I am installing a ceiling fan. Their was never a ceiling fan in this room
before so I also have to install an outlet box. As luck would have it (not
sure if it is good or bad luck) the place where I want to put the outlet
box is directly under a ceiling joist. The ceiling joist is 4" high by 1.5"
thick. To put in the outlet box I will have to cut a 1.5" high by 4" wide
section of the joist out so I can recess the outlet box. My concern is that
this will weaken the joist to the point it may not hold the ceiling fan or
could effect the ceiling itself? I know nothing about wiring so I also
don't know if wires can come in on the sides of outlet boxes or if they have
to come in from the middle top which would be centered on the joist and
blocked? Alternatively, could I install the outlet box mounted on top of or
on the side of the joist and just run a wire from it through a small hole in
the ceiling? Would like to know the answeres to the questions above but
would also like to get peoples oppinion if I should just leave this up to
the electrician since I have to have them come out and run the power line
and create a new switch anyway.
Is there 1/2" drywall ceiling under these joists? If so, you
don't need to cut anything out, just use a "pancake" box, which
is only 1/2" deep, and round. They're mae for just this type
of situation, and are usually available at the same stores
wherer you buy the other boxes.
You should be able to orient it so that one of the knockout
holes (where you'll knock out the plug and use a Romex
connector) is useable, while also positioning the box so you
can get two good long wood screws up into the joist. To
answer one of your other questions, the wire entering from
the side or rear is usually a matter of whatever works best
for the location and type of mounting. But in this case,
there are no holes on the sides, obviously.
Don't be concerned about the shallow depth. Most ceiling
fan motor housings have plenty of space in the upper
section to hold the wires.
Baisez-les s'ils ne peuvent pas prendre une plaisanterie
Well, Tomi Boi, it didn't take long for you to start posting dangerous
electrical advice, AGAIN.....telling the guy to use a non-fan rated ceiling
box to hang a fan. I suppose that it wouldn't be a danger as long as it
doesn't hit someone if it falls? Interesting how HD, Lowes or similar
places sell fan-rated ceiling boxes similar to this one, eh?
Funny how the box fits on the joist just like the OP wants, huh? I'll bet
that if he looks hard enough that he will also find a fan-rated pancake box?
I would regard the location of the joist as good luck since it provides
you with a really solid anchor for the weight of the fan. As for the
other questions, it it were me I'd check with my local building and
electrical inspector and even then I'd be reluctant to put a significant
size notch in a joist over my head. I'd be thinking about the idea of
running the wires to a box that was attached to the side of the joist
but I'd want to know if that met the code first. I can't recall for
sure but I think I once read that all wire splices must be done in boxes
that are easily accessible. Finally, maybe I'm naive but if you're
going to pay an electrician to put in a power run and switch then I
would think you'd hardly notice the extra installation cost for the fan.
Dan Phillips wrote:
Dan, It is good luck that you have a joist where you want to hang a fan.
Articles 314.27(D) and 422.18 of the 2002 National Electrical Code address
this issue. You can use a fan rated pancake box and you can also use some
long #12 sheet metal screws to attach the fan support bracket directly to
the joist. Center the pancake box under the joist. Having a joist where
the fan is to be mounted is my favorite type of installation. You do not
have to, and should not notch the ceiling joist.
My only concern in your situation would be the fact that the joist is only a
2" x 4". Most ceiling joists are wider than that such as 2" x 8". My guess
is that your joists were installed solely for the support of your ceiling
and not much else. If you had access to the ceiling joist from above I
would suggest that you add a little more stability to it. You could take a
short piece of 2" x 4" and span it across 3 or 4 joists above the ceiling
fan location. Screw it down to the joists to keep the one joist from moving
as a result of fan vibration and to spread the weight of the fan out a
There is the possibility that you have a truss structured ceiling. If so,
disregard the above paragraph. The trusses will provide adequate support.
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