Hanging ceiling fan from blue plastic outlet box

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Thanks for the advice! I bought a couple of those retro-fit braces and will try to make sense of them tomorrow.
Chuck
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jeffc wrote:

I have seen where the plastic piece that the mounting screw goes into break free from the box. This has happened in electrical outlets, and light switches. If it can happen there, it can happen in the ceiling. --Mike
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Yes, it CAN. Lots of things CAN happen. The problem I have is when people going around saying something WILL happen, when in fact they really have no idea, and most likely have never seen it. You'd be more wrong saying it WILL happen than saying it WON'T, just based on experience.
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Plastic won't hold the fan, IMO plastic boxes are junk. You need to hang the fan from a hanger capable of supporting 35 pounds (I think that's what the code requires). There are special spanners made specifically for hanging fans which are inserted from the ceiling hole and capable of expanding to the joists and wedging themselves against the ceiling joists and there are special boxes for fans. Remember this; if the fan falls an generates a fire do you think the insurance companies will run over to you with a fist full of money? Forget it; they'll try to back out of the deal in a heart beat if they find the job's been jury rigged. Ron

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See what I mean? Here's another one.
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Read the whole post instead of picking out one word.
I said it *does* and I stand by my statement: that plastic boxes are junk. Metal screws strip plastic. It's happened to two boxes in my house already, just by pulling a cord out of a receptacle. That's a very high rate of failure for a new house. It's not *will*; it's *it does*. Furthermore, the fan needs to be supported by some type of bracing instead of the plastic box.
Experience is more than just an idea as you state.
Obviously you haven't learned from experience and have had one too many fans break free and fall on your head. Ron .

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Try 2002 NEC 314.23 and 422.18 A + B Both those articles tel you the box must be rated for the weight and also tells you the box must be listed for the application
Bill
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You think we're stupid? Your quote is right there. You said "Plastic WON'T hold the fan." That's a false statement. Has it ever failed? Probably. Will it hold? Usually.

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The plastic boxes that I have seen for ceiling fans don't actually support the fan. Usually plastic fan boxes are installed during new construction and are designed to be mounted in such a way that it allows the fan support bracket to be screwed with #12 x 2" sheet metal screws directly into a ceiling joist or a wood brace installed specifically for that purpose. For fan installations to existing homes, a metal brace and box are normally used. I've never seen a plastic fan box for remodeling.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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install a ceiling fan where the was no acess to the attic space. Built hind of like a turnbuckle you slid it through the hole for the box and tuned it until it presses into the ceiling joist. Then you mounted the box to it and hung the fan, Neat for maounting a fan in place of a light. These used whatever box as the box did bot support the fan.
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I've used those braces a number of times, but I haven't seen them lately. I forget who manufactured them. Whenever I used them, I've always mounted a metal box. I never considered the possibility of using a plastic box with them. If the manufacturer says it's okay, then it should pass inspection.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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Most of the big box stores carry one or more brands of these mounting kits and they're often displayed right along with the ceiling fans. Some come with the box included. I've never seen any but metal.
--
Wayne in Phoenix

If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it.
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I use the mounting kits all the time. Jimmie was referring to a ceiling fan brace that has pass through supports. The support for the fan was connected directly to the brace and the box was in between. Therefore you could use a box that was not rated for fans. I think that this type of brace was popular prior to the proliferation of fan support boxes. In either the 1999 or 1996 electrical code the wording for ceiling fan support called for independent support of the fan if the box was not rated for it. In the 2002 electrical code the wording has been expanded. Independent support is still an option which is why plastic ceiling fan boxes are able to be used.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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--
Wayne in Phoenix

If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it.
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You're right, I said won't. It doesn't change anything. Ron

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Dolchas wrote:

Leave the plastic box and use it for the wiring, like it was intended. A metal box would probably not *really* be good enough to anchor a heavy fan either.
Anchor the fan with a lag screw or two long drywall screws (whichever fits the fan's mounting bracket better) that go deep into a ceiling joist or a 2x4" cross brace that you install.
Bob
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