I'd like to install a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Are these hard to
install?? The house was built in the 70's.
The fan would go into a existing ceiling light fixture, no attic access,
it's on the 1st floor. The light box in the ceiling is metal, but I'm not
sure how it is attached to the joists. The box is roundish and has 2
metal arms extending out. I saw the house being built back then but i
don't remember if it's nailed or just tacked with metal type prongs. Any
easy way to tell which way?
So, I'll assume I need one of those retro brace type things that go
through existing ceiling holes. How would I get the old one out if its
nailed in? How hard are the those braces to get in straight and level? Is
the actual fan hard to install with just one person? Thanks
I would say if the box is connected with conduit then your pretty safe
there... if is just a box with some Romex (un-likely) running to it then you
would have to secure the box to the joist somehow...
I had a similar installation on first floor no attic access... I connected
the fan directly to the box but I also installed a safety cable just in case
the bolts failed...
One nail? That doesn't sound too sturdy. Might be ok if your ceiling fan
is small and lightweight. If it's a heavy fan, I'd put in a new box.
Either a "ceiling fan box" with heavy-duty metal arms; or attach a box to
a piece of 2x4 that you secure to the joists.
Jedd Haas - Artist
Ever check out the rating for one nail?
In the case of the OP, a new box is not an option. Not that he box would
make any difference since it is the attachment that is of concern.
Even an 8d nail is 9/32" diameter. Try to bend one. The put one in a joist
laterally and hang your ass from it. Don't worry, you won't fall.
You will have to remove the old box and support as it is not approved for
ceiling fans. Start by disconnecting the wires and identifying them.
loosen the wire clamp or connector. Remove the center screw that holds the
box to the support brace and carefully pull the box down while removing the
wire from the box.
The difficult part is removing the old box support brace. You will need to
cut it using a sawzall or Dremel tool or a hacksaw blade. It will vibrate a
lot using a saw so hold it steady or you may damage the drywall ceiling.
Once the brace is cut, you must reach inside the hole and bend each end back
and forth and try to pull out the nails that hold it in place.
Once the old box and support has been removed you are free to install a new
fan brace and fan rated box such as a Raco #934 or #935 or some other brand.
The new braces are relatively easy to install. The ends of the brace are
made in such a way that they will position the box at the correct height as
they rest on top of the drywall ceiling. Just line the brace up with the
center of the hole and tighten it according to the manufacturers
instructions. Install the box following the instructions also.
The fan manufacturer usually furnishes installation instructions and many
have simplified the process by the addition of a hook to hold the fan motor
while you splice the wires together.
(remainder of the message nort directed at you)
Contrary to the Codeoholics who *insist* that it be a
"fan compliant box", the idea is to SAFELY HOLD UP THE
FRIGGIN' FAN, not to be code compliant.
Really, Codebots: Give it a break. Yeah, you got the
NEC on CDRom for Christmas, good for you. Now run along
and scare the shit out of somebody in your neighborhood
instead of here.
Tom, Thank you for so eloquently stating the most important fact; Safely
holding up the fan.
As a licensed electrical contractor I have a legal obligation to do ALL of
my electrical work according to the laws in the state of New Jersey. The
building inspectors in NJ are considered law enforcement officials who have
police radios in their cars. Consequently I cannot advise someone to do work
that is illegal or hazardous. NJ currently has the 2002 National Electrical
Code in effect with a few amendments as well as fire codes, building codes,
mechanical codes, and plumbing codes. These codes were developed perhaps
over one hundred years ago and continue to evolve for the purpose of saving
human life and protecting property. Those who choose to ignore safety do so
with risk to themselves and other human beings. I personally do not want to
be responsible for injury or death to someone. Do you?
Those of you that have performed your own non code compliant uninspected
electrical work that resulted in a fire already know the consequences.
Unfortunately it is human nature to be self reliant. We all feel that we
can take care of ourselves, but that is not always the case. The reality is
that we all don't know everything, but each of us has unique life experience
from all the things that we have been exposed to. I began my career as an
electrician at a very early age when my father, who was also an electrical
contractor, would take me to work with him on Saturdays to give my mother
time for housework and my baby sister. As I got older I worked for him
during the summers that I was off from school. I am middle aged now and am
still learning new techniques for electrical installations. Are you so sure
that reading a how-to book and looking up information on the internet will
make you an expert in a craft? Do you think that I could read a book about
your job and do it as well as you without training and hands-on experience?
All well and good. The people you work for are paying you
to do that. People asking for advice on this newsgroup
But you have no problems moonlighting and advising homeowners
to do more than they need, to waste time and/or money to fix
something that isn't broken?
Hint: "Saying nothing" is an option here on Usenet.
So, you are somehow required to point out every possible code
violation that you see in life?
Yeah, I'm The Devil, that's my job. (stupid question/answer)
There's that "scare-the-shit-out-of-'em" attitude again.
FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! Not because the guy's box isn't safe,
but because it's not code approved.
Some people know that a properly mounted octagon box capable
of supporting a working ceiling fan is a properly mounted
octagon box capable of supporting a working ceiling fan, be
it "Fan Rated per NEC" or not.
Those of us who do don't have the need to scream FIRE! and
waste time and money fixing a non-existent problem.
I found it easy to install a ceiling fan. I had to get into the attic
to install a 2x4 cross brace for support--that was fairly easy.
Installing a new switch to the wall was the tough part (drilling and
feeding wire through the hole, installing a larger electrical box.)
There are wireless controls that make the install easier, but I think
the wall switch has a clean look with one less battery-operated
I've done it both ways, going for the wireless-battery-box-
fake-switch setup when it would be a nightmare job of
relocating a switch. Either way has its advantages, but
we are becoming slaves to convenience (most of which use
batteries, unfortunately <g>)
I assume that the people asking questions here are looking for good solid
answers. Some things that are asked here I have had experience with and can
relay that to a novice who may lack experience with tools and materials.
An improper electrical installation may not manifest itself for several
years such as an improperly installed ceiling fan that suddenly falls down
after operating fine for a long time (I've seen it). Sure, you can go and
unknowingly wire a new bedroom with lamp cord in the walls (I've seen that
too), but your insurance company will not pay for any property damage as a
When I answer a question, I try to take into consideration the person at the
other end doing the work. Often it is difficult to judge their degree of
mechanical aptitude and experience from the few sentences posted. I spend a
lot of time with people every day and get a general sense of their
understanding of home wiring and codes. I wouldn't expect someone who is
attracted to a cartoon character to have a deep understanding of real human
Funny thing, you Codebots have seen it *all*, huh?
FIRE! FIRE! FIR! Do you ever stop and actually LISTEN
to what people are trying to say to you? No, keep throwing
up straw men that are exaggerated examples of the point you
are trying to make. Nobody ever mentioned wiring rooms
with lamp cord in the walls. That's unsafe. I know that,
you know that. Next assinine example?
You're dogging the issue, totally. The issue is a properly
mounted box that will safely hold a ceiling fan. In you
mind, it couldn't possibly be true unless the box has a
"fan approved" bug on it. Yeah, I know...FIRE! FIRE! ...
I wouldn't expect somebody with such an incredibly closed
mind to have a sense of humor.
Dude.......... Only YOU will know if it's hard, no matter if you are
installing a ceiling fan, or screwing your old lady. To tell if it's
hard, stick your hand in your underpants and scream real loud if you
feel a hard prick. If not, call your mommy and bitch at her about it.
Oh, and just so you know. If you got over 6", you're a man. If less,
you are still a boy, or else you are deformed.
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