How to tell if old ceiling light box can support ceiling fan?

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The threaded rod you see in the middle is a stud. It is used to attach mounting bars or hickey (a connecting device). Studs are attached to the box, not to framing members. It is no indicator of the strength of the box itself, or the attachment mechanism.

Fan boxes are characterized by their screw system that ensures a redundant attachment between the fan and the box. They also must be solidly mounted to framing members.

There are no heavy screws showing in the interior of the box, and the screw in the clamp holding the NM wiring going straight up suggests that there is not a framing member directly above the box.

It is both against code, and more importantly, dangerous to mount a fan in an unapproved box. The weight an dynamic load of a fan makes failure a high risk.

You need to replace the box with an approved box and ensure that the box is firmly attached to framing members. It may require some drywall surgery, but it is worth...

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All ceiling boxes are required to support at least 50 pounds (NEC 314.27(A)), so you can assume the box will be able to support a simple light fixture. Boxes that are designed to support ceiling fans must be labeled as such, and must have a label listing the weight it can support if over 35 pounds (NEC 314.27(D)).

If you look at the box you have, you'll notice a flat bit within the box.

This is designed to sit against a framing member, so the box is likely attached to the member with nails. Your box probably looks something like this...

As others have mentioned, the holes in the back of the box can be used to attach the box to a support. In your box you'll notice these holes are empty, which means the box is not attached to a bracket.

This box should have no trouble supporting a normal light fixture, up to about 50 pounds. It should not be used to support a ceiling...

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If the box was installed recently in accordance with National Electrical Code (NEC), the box should be labeled if it's rated to support a ceiling fan.

NEC 2008
314.27 Outlet Boxes.
(D) Boxes at Ceiling-Suspended (Paddle) Fan Outlets. Outlet boxes or outlet box systems used as the sole support of a ceiling-suspended (paddle) fan shall be listed, shall be marked by their manufacturer as suitable for this purpose, and shall not support ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans that weigh more than 32 kg (70 lb). For outlet boxes or outlet box systems designed to support ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans that weigh more than 16 kg (35 lb), the required marking shall include the maximum weight to be supported.

If it's not labeled, the box is still required to support at least 50 lbs.

314.27 Outlet Boxes.
(A) Boxes at Luminaire Outlets. Boxes used at luminaire or lampholder outlets in a ceiling shall be designed for the purpose and shall be required to...

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Add hickeys until you can hang a box like this from it. Grind off the tabs if you don't like them, paint it to match the ceiling. You will probably need a bushing to make the connection from the last hickey to the new box.

Having pulled the wires through the hickeys, install the relay. Add a cross bar to hang more hickeys, from which you hang the light. Without a 'gap' in the hickeys, you've nowhere to put the relay.

Take the relay with you to the store, find a box and add a hickey; check if it will still fit a cross bar with another hickey sticking into it, with the relay inside, and still have room for wires coming from both hickeys.

I would endeavor to use that company's switches instead of the relay you can't fit, however I am not familiar with them or if they would fit your setup.

The relay doesn't need to be in that box; it just needs the wires......

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Hello, everyone. I'm Joshua Clement with Lighty Contractors, and today I want to talk to you about how to find out if an existing outlet box will support a ceiling fan. Now, when it comes to that you want to make sure that your wires are out of the way of any kids messing with them or dogs chewing on them, when running the wire down from the ceiling fan, because it will shock them. For this job we will be using a meter to see how much electricity is actually going through the outlet. So what you'll do here is take the two different terminals for your meter, put one in the top and one in the bottom, or side by side, depending on how your outlet is run, that way you can see exactly how much voltage is going through the outlet. Now, in doing this job you want to be very careful because you're dealing with live electricity. So they have insulated holders here. Make sure that you don't come close to the metal tips because you will get electrocuted. So hold them about like this and put...

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A ceiling fan is a mechanical fan, usually electrically powered, suspended from the ceiling of a room, that uses hub-mounted rotating paddles to circulate air.

A ceiling fan rotates much more slowly than an electric desk fan; it cools people effectively by introducing slow movement into the otherwise still, hot air of a room. Fans never actually cool air, unlike air-conditioning equipment, but use significantly less power (cooling air is thermodynamically expensive). Conversely, a ceiling fan can also be used to reduce the stratification of warm air in a room by forcing it down to affect both occupants' sensations and thermostat readings, thereby improving climate control energy efficiency.

History[edit]

The first ceiling fans appeared in the early 1860s and 1870s, in the United States. At that time, they were not powered by any form of electric motor. Instead, a stream of running water was used, in conjunction with a turbine, to drive a system of belts...

