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Plastic box approved for ceiling fan?

11330 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  SD515
I just re-installed a ceiling fan which had been installed about 10yrs ago, then removed and stored for about 7yrs.
The box that is in the ceiling is a plastic RAYCO, which does not look like a normal box. It has a large section in the middle which takes up a lot of the volume of the box, and this is secured by two large, recessed screws.
The box itself appears to be securely attached to the joist, but I did not go into the attic to check, since there was already a fan there.

I had always thought that only metal boxes were approved for a ceiling fan, so I am a little concerned. That said, there is an identical fan in another room that was installed by the same electrician at the same time as this one, and I assume (I did not take the fan down to check) that it is also a plastic box. That fan has been up and running for ten years with no problems at all.

Thanks for your advice/opinion.

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The box only needs to be fan rated if it provides the sole support for the fan. It sounds like the bracket screws into a framing member and not the box.

Some plastic fan boxes also have a metal plate above the box to provide support.

I suspect you have a box that straddles a joist. A pic would confirm this.
The fan bracket screws into the box, using a pair of what are probably #10 screws, which are very long, but I doubt they go any further than the bottom of the bosses in the box.

Since the fan was mounted this way before, and the other one is mounted same way, I don't think it's going to be a problem, but I think I will go up in the attic and see how the box is secured. Should be easy, since the floorboard was removed or cut to install the box.

EDIT: Just checked the RACO site, and learned of something called "The Insider", a plastic insert for the box when type NM cable is used. This may be what I have. I will have to check from the attic.

The Raco Insider is a NM cable connector. It can be used in a 1/2" knockout.
I'll check it out, but the original installation was approved by the inspector. Don't know whether a new install using same would be code today... But I think the Grandfather clause should cover this. Only issue could be that because the fan was removed, then re-installed some years later, if the code did change in the intervening time, I might have to change the install to meet the new code. Have a copy of 2008 NEC. I'll check it in the next day or so.

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