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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Several years ago I came by an interesting device that allowed you to
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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