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Supporting a ceiling fan properly is important to avoid personal injury and damage to your house. There are several acceptable ways to support a ceiling fan, including special boxes designed with straps or fastening the box to wood blocking. A visual inspection from above is always recommended to confirm that the previous work is sufficient. If there is no attic space available to use for inspection, other options are available.

Support Requirements

The National Electric Code requires that all fans 35 pounds and over must be supported with an outlet box or outlet box system that is listed for ceiling fan support. The manufacturer must have marked the outlet box system to indicate that it is acceptable for ceiling fan installations. If the original box is not listed for this purpose, it must be retrofitted and attached securely to the building structure.

Outlet Boxes Designed for Ceiling Fans

Specially designed outlet boxes for ceiling fan support...

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You don't have to be a “Casablanca” aficionado to appreciate the elegance a ceiling fan can bring to your home. And you can enjoy a fan all year long as it creates a welcome breeze in the summer and circulates warm air in the winter.

Ceiling fans (technically called “paddle fans”) used to be frustrating to install, to say the least. Most of the time you had to wing it because specialty hanging systems were poorly developed or nonexistent. Nowadays, most manufacturers have designed versatile mounting systems that take the hassle out of installation. When you add in the improved, stronger ceiling boxes, you'll find that just about any ceiling fan can go up quick and easy on any ceiling, sloped or flat.

In this article, we'll illustrate crystal-clear instructions that go beyond the basic set included with the fan. We'll also show you how to avoid common pitfalls like putting on parts in the wrong order and forgetting to slip shrouds on ahead of time. Some mistakes are...

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Assess whether there are wires inside the housing for a lighting assembly.

Because you will want to be able to control the light and the fan separately, there will need to be existing wiring inside the housing to allow light assembly operation. You should see several wires inside the housing that are capped off by themselves with wire nuts. They could be a variety of colors but most likely will be black (power) and white (neutral).

http://pad3.whstatic.com/images/thumb/6/68/Install-a-Light-on-a-Ceiling-Fan-Step-3-Version-2.jpg/550px-Install-a-Light-on-a-Ceiling-Fan-Step-3-Version-2.jpg

http://pad1.whstatic.com/images/thumb/6/68/Install-a-Light-on-a-Ceiling-Fan-Step-3-Version-2.jpg/300px-Install-a-Light-on-a-Ceiling-Fan-Step-3-Version-2.jpg

/2/21/Install a Light on a Ceiling Fan Step 3.360p.mp4

With any luck the wires inside the housing will even be labeled with something like "lighting power" or something like that. This is a very good sign that you will...
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Watch video of this step.

If you have access from above, you can make and install your own support brace using a length of 2x4 lumber nailed to the ceiling joists on both sides of the box location (Image 2). Position the brace directly above the ceiling box. From below, use wood screws to attach the ceiling box securely to the brace.

If you do not have access to work above the ceiling, you can install an expanding metal brace from below to support the ceiling box and fan. First, remove the existing box, then insert the brace up through the hole and secure it in position by ratcheting the mechanism into place. As the ratchet is turned from below, arms on the brace extend until they contact the ceiling joists on both sides of the hole (Image 3 demonstration). The spikes on the arms anchor securely into the wood. Some braces are available with a ceiling box attached, or you can attach the existing ceiling box to the brace.

This method also may be used to mount a...

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There was a time when it was nearly impossible to install a ceiling fan solo. One person was required to hold the fan while another connected the wiring from the ceiling. Now fans are made to support themselves while these connections are made, making it easy for just about anyone to install a ceiling fan, assuming the ceiling is pre-wired.

Ceilings that have been pre-wired will be fit with a metal support (called a junction box) at the fixture site. If the support in the ceiling is made from plastic, it was only designed to hold a light and will need to be replaced with a metal box to support the significant weight of a ceiling fan. Metal junction boxes are rated to hold 35 pounds (15.87 kg). If the fan weighs more, its support bracket will have to be attached to a ceiling joist or beam.

In the center of the junction box is a hole where the building’s internal wires exit. Before touching any wiring in the ceiling be sure to turn off the circuit breaker that sends...

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Welcome to the forums!

I was told by the guy who sold me the ceiling fan that if the electrical box doesn't move when I tug on it then it should be secure enough to install the fan.

That was not good advice. Not only does the box that a ceiling fan is supported by have to be securely mounted, it has to be rated to support the weight and vibration of the ceiling fan.

I could indeed jiggle the box but it only moved upward very slightly, maybe a half an inch maximum and only on one side.

Even following his advice, that is movement. In addition, 1/2" of movement in a mounted electrical box is a huge amount.

Well the fan is installed (flush mount) and it does wobble slightly, although it isn't making much noise.

