Replace fan or support box in ceiling?

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Old 06-06-16, 08:22 AM
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Replace fan or support box in ceiling?

bedroom is about 15'x15' Have had a ceiling fan there for at least 15 years. When originally installed, it required a fan rated electrical box so I used a typical one that has a brace that installs between joists by rotating it and has an electrical box that attaches to the brace. The electrical box connects my mounting to a bracket that clamps around the brace (think similar to a saddle valve). Since the room is used by my two college age sons, we don't spend much time in the but they are home for the summer so I happened to go in while the fan was running on high. It had quite a wobble so I made them turn it down to medium. I took a look at it later and the wobble is primarily in the direction perpendicular to the brace. That is, the brace runs one direction (north/south) and the wobble is a rocking motion side-to-side (east/west). The reason I mentioned the mounting for the electrical box is because the box itself has developed a wiggle in that east/west direction. The plaster adjacent to the electrical box has cracked on the east and west sides so there is noticeable side-to-side play in the box. I separated the electrical box from the brace and tightened the bracket that it mounts to and reinstalled. Once I got fan reinstalled, there is just too much leverage on the box to hold it in place. The broken plaster was not helping.

I patched the plaster around the hole last night with some durabond 90 and will check it tonight to see if the movement is restricted.

I am trying to determine if replacing the fan with one that wobbles less at high speed is a more sure solution that trying to stabilize the electrical box. The box is very secure from a perspective of holding the fan up but not in side-to-side or rocking motions. I did try to balance the fan blades by placing a large washer at the end of each blade tip (one at a time) but I didn't see any significant change.

So, buy a new fan or buy a new ceiling bracket or hope the plaster stabilizes the lateral movement?

- Peter
 
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Old 06-06-16, 09:22 AM
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Can you access the ceiling box from above? If so I'd suggest fastening a 2x4 between the joists and screwing the fan box to it.

Fifteen years is a long life for a fan. The bearings may be wearing out. I'd also consider replacing the fan.

You could reinforce the plaster by using a medallion on the ceiling.

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Old 06-06-16, 10:25 AM
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You may just have to rebalance the fan. Get a washer and some tape. Tape washer to one of the blades near the end. If it smooths out you are on the right blade, gets worse you have to move weight to another blade. A pain to do but will smooth fan out. Hardware Stores sell balance kits.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 11:05 AM
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You may not even have to rebalance the blades. Check the blade to bracket mounting screws and even more important are the ones from the blade bracket to the motor.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 11:08 AM
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to Ray2047: I can't fasten the fan mounting box since it is round fiberglass/resin. If it were a typical metal box, I would try that. Might do that anyway if I replace the mounting bracket.

to pugsl: as noted in the original post (3rd paragraph), I did try to balance using a washer. The fan rocked too much at high speed to notice a difference after trying each of the five blades.

thanks for the ideas so far. please keep them coming.

- Peter
 
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Old 06-06-16, 11:49 AM
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Was the box loose on the bracket?
 
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Old 06-06-16, 11:57 AM
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great suggestions

The box is slightly loose (takes pressure to make it wiggle side to side. Once you have the leverage of the fan hanging from it, it moves easily. I am planning on a new fan mounting bracket/box and a new fan.

Does anyone like the Hunter Oakhurst 52" paired with the 15.5 cu. in. Retrofit Ceiling Fan Saf-T-Brace-0110000 - The Home Depot

- Peter
 
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Old 06-06-16, 01:12 PM
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to Ray2047: I can't fasten the fan mounting box since it is round fiberglass/resin.
I didn't say you needed to use the original fan box.
 
 

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