Removing Bathroom Ceiling Junction Box - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Like Tree2Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 03-26-2019, 01:00 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 11
Rewards Points: 26
Default

Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Hello,

I'm a newbie here hoping to replace a bathroom ceiling heater. The pic of the wiring box was wired to a ceiling heater with fan and heating coil, no exhaust. I want to put a recessed heater with fan and light (no exhaust because there is no duct work. I want to move the junction box to see if I have room in the ceiling. Apparently it was attached inside the drywall after framing prior to drywalling? I can't see any screws or nails. I want to see how wide the flooring joists are spaced, probably 16", if there is an plumbing or other things in the way. There is living space above and I need to see if a new heater will fit in there. How do I get this junction box out without taking out the drywall so I can take a look? Is there a replacement box I can put back in and attach from the outside/current view in case I need to leave it as shown? I'm hoping to install something like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0014ZPQEK...v_ov_lig_dp_it

If there is room, can I cut a hole in the drywall slightly bigger than the fan box, smaller than the grill, fit it in and have room to attach to joists without making extra large drywall cut out that I have to repair?

Will this cause any future problems, ceiling dry rot etc.?

Or I could save myself a lot of work and install this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001ZLR0G...v_ov_lig_dp_it

But it is a bit old school for the bathroom modernization I'm trying to accomplish.

Thank you!
Attached Thumbnails
Removing bathroom ceiling junction box-bathroom-ceiling-heater-wiring.jpg  
farwellbooth is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-26-2019, 03:15 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 268
Rewards Points: 536
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


The box is probably nailed to the stud. There is a gap between the box and the drywall you can stick a long thin screwdriver in to probe and see how deep it will go before it hits the floor above. If there IS enough depth then if it was me I would take a saw and cut out the hole for the heater box around the junction box making sure one cut was along the stud the box is attached to. I like to use a handheld circular saw with the blade set to just barely more than the thickness of the drywall. That way you get nice clean cuts and you can take the entire section of drywall out and it is easy to patch the saw cut beyond the junction of the next cut. And you don't worry about slicing into wiring or pipes or such.

Once the box is in the middle of the hole you can easily see how it's attached.
farwellbooth likes this.
tmittelstaedt is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-26-2019, 05:02 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 264
Rewards Points: 528
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
I like to use a handheld circular saw with the blade set to just barely more than the thickness of the drywall. That way you get nice clean cuts and you can take the entire section of drywall out and it is easy to patch the saw cut beyond the junction of the next cut. And you don't worry about slicing into wiring or pipes or such.
Is the dust a problem?
Let it Snow is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-26-2019, 06:50 AM   #4
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 10,176
Rewards Points: 64
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


The last thing I would use to cut out dry wall would be a circular saw. You will have dust everywhere. Use a hand held dry wall saw or a utility knife.

Sent from my RCT6213W22 using Tapatalk
__________________
My electrical answers are based on 2014 NEC, you may have local amendments.

Location: Coastal South Carolina
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 07:15 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,263
Rewards Points: 18
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


I would suggest using a sawzall, with a metal cutting blade. That box could be nailed to a joist, or could have been installed with a bracket that screws to 2 adjacent joists. Either way, you will be cutting through some metal. Using the small screwdriver to test space above, get a blade that is shorter that whatever that height is. However, if there is living space above you, you probably have at least 8 inches (2x8 joists). Make sure the circuit is off before you start, and go slowly, being careful not to cut the electrical cable.

Sent from my SM-G530T using Tapatalk
jeffmattero76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 11:28 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 4,822
Rewards Points: 5,886
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
The last thing I would use to cut out dry wall would be a circular saw. You will have dust everywhere. Use a hand held dry wall saw or a utility knife.

Agreed, that sounds like a disaster. However he does have concern about depth of blade cut, which the jab saw won't help. At least with the hand jab saw, you can feel if you're hitting something, but that blade is so rough that by that time, it will probably be too late.

I prefer a multitool with this blade. Using the rounded side only up to the point where that inner support touches the drywall keeps the depth of blade just right for 1/2" drywall. The plunge tip is used to get into corners once you know the coast is clear.
https://toolguyd.com/blog/wp-content...-OMT-Blade.jpg
rjniles likes this.
jeffnc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 12:29 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: IL
Posts: 1,447
Rewards Points: 1,276
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Textured ceiling is the issue here. If you cut a big hole and then decide it wonít work then itís a patch job plus a texture match. Iíve yet to see a good texture match.

Can you use a mechanics slide hammer to yank out the existing box without expanding the drywall hole. Then if itís a no go replace box with a new old work box.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
curiousB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 02:00 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 268
Rewards Points: 536
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
The last thing I would use to cut out dry wall would be a circular saw. You will have dust everywhere. Use a hand held dry wall saw or a utility knife.

Sent from my RCT6213W22 using Tapatalk
Hi Karumba is it really necessary to spell it out for people?

