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Old 03-01-2017, 08:09 PM   #1
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Anyway to remove this box


Without climbing into the ceiling or cutting into it from below? Because I see it has those older conduit fittings that have the hex nut above/inside the ceiling. But I'd rather cut into the ceiling if I have to rather than crawl around up there.

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Old 03-01-2017, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


Well before you take out a box, you need to disconnect all the wiring. Why are you removing it?

Just a warning, be prepared for anything. Your box was wired, or at least modified by a rookie. A professional would not tie in ground wires under the cover screws

Last edited by Yodaman; 03-01-2017 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 03-02-2017, 02:34 AM   #3
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Well before you take out a box, you need to disconnect all the wiring. Why are you removing it?

Just a warning, be prepared for anything. Your box was wired, or at least modified by a rookie. A professional would not tie in ground wires under the cover screws
I want to install a ceiling fan here with either a brace or box fastened to the joist.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:35 AM   #4
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


I don't think you'll be able to avoid working in the attic/crawlspace above the room. The current box is installed via a hanger bar and I'm pretty sure I also see a gap on all four sides of the box. That means the box isn't adjacent to any joist you can use. You'll have to use a fan rated box and hanger.

I know of no fan rated box/hanger combination that will support the conduit configuration you have now. At best I can think of a couple of models with two usable top entry knockouts. Maybe someone here is familiar with one. If not, you are going to have to rework the conduit into a separate box accessible in the attic.

Also, is the present light fixture working? There is a 'slight' anomaly in the wiring...
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:24 AM   #5
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


Fish - are you saying you never saw blacks and grounds tied together before??? LOL

If this is, in fact, working, the switch must be breaking the neutral.

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Old 03-02-2017, 09:00 AM   #6
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


I can't completely see the wiring, but I think, if this works, then the green wire is used for hot.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:00 AM   #7
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


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Without climbing into the ceiling or cutting into it from below? Because I see it has those older conduit fittings that have the hex nut above/inside the ceiling. But I'd rather cut into the ceiling if I have to rather than crawl around up there.

Take that mud ring off. Label all of the wires so you can put them back together the way they were. Disconnect all of the wires and straighten them out. I am not sure what kind of connectors are in the back of the box, possibly plastic buttons. Remove the center screw and stud. The box should come down after that. Gently remove the cables from the box. Do not cut any wires. If there is a bar going across from joist to joist it will need to be removed. I usually use a bolt cutter to cut it in half, but a reciprocating saw will work also. The hard part is removing the two cut pieces from the joists. I have small pry bars that fit up in the hole and I can reach the joists and pry the pieces away from the joist. Wear gloves as you get a lot of cuts and bruises on your hands.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:01 PM   #8
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


you could cut away enough ceiling to install bracing to support the box and weight of the fan. Wouldnt have to remove any wiring for that...
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:37 AM   #9
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


The light works. The switch has a black wire on the bottom and a blue on the upper terminal. Probably the same blue wire in the ceiling going to the light itself. All the black and whites are tied together. The bare wire I believe is the ground for the fan in the living room. I had the ceiling repaired a couple years ago and had them install a ceiling fan with new wiring while they were here. These are the connectors that seem to be everywhere in the house. They seem to be impossible to remove from below.


And the ones used by the kitchen and bath fixtures.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:37 AM   #10
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


The wiring issue is your "blue" conductor looks green, which normally in a conduit indicates ground. Then we see green to black connected.

Thinking someone was short a conductor and swiped the ground for a hot.
Is your new work being inspected? If yes, better correct it now.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:56 AM   #11
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Re: Anyway to remove this box


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The light works. The switch has a black wire on the bottom and a blue on the upper terminal. Probably the same blue wire in the ceiling going to the light itself. All the black and whites are tied together. The bare wire I believe is the ground for the fan in the living room. I had the ceiling repaired a couple years ago and had them install a ceiling fan with new wiring while they were here. These are the connectors that seem to be everywhere in the house. They seem to be impossible to remove from below.


And the ones used by the kitchen and bath fixtures.
I don't recall ever seeing conduit connectors like those.

I did not realize that the box was fed with pipe. Forget about removing that box. I am not aware of a fan rated square box. To get a round box in there will be a lot of work.

I think a good option for you is put a 2"x 4" or a piece of strut across the joists and drop down two threaded rods to hang the fan off of. The wood or strut would need to be screwed down to the joists. The rods would need to be secure with nuts on each side of the wood or strut. You will probably need to drill holes in the mud ring. This way the fan will be independently supported.

Maybe some of the other pros can chime in with their tips and tricks for hanging a fan on this box.
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