and they work pretty slick.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


I (like electures) suspect the 2 nail holes are in a ceiling joist and the fan box with a hanger will not work at that location. I would get a fan rated pancake box, cut the plaster and blue board and screw the pancake box to the joist.

http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical/...atalogId=10053
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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Wow, that was fast and very informative! thanks guys! You're awesome!
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


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I (like electures) suspect the 2 nail holes are in a ceiling joist and the fan box with a hanger will not work at that location. I would get a fan rated pancake box, cut the plaster and blue board and screw the pancake box to the joist.
A pancake box would be overfilled and should not be used.

There are also fan boxes that screw to the side of a framing member. google smartbox. Arlington may also have one. www.aifittings.com
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Quote:
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A pancake box would be overfilled and should not be used.

There are also fan boxes that screw to the side of a framing member. google smartbox. Arlington may also have one. www.aifittings.com
Jim is right, there are 2 cables that need to go in the box. It would exceed fill.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


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Wow, that was fast and very informative! thanks guys! You're awesome!
If the framing member is how I suspect, the box I recommend will work best and keep the fan relatively close to the same location. Any other type box will shift the fan one way or the other.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Quick update... I opened a little hole to see what is up there, and it looks like Electures and rjniles are right. There is a 2" tick ceiling joist where the old fan was nailed. Drywall is 3/4" tick.

Here's the picture:



Also, this is what the mount that came with the new fan looks like:



Do you guys still think the best course of action is a ceiling fan box? Or should I just screw my mount on the beam with big 3.5" screws?


Again, thank you all for the advice!
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:35 PM   #12
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rzucco View Post
Quick update... I opened a little hole to see what is up there, and it looks like Electures and rjniles are right. There is a 2" tick ceiling joist where the old fan was nailed. Drywall is 3/4" tick.

Here's the picture:



Also, this is what the mount that came with the new fan looks like:



Do you guys still think the best course of action is a ceiling fan box? Or should I just screw my mount on the beam with big 3.5" screws?


Again, thank you all for the advice!
The plate will mount directly over the plastic box I suggest. The large screws that come with the box are designed to go through the plate, through the box and directly into the framing member. The box is also rated for two pieces of romex. Just verify that the framing member is adequate.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:46 PM   #13
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Poor design on that plate IMO. I guess the conductors are inserted thru that small slot in the center of the plate?
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #14
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Quote:
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Poor design on that plate IMO. I guess the conductors are inserted thru that small slot in the center of the plate?
Looks to me that the wires are spliced first then the plate gets mounted.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:28 PM   #15
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Replacing ceiling fan - No electrical box?


Electures, thank you so much for the help. I'll buy the plastic box and will updated later when I get it installed. Again, thanks everybody for the advice and prompt help.

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