Duct tape and the hose from a good shop vac - both of which any self-respecting DIYer should have - takes care of that. A circular saw throws the dust in a specific area and you can aim the hose there. Or, have a helper hold the hose if you are too lazy to bother with the duct tape.

This is a fast method and it leaves a clean and straight edge making it easy to reuse the piece you removed for patching purposes. If I do this along a joist I will often run the last cut down the center of the beam so that when the drywall piece comes free there is a portion of the exposed stud. I generally cut a new drywall patch that fits exactly so that it is wedged a bit in there with just very thin seams all around, then nail the one side to the exposed joist, and then mud and tape. Sometimes a little light sanding is needed to clean it up but if I take care with the mud I can often get it so that just rubbing the wall with a cloth is enough to smooth it. Then prime and retexture if needed and paint. If the drywall seams are very tight then if you press the mud in so it squishes through the seam to the back, the mud will actually add some bonding strength to the drywall so that the tape isn't carrying the entire shear load at the joint.

The rattail drywall saws are good for only 1 job and that is cutting a quick hole in there to mount in a junction box. I find that they leave a very rough edge and it's not easy to match a patch in so you end up with a great big gash between the patch and the existing drywall which is difficult to fill with mud. It is also a lot harder to control the saw line while you are pulling and pushing the saw blade in and out. And of course you don't know if the tip of the blade is chopping through some communication/doorbell/alarm/plastic PEX pipe in the wall. And lastly the rattail saws ALSO produce just as much dust it is just the dust isn't thrown sideways. You still need someone standing there holding the shop vac if you don't want dust everywhere.

But the OP wants to permanently remove the drywall section and put in a box. A rattail drywall saw will work assuming you are sure there's nothing else back there you might hit with the saw.
tmittelstaedt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 02:05 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 268
Rewards Points: 536
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousB View Post
Textured ceiling is the issue here. If you cut a big hole and then decide it wonít work then itís a patch job plus a texture match. Iíve yet to see a good texture match.

Can you use a mechanics slide hammer to yank out the existing box without expanding the drywall hole. Then if itís a no go replace box with a new old work box.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You can get a texture match to the point that the uninitiated won't notice it unless they are told one exists and they start looking for it. One of the downsides of doing your own drywall work is it ruins drywall for you for the rest of your life when you walk into a room every drywall flaw will jump out screaming at you.

When I finally realized that no drywall wall is ever perfect, the flaws stopped bothering me. I still see 'em but I don't care about them.
tmittelstaedt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 02:29 PM   #10
HDS
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Southwest Ohio
Posts: 395
Rewards Points: 318
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Using a hole saw or hacksaw, cut a hole in the box (with power to the wiring off). Then will have enough room to get a better look.
HDS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 02:46 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 4,822
Rewards Points: 5,886
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
Hi Karumba

What are you trying to say? Ay caramba?



Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
Duct tape and the hose from a good shop vac - both of which any self-respecting DIYer should have - takes care of that. A circular saw throws the dust in a specific area and you can aim the hose there. Or, have a helper hold the hose if you are too lazy to bother with the duct tape.

This is a pretty bad idea. Getting a second person involved just doubles the chance of a serious injury. In any case, it's way overkill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
This is a fast method and it leaves a clean and straight edge making it easy to reuse the piece you removed for patching purposes.

Not really. Due to the large diameter of the circular saw blade, you won't get near the corners of the cut and you'll have to use another method for that anyway.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
I generally cut a new drywall patch that fits exactly so that it is wedged a bit in there with just very thin seams all around, then nail the one side to the exposed joist, and then mud and tape.

More bad news here. First, never "wedge" in drywall. There is no difference between a 1/32" seam and a 1/8" seam since it will be filled with compound and covered with tape. In general, it's best to cut your new patch first, then put that on the wall and trace a pencil line around it. That way the new piece is guaranteed to fit in there very nicely. Finally, don't use nails - use screws instead. If your joint ever fails, it has to do with something other than the width of your joint, or joint compound holding the drywall in place in the joint.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
And lastly the rattail saws ALSO produce just as much dust it is just the dust isn't thrown sideways. You still need someone standing there holding the shop vac if you don't want dust everywhere.

Please. It's not even close. The dust tends to fall straight down to the ground anyway.


As mentioned, the multitool is a far better option. The depth control is the same, as is the cleanliness of the line, but the kerf is far smaller, as is the amount of dust. Also, with the blade I showed, you can also cut out the corners cleanly, impossible with any round blade.
jeffnc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 02:50 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 4,822
Rewards Points: 5,886
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by HDS View Post
Using a hole saw or hacksaw, cut a hole in the box (with power to the wiring off). Then will have enough room to get a better look.

