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Old 04-25-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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Ceiling fan replacement - no fixture box?


I am replacing an existing ceiling fan that is mounted on the bottom of a wood beam. The power feed to the fan is NM 14-3 cable in a length of Wiremold on the bottom of the beam. After taking the fan shroud off I realized there is no fixture box. The fan bracket is screwed directly to the beam and the fan shroud is used as the fixture box. I would like to get the wiring into a box.

My plan is to notch the side of a fan rated 1/2" deep pancake box and attach to the beam with 2'' wood screws. Route the NM cable into the box thru the notched side. Hang the new fan bracket from the pancake box.

I see 2 code issues:

1. No way to use a cable clamp on the new box.
2. Modification of a UL listed electrical box.

I guess my question is: Have i created any major issues and/or is there a better way to do this?

BTW: The building department for the county says that since I am replacing an existing fan, I do not require a permit or inspection.
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Last edited by rjniles; 04-25-2010 at 01:46 PM. Reason: added BTW
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
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Since the fan will be supported from the beam, a fan rated box will not be needed. I would use a round Wiremold box.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:51 PM   #3
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Your plan seems to be an acceptable one to me!
One concern that I would have, would be if the cut out sawed away at the cable sheath and insulation and damaged it, through vibration!
I would suggest that an anti-short bushing that is normally used with metallic sheathed cable, would be used to protect the cable! It could be taped into position.
As far as securing the cable, a standard cable clip could be used to hold the cable before it enters the pancake box!
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
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Jim has the best answer.

The only problem is the canopy will not sit flush with the ceiling.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
.....Hang the new fan bracket from the pancake box.


a pancake box is not rated for a fan. There are two issues with fans, They weigh a lot and they vibrate. Your screws will probably vibrate loose over time
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:52 AM   #6
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I tried the idea of the octagonal wire mold box but it made the canopy hang down to far and looked weird.

Here is what I ended up with:

Used my Harbor Freight Multi tool to carve a notch in the beam for the wire. Used a snap in plastic bushing for the wire in the 1/2" deep pancake box and secured the box to the beam with 2" screws. I attached the fan mouting bracket to the pancake box with the provided screws and ran 2 additional 3" screws through the fan bracket into the beam. You could hang a horse from it.

Thanks to all who provided input.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:59 AM   #7
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Sorry, but that pancake box is not rated for hanging a horse!
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
Sorry, but that pancake box is not rated for hanging a horse!

The fan is not hanging on the pancake box, it is hanging using the pair of 3" screws through the fan bracket into the beam beam. And the beam is a chestnut
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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Also, some pancake boxes are rated for fans.
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