A well-mounted and well-balanced ceiling fan should not wobble at all. My test is to watch the pulls on the ends of the switch chains. If I see any movement at all in those, I start troubleshooting.

Is it possible/probable the box is more...

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To reduce risk of fire, electrical shock, or personal injury, make sure that the wire connectors provided with your fan match the specified gauge house wires.

If the house wires are different colors than referred to, stop immediately and call a professional electrician to determine the wiring.

Be sure that the wiring box is properly grounded or that a ground wire (green or be) is present.

Fan and light controlled by a chain:

1.a. Connect the black and blue wire from the fan to the black wire from ceiling with the wire connector provided. Connect the white wire from the fan to the white wire from the ceiling with the wire connector provided. Connect all ground (green) wires together from the fan to the bare/green wire from the ceiling with the wire connector provided.

Fan controlled by chain, light by wall switch.

1b. If you intend to control the fan light with a separate wall switch, wire as indicated in the instructions for 1.a. except...

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CEILING TILES

This Warranty Statement Covers the following product lines;

ProLite Series Designer Collection Legacy Series Advantage Series Ceiling Skins Heritage Series Grid Strips Soniguard Insulation

Warranty Statement
ProCeilingTiles.com guarantees that your ceiling tiles will be free from manufacturing defects for a period of five years from the date of purchase.

Warranty Limitations
This warranty does not cover problems caused by improper installation methods. It covers only installations done in accordance with the installation and handling instructions available on this website. This warranty does not cover damage caused by improper maintenance or by use contrary to our recommendations. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear or shade changes due to exposure to smoke, fumes, leaks, or abuse. This warranty does not cover labor charges. This warranty applies only to material purchased by you, the owner, in unopened cartons for...

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Before contacting Ceiling Fans 'N More...

Is your question answered below?I need help wiring my ceiling fan, switch, light kit or other. I have these orange colors, blue colors, red colors, black colors...I just don't know what to do. Can you help me?

We have a generic, straightforward ceiling fan wiring guide guide here. It has all the different wire colors that you will find on your fan. The wiring guide identifies what each color does. In most circuits, the same wire colors tend to do the same things. You can state that red wire may be hot (or positive), and the black negative or ground. Each wiring color is discussed in the guide. The wiring guide also contains step by step instructions for installing a new ceiling fan, or repairing an old one. Diagnose ceiling fan issues and learn how to fix them as you read the guide.

Have any comments or questions you would like to share with us?

To send us your comments or questions, please fill in the form...

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Here is a quesion from a site visitor asking how to wire a ceiling fan and light kit with separate control switches for the fan and the light.

Question: I would like to wire two ceiling fans — the power comes into the box first — I would also like to have two separate switches for lights and fans. Any diagrams would be helpful. Thanks for your help.

Answer: In the question above, I am assuming that this is a new installation, and as I understand the question, the power now comes in to the first ceiling box intended for mounting the ceiling fan. In roughing in wiring for a ceiling box that has a potential to have a ceiling fan installed either now, or in the future, it prudent to wire the circuit for separate control of the fan and the light kit on individual switches.

Make sure you mount the ceiling outlet boxes firmly, and with extra support so as to handle the additional weight of the fan. Check with your local electrical and building inspector, as well as...

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Over the years, we've encountered our fair share of ceiling fan troubles, but we've learned from our experiences and want to share with you what we've discovered along the way. We've compiled our best ceiling fan troubleshooting tips to help you identify and fix the most common ceiling fan problems. As always, use caution when working on your ceiling fan and turn the power off at the circuit breaker box to prevent any injuries.

Common Ceiling Fan Problems

Click on the links below to determine the cause of a ceiling fan problem and how to fix it:

If your ceiling fan will not start, use the steps below to determine cause of the problem:

Check the circuit breaker to confirm the power is on. If the circuit breaker tripped, reset the breaker. If there are any blown fuses, replace the damaged fuses. Turn the power off the circuit breaker. Loosen the canopy, check all the wire connections are correctly assembled and secured with...
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INSTALLING CEILING FANS

I've been trying to install a ceiling fan in my kitchen. Followed the instructions with no problems up until I had to connect the wires; last step. Figured out all the wiring except for the grounding wire, couldn't figure out what to connect it to. There was a clump of wires shoved way up in the ceiling not connected to any part of the old light fixture so I connected it the grounding wire. Needless to say I shorted the house. What do you connect the grounding wire to?

You mean the ground wire from the fan, right?
If your house has modern wiring there should be a bare copper wire in the box or perhaps several twisted together and finally if the box is a metal box connected to a ground screw on the box.
If there are no ground wires in your box, and this is possible if your house was wired before that became the code, there won't be a ground wire in the box. If the rest of your house has not been upgraded, you can tell this...

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