Mount Ceiling Fan to Old Junction Box?


Is there anyway to safely mount a ceiling fan to this type of older ceiling junction box (see the photos)?

I rent an old 1920's built house where an old hanging light fixture junction box was covered with a blank panel. I want to hang a ceiling fan in this living room, but when exposed I see this old junction box that is really in the plaster and would be a huge hassle to replace.

One photo is how it looked when I first removed the blank cover. You will see the old threaded light fixture mount. With that mount removed as well as some plaster, you can see it is in there pretty well. There is no access from above it since that is a wooded bedroom floor directly upstairs. That junction box appears to be held sturdy by the two rusty-colored head screws (see photo) to a metal cross bar behind it.

I am sure my landlord would not be cool with having the ceiling torn apart more to replace this old junction box, so I wanted to see if anyone thinks there is an adapter or...

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Obtain a FAN RATED BOX from home supply or electrical supply store. It will likely be best to buy the old work (not new construction) style if you do not have access to the ceiling from above. There are two types of old work boxes; one fan rated box is designed to straddle an existing joist; this style can be easier to install, but requires that you find the joist rather than avoid it. The other type has an adjustable bar that expands to span between two joists, it can be a little more involved to install but allows more mounting location choices. Either type works equally well.


After determining where you want to install the fan, assess your ability to get power to it. See the tips section below for some ideas for a power source. Adjust this location as needed. Next, cut a hole by hand with a sheetrock saw; just large enough to feel around with your fingers to check for potential obstructions for the box. This small opening will make patching easier...

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Using a junction box whenever you install an electrical device like a ceiling fan, or light, will help to connect wires and mount the base of the item. A junction box is available in either hard plastic or metal and in several different shapes and thicknesses. Installing a ceiling fan requires the use of a junction box. If you are going to be installing a ceiling fan, here are some tips to follow when mounting the junction box.

1. Use Metal, Octagonal Junction Box

Out of the two different materials that are used for a junction box, you should always choose a metal one for the ceiling fan installation. An octagonal box will also help you to install the mounting plate much easier. You should look at a 4-inch box to make sure that there is enough room for the wires.

2. Mount Directly to Joist

When installing the junction box for a ceiling fan it is important to remember two things. The fan is heavier than a regular ceiling light and there is a lot of...

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The National Electrical Code requires protective boxes for every electrical connection in a residential or commercial building, and those boxes often serve double-duty by supporting an electrical fixture. Electricians use both metal and plastic boxes, and the latter are preferred in some cases because they are inexpensive, easy to use and naturally insulated. They aren't made for supporting much weight, however, and shouldn't be used to support a ceiling fan.

Ceiling Junction Boxes

In most cases, an electrician installs a rough-in electrical box before hanging any type of ceiling fixture. It can be made of metal or plastic, it's usually round and it attaches to a ceiling joist with screws or nails. If the fixture weighs less than about 5 pounds, it's possible to substitute a remodeling box, which anchors directly to the drywall. The purpose of a remodeling box, as its name implies, is to facilitate wiring on existing walls and ceilings. It is usually plastic, and it...

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Electrical boxes are a critically important component of your home's electrical system. However, the variety of boxes can seem confusing when you're planning your project. So this tutorial will describe the different types of electrical boxes you find in the ceiling and wall for lighting, ceiling fans and junction boxes.

There are varieties for plastic and metal boxes, new work and old work boxes, round, square and octagonal boxes. And they come in depths ranging from 1/2" to over 3"... deep. Then there are boxes with no backs that serve as depth extenders and covers with cutouts for various uses!

Well, after reading this tutorial you will understand why there are different box types and in what applications they may be used.

Electrical Wall and Ceiling Boxes Can Be Used in Many Ways, Such As:

Join or splice wires together in circuitsMount and house connections for a lamp fixture to a wall or ceilingMount and house connections for a ceiling fan (when...
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Question: I have been thinking of replacing a light fixture in my bedroom ceiling with a ceiling fan. I have been reading that some people replace the smaller junction box in the ceiling with a bigger one to compensate for the extra weight and vibration of the ceiling fan. I was wondering if I replaced the light fixture with just a very small ceiling fan, would I still need to replace the smaller junction box? The ceiling fan I want to install is around 13 lbs. With a smaller fan, can I use the old junction box?

Replace light fixture with ceiling fan

Answer: No matter what type, size, or weight your ceiling fan is, you should use a ceiling fan mount kit. It is possible you could get away with using an electrical box if you are sure it’s connected to the joist and connected securely. Either way, it is recommended to use a ceiling fan mount. A ceiling fan mount kit will come with an adjustable bar that expands and screws outwards to secure the mount to the ceiling...

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How to install a ceiling fan, explained in easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions that show you how, including information on installing a hanger bar for the necessary support.

© Herspiralnotebook |

Installing a ceiling fan is a good project for the do-it-yourselfer, as you can simply replace a traditional lighting fixture with a fan or fan-and-light kit. You can wire the fan’s light to be controlled by the light switch on the wall and allow the fan to be turned on manually by pulling a cord, install a second switch to control the fan, or purchase a unit operated by remote control.

You’ll need to ensure that the junction box to which you will connect your fan can support its weight (it should say “suitable for fan support”), that you have enough clearance between the fan blades and the ground (at least 7 feet), and that your fan is the appropriate size for your room. For more, see Sizing & Locating a Ceiling Fan.


Ceiling fan...

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replying to dennisgauge , TC wrote:

yes weird, the old post came up in a google search so just added on to it. glad it worked.

Moaners Hub?

so, there was a flush mount light installed at location above sink. It stopped working so I had to remove it and once it was out, liked the open space look. So decided to look into a type of lighting that would be more flush with the ceiling than standard globe lighting.

Came across a light at Home Depot that was in recessed/can lights section. Designed so that base fits right into a round plastic box with notches to accommodate the screw locations, but the box I still have in place has different screw configurations. See photos.

Need to install a different style box, but concerned about taking the old one out using methods stated in earlier posts. If I rip it out can I get a new one back in its place? Maybe one with the side clamps would be ok.

Hope that helps clear things up, photos...

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