It really should not be hard to figure out where the stud is, and thus which side the box is connected on. Using a straightened coat hanger or long thin kerf recipro blade to feel back in there, you should be able to tell where the nail is, and if there's anything else in there that could be an obstruction. Cut out the box, then simply look in the hole. That will tell you if there is anything in there you have to watch out for. At this point, either a multitool or a thin kerf recipro saw (even a metal blade - finer cut, less dust) if there is nothing in the way would work well for cutting out the drywall.
jeffnc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 05:27 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 268
Rewards Points: 536
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post

This is a pretty bad idea. Getting a second person involved just doubles the chance of a serious injury. In any case, it's way overkill.


Due to the large diameter of the circular saw blade, you won't get near the corners of the cut and you'll have to use another method for that anyway.


More bad news here. First, never "wedge" in drywall. There is no difference between a 1/32" seam and a 1/8" seam since it will be filled with compound and covered with tape. In general, it's best to cut your new patch first, then put that on the wall and trace a pencil line around it. That way the new piece is guaranteed to fit in there very nicely. Finally, don't use nails - use screws instead. If your joint ever fails, it has to do with something other than the width of your joint, or joint compound holding the drywall in place in the joint.


The dust tends to fall straight down to the ground anyway.


As mentioned, the multitool is a far better option. The depth control is the same, as is the cleanliness of the line, but the kerf is far smaller, as is the amount of dust. Also, with the blade I showed, you can also cut out the corners cleanly, impossible with any round blade.
Many circular saws already have a hole in the guard that is designed for a shop vac fitting. Others have a hole and you can epoxy a shop vac hose fitting on them. Using a shop vac with a circular saw is quite common. But clearly that is something foreign to you so no wonder you hate circular saws so much, when you use them they make a huge mess. All I can say is come over to the dark side, Luke, use the Shop Vac force.

Now about wedging. If you really want a strong drywall edge to edge mate you cut the drywall at a 45 degree angle. Then the patch is cut with the same angle. Easy to do with a circular saw where you lock the angle into the saw. Impossible to do with a multitool or sawsall which is freehand. You apply mud to the edges and press the patch in. That gives a positive lock in. Despite what you think the tape itself has practically no shear resistance. The mud's strength increases the thinner the joint is. It's like wood glue almost. If you glue 2 pieces of wood and just lay the pieces on each other the glue joint is weak. If you clamp them you decrease the gap and the glue joint is much stronger. Drywall mud should never be used to sculpt things. It should be used like Bondo the thinner the better. The mud has no real strength compared to the compressed gypsum. The strength from the patch drywall to the existing drywall needs to depend on something other than mud and tape.

With drywall most force on it will be from the wall side not from the joist side. If you make a large patch in it and do 90 degree cuts and go stud to stud so the edges of the drywall are supported, once everything is mudded and taped up, someone banging into the patch with moderate force will crack the lateral cuts of the patch. That won't happen if the lateral cuts are 45 degrees because the force will just press the edges of the drywall more into each other and there won't be shear force on the lateral cut.

You only need to overcut the corner about an inch with a 71/2 circular saw blade. The overcut is not fully through the wall so it's easy to patch.

Also this is academic since the original post was for a ceiling cut, so any saw that does not have a vacuum sucking the dust is going to rain dust right down into the eyes of the operator looking straight up at it and perched on a ladder. Been there done that not going there again. Even if I was using a multitool on that I'd still have the shop vac going. Your going to need to use the shop vac anyway when you are all done to clean the area up so why not use it during the job?

Lastly, and I'll probably tee you off, I've gotten along fine without a multitool for the last 30 odd years. Circular saws - not so much. IMHO multitools are a method of selling blades, a solution looking for a problem. I will also say there's a LOT of these "it does everything" tools that have come and gone. I have my share of "Ginsu knife" type tools I've bought for fun, but I'd never presume to tell people that the $12 Craftsman bottle opener with a handle like a screwdriver is a necessity. If you have a multitool and like using it for drywall, go for it. But it's not the only game in town for this.
tmittelstaedt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 08:20 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: IL
Posts: 1,447
Rewards Points: 1,276
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


Let it go guys. The question was about exploring space to fit recessed light fan. 10,000 words on optimal drywall slicing is off topic.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
curiousB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 09:16 AM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: PA - Somewhere in time.
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 40
Default

Re: Removing bathroom ceiling junction box


After all this, and no, I wouldn't recommend a circular saw on this - especially for a noob, the elephant in the room is: 'No ductwork'. Where is all that warm, humid air going??
oldelectricguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Basement Bathroom Ceiling caveeagle Drywall & Plaster 4 01-03-2015 05:23 PM
Basement Bathroom, drop tile ceiling... Spyrule Remodeling 2 08-01-2014 11:21 PM
NEC - what is the purpose of some of these codes ? chez bouton Electrical 32 12-17-2013 03:04 PM
Removing old light fixture & install ceiling fan sjk Electrical 3 04-17-2011 09:32 AM
bathroom ceiling mildew/mold problems ditchdoc7893 General DIY Discussions 3 03-19-2011 07:24 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts