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  1. #1

    fleurya's Avatar
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    Need advice from anyone who's installed a ceiling fan!
    So this is my Memorial weekend project that I just started today! I am installing 2 ceiling fans in our bedrooms and found some great articles online that explain clearly how to do it, even if you don't have the right light box. The problem is, as usual, I am stuck with a unique situation not covered by basic how-to's.

    Luckily I am able to get at the light boxes from the crawl space above the ceiling. The problem is the light boxes are secured to the joists like they should be, but the bracket is kinda thin and the light box itself is small. I'm concerned that, even though it is secured to the joists it may not be able to handle a fan. The plus side is that is it mounted and the bracket is flush against the ceiling to distribute load.

    I would happily replace the brackets, but the problem is they screwed them into the bottom of the joists before putting up the ceiling, so the only way to get to them would be to cut out and replace a big chunk of ceiling. I'm kind of leaning towards mounting to the current light box and watching how it holds up. I feel like I would see signs of loosening long before it actually came out of the ceiling itself, if ever.

    If anyone has any opinions/suggestions I would be happy to hear it. I've added a couple pics for reference.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Best advice? Get a tradesman to do it. Looks pretty nasty and may well be illegal.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3

    iggibar's Avatar
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    They sell adjustable support bracket/frame structures that slide in between the ceiling joists just for these kinds of jobs. Lowes and Home Depot sell them. You might have to cut and remove the old support(from the crawl space), or maybe just cut the center, and bend the sides out of the way if possible. I would not hang a fan from that.
    Similar like this Raco 15.5ci model sold at Home Depot

    Some models require that they be installed underneath the drywall(like the Raco I posted), so use some ingenuity might be needed, or a model that is freely within the joists.

    This Westinhouse setup might work for you: Westinghouse Saf-T-Box Support Fan Brace-0140000 at The Home Depot
    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

  4. #4

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    I'm with Harry on this one. Blackened wiring in your box for one thing.

    I would tackle this without batting an eye, but wouldn't reccomend it to someone who wasn't experienced working with electrical.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  5. #5

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    How old is the house? What kind of wiring is that?

    But the bracket looks substantial enough to hold a fan. Of course, I can't touch it, but it appears to be pretty heavy stock. Whether or not to try it depends on how the fan will be attached to the box. The bracket, of course, holds the box, and anything attached to it.

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    As they used to say to electrical apprentices:-

    Be an Electrician and get a Kick out of Life!
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
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    Be an Electrician and get a Kick out of Life!
    Been there, done that Harry! It's usually not the jolt that hurts but smashing your arm, elbow, or anything else, trying to get loose from the circuit. Or worse, falling off a ladder!

    I've installed several ceiling fans in my home (an absolute must in the Texas heat). The nice thing about houses around here is that they already come with the boxes and braces in place. Still it's a two man job. Not something you want to do by yourself.

  8. #8

    Groovetube's Avatar
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    yeah that wiring looks a little nasty.

    Definitely use the braces suggested already. I've put them in and I highly recommend using them too.

    If you break a little drywall on the ceiling getting the old one out, it isn't a big deal, it'd be easy to fix.

  9. #9

    iggibar's Avatar
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    How bout we call it a party and all pitch in to help...as long as someone buys the drinks? I'm in
    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

  10. #10

    Groovetube's Avatar
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    ok, but I'll need to bring some Canadian beer.

  11. #11

    MYmacROX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iggibar View Post
    They sell adjustable support bracket/frame structures that slide in between the ceiling joists just for these kinds of jobs. Lowes and Home Depot sell them. You might have to cut and remove the old support(from the crawl space), or maybe just cut the center, and bend the sides out of the way if possible. I would not hang a fan from that.
    Similar like this Raco 15.5ci model sold at Home Depot

    Some models require that they be installed underneath the drywall(like the Raco I posted), so use some ingenuity might be needed, or a model that is freely within the joists.

    This Westinhouse setup might work for you: Westinghouse Saf-T-Box Support Fan Brace-0140000 at The Home Depot
    I agree with the suggestion pictured by iggibar. That's what I did to install recessed lights on my back porch ceiling (I wanted 3 of them centered). Those modern brackets are very secure and can hold a ceiling fan no problem. As long as you have the electricity turned off to that part of the house, it's not a big deal to pull that wire out and feed it into a new housing/box.

    You can patch the ceiling fairly easily where the old cutout used to be.
    Here's a tip for patching that old hole: cut out a slightly larger hole, but angle your blade a little bit. Think of when you cut the top out of a pumpkin - if you cut at an angle, the top will go back in place and not fall through. Same premise with drywall, it gives you a backing of sorts. Then you just have to cut a new circle or square to fill the hole (remember to cut at an angle again). Spackle and paint will keep the drywall patch in place just fine.
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  12. #12

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    I think that the bracket in the OP's post, while of older vintage, is likely able to hold about the same amount of weight, or at least enough for a ceiling fan. His bracket is narrower, but thicker, it appears.

  13. #13


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    If you have not already completed the project. Cut a 2x4 to fit between the joists and anchor it just behind the box with screws or nails "screws are better. Then anchor the box to the 2x4, this will hold it.

    Like others have noted, the wires look old, if the insulation around the individual wires is brittle, I would suggest replacing the wire if at all possible.

  14. #14


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    iggibar said it all except you need to replace your wiring. Frankly as an electricain I would connect an led to that wiring. Its dangerous. You have a major job to rewire all your house if it like that in the picture. Forget the fans - REWIRE!!

  15. #15

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