I am installing two Hunter ceiling fans in a basement room in my house
that I am fixing up. These are neat-looking tropical style fans --
not the largest variety, but still a little heavier than one might
initially assume. The instructions explicitly say NOT to hang the
fans from plastic outlet boxes. However, what we currently have
installed in the ceiling (currently just used for lights) is in fact
those familiar blue plastic outlet boxes. To take these out and
replace them with metal outlet boxes would be a massive chore -- I'd
have to take out a large section of drywall, and then repatch, re-mud,
OR, I could defy the instructions and hang the fans from the plastic
The blue outlet boxes are VERY well attached to a joist -- very firm,
very solid (in fact, they would be a major pain to remove). I assume
the potential problem with the plastic boxes is not the possibility of
the box detaching from the joist, but rather the possibility that the
plastic screw holes in the box won't be adequate to hold a relatively
heavy and vibrating object.
Ordinarily, I am a very good rule-follower, and rather safety
conscious, but perhaps I'd be willing to make an exception in this
case. I am thinking that even if worse comes to absolute worse, and
the fan comes crashing down, then I am only out the cost of a fan.
Any thoughts on this matter are much appreciated. Has anyone ever
similarly defied the rules and hung a ceiling fan of moderate weight
from a plastic outlet box? Did mayhem ensue, or did everyone live
happily ever after?
Thanks again for any info!