Something silly in the ceiling (electrical box)


Hello, all. Well me and the Mrs. are officially moved into the new home. The projects have begun. It seems to me that there was a shoddy electrician the previous owners brought in to fix up electrical issues in the house. Actually, calling him an electrician would be kind.
So last night I went to replace the hall fixture. Once I took the old one down I found that there was not a typical octagonal ceiling box. Rather it was a "two switch" junction box. It was a square. He had inserted an old bent out of shape hickey through the middle of the box for hanging a fixture and then simply screwed two drywall screws into a joist through the side of the box. This didn't look right to me. Aside from the fact that no fixture mounting strap will attach to the box because it is the wrong form factor, it also didn't seem safe. So I immediately tore the box out and replaced it with an octagonal box I found in my parts box which has a length of steel riveted to the side of the box. I drove two drywall screws and two wood screws through the mounting holes on the steel strap.
Here are my questions. 1) Did I need to replace the original box? The location of the screw holes were so near the open side of the box that it seemed to me torque force from a chandelier could have pulled it down. Although it wasn't really moving around. 2) Did I use the correct part to replace it? I know I have seen boxes such as these with the strap used in a vertical mounting situation. Now that it's mounted in the ceiling the box has a little bit of give, should I be concerned?
That is all for now. Thanks!!! -ben
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The box that you removed was a 4 inch square, surface mounted box, sometimes called a 1900 box. It was improperly mounted through the two holes near the from edge of the box. You could have used any number of boxes including a bang on model of that same box. You would install a reducing cover to reduce the opening of the box to three inch round. The bang on four inch round box you installed is fine if the fixture isn't to heavy. For a heavier fixture or fan you can get a variety of fan support boxes

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