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tarheelblue 01-27-2008 08:04 PM

replacing vanity light...issue with outlet box?
I am replacing the vanity lighting in my master bath. updating so to speak.
Now, I am not real savvy with electrical. I have installed (hard wire) a few appliances, hung a few fans, etc. But nothing too intense. This seemed like a real simple 1 hour job.

Here is my issue. The new fixture has one of those "universal mounting brackets" that you screw onto the outlet box thats in the wall. Besides the outlet box screws, the bracket has two long "mounting" screws that come out and go through the backplate and then have little decorative nuts on the front to tighten it down.

The mounting screws must go at "9 o'clock" and "3 o'clock" so the fixture will be level. The thing is, the mounting screws are too wide/too far apart to fit into the outlet box. Its like the outlet box would have to be turned 45 degrees for the screws not to hit the sides.

Now I dont know much about outlet boxes, but am I missing something here? Outlet boxes seem like they should be standard size and such.
Any advice is appreciated. I can send a picture if that would help describe the issue better.


220/221 01-27-2008 08:29 PM

Welcome to our world.

It COULD be easy and it SHOULD be easy.....but sometimes the engineering geniuses muck it up.

I have had to drill new fixture holes and/or change out the boxes before.

Post a pic so we can see exactly what kind of box you have.

tarheelblue 01-28-2008 08:17 AM

picture of outlet box
2 Attachment(s)
Thanks, 220/221. Maybe this will help illustrate the issue. I cannot attach the mounting bracket to the box, because the mounting screws are too wide apart for the box. The screws have to be positioned a certain way (again, at like 9 and 3 on the face of a clock), and a certain distance apart to mount the fixture straight and fit the predrilled holes in the fixtures.

Am I missing something? Or is this just an old and maybe smaller outlet box? Or was it installed crooked/twisted? Taht is, if the boxes were rotated 45 degrees, the screwn would fit I think.

If I have to pull these old boxes out, is it pretty simple to slap a new one in there?

The first pic shows the box. Sorry its not great quality. The second shows me trying to attach the mounting bracket....but spread of screws is too wide

I appreciate the help!

HouseHelper 01-28-2008 08:59 AM

Use the slots in the mounting bracket to attach the bracket to the box... some combination of slots should fit the threaded holes in the box. Located the two threaded holes in the bracket that line up with the fixture mounting holes and thread the two screws into these holes (you will have to cut these screws or find shorter ones to make them fit). Adjust the bracket so these fixture mounting screws are oriented correctly. Connect the wires and mount the light.

tarheelblue 01-28-2008 09:07 AM

ah, cutting the screws might do the trick. did not think of that.

what a pain for such a small job. Is this a common issue?

Thank you!!!!

HouseHelper 01-28-2008 09:20 AM


Originally Posted by tarheelblue (Post 92821)
ah, cutting the screws might do the trick. did not think of that.

what a pain for such a small job. Is this a common issue?

Thank you!!!!

Unfortunately, yes. It's gotten worse since everyone started selling chinese cr*p instead of US made quality merchandise.

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