Ceiling fan / support brace placement question

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Old 05-28-17, 07:38 PM
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Ceiling fan / support brace placement question

Hello everyone,

I came across your community doing some research and after reading a bunch of threads here and elsewhere online I'm at an impasse. I purchased a ceiling fan earlier this month and after some investigation I found out I had a standard ceiling box that wasn't going to support the fan. I bought a Westinghouse support brace from HD which I'm comfortable installing however I'm thinking the pre-existing hole is not going to be conducive to proper installation.

With all the instruction I've seen on these braces they're typically comewhat centered between the ceiling joists (mine are 24") or have at least a few inches where the plastic feet can rest on sheetrock. With my hole being literally up against the joist (see pics) the teeth may grab the wood but the feet wouldn't be sitting on anything. Also I'd be extending the brace to almost it's limit since the beams are 24" apart.

I'd like to know if it's a correct assumption that I shouldn't install the brace in the current hole because of what I've mentioned above. If that is correct, how close can I cut a new hole into the sheetrock without compromising it's structural integrity? The current hole isn't even centered in the room (mainly because of how the studs run I assume) so I either have to move 3-4" on either side of the current hole and/or joist. If I go towards the north wall my holes will be in very close proximity but the fan will be better centered into the room. If I move behind the joist (south) the fan is more set back in the room (not ideal) but I'll have the feet sitting better on the sheetrock, i.e. the new hole won't be just inches away from the old on the same side of the joist.

One other thought/idea I found online was getting a pancake box and installing that directly on the beam and then putting the fan mounting bracket on that. That's a sturdy option but I don't know if I should go that route or if I'll have enough clearance for wiring and the remote control box that comes w/ the fan.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Thanks for your assistance.
 
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Old 05-28-17, 07:58 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If you use the same hole, you will need a fan rated box. Here is an example.

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Old 05-28-17, 09:14 PM
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With the Westinghouse fan box and support I believe you need to be at least 1" away from the joist. So you could move your hole slightly and use your new box. The fan canopy may even cover the slight move.

Larry left you a good solution.

Can you move to a new hole.... sure. It wouldn't be a problem drilling the joist to get the cable to your new hole but is the cable long enough. It can't be spliced unless it's in an accessible junction box. You could put the old box back in for a splice point and use a ceiling blank plate over it.
 
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Old 05-28-17, 10:50 PM
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Thanks, Larry and Pete

I had only been looking at HD and randomly Googling ceiling boxes but hadn't come across that one. I see that Lowe's carries it so I'll run up there tomorrow and see if I can make some headway. This approach should definitely be more doable. I'll letcha guys know how it goes.
 
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Old 05-29-17, 10:13 PM
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Well, it was a bit of a long day of installation (not the whole day but...) I got the fan up.

I went out and bought a steel box (pic below) because Lowe's only carried the other online. Got home realized the previous box's nails were going to be in my way and I didn't have any leverage to pull them out (after some good trying with my hammer and pliers). Ultimately I took a mini-hacksaw and just cut them back to the board as close as I could. I'll say this, the amount of insulation that dropped from such a tiny hole as annoying as can be and it might not even have been on my top 5 for the project.

Once I had my area ready I realized that there was no way I going to be able to come at the joist with the wood screws at a good angle without really making a big hole in my ceiling, which I wanted to avoid. Not sure if it was my drill that didn't have enough enough for just the angle but getting in those 3 anchor woods screws as a PITA. I got Popeye forums after just screwing it in by hand. I had tried to make some pilot holes with bits I had but again I think the angle and my drill weren't up for the task. That was definitely the most tedious and tiresome part of my experience, especially give that I didn't expect it to be so much work. Once I got the box mounted I was on to the bracket, wiring, and installation.

Everything went well after that and in the end I'm glad I was able to see it through and do it myself, even if it meant more time that I anticipated. This is the 3rd fan I've installed in my house the other 2 seem like a snap of the fingers compared to what I did for this one.

It was still daylight when I was all done but I forgot to snap a pic so here's a not so good evening pic. In the end though we really like the fan and does a lot to help keep our family room cooler since it didn't have much circulation before even with the sliding glass door was open.

On a related and ridiculous note I realized when attaching these new pics that I really wasn't paying attention last night when doing the original pics since I spelled ceiling as "ceilng"

Thanks again for the help and listening. I'll definitely utilize this place for more DIY projects. I like to research and learn before jumping in. Takes more time but I feel I do projects better that way.
 
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Old 05-29-17, 10:25 PM
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Looks good.

That box you choose is called a new work box in that it gets installed before the sheetrock goes up. Unfortunate you weren't able to locate the old work box that Larry posted about.

In the future.... use linemans pliers on the nails. You lay the pliers flat against the joist, squeeze them and use them as a lever off the joist. Alternately you can use a strong pair of dykes (wire cutters) too. Sometimes you can use a small piece of shim as a fulcrum between the head of the tool and the joist.
 
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Old 05-29-17, 10:26 PM
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Looking nice. Thanks for the update.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by PJmax
That box you choose is called a new work box in that it gets installed before the sheetrock goes up
Yep, new work the bracket is flipped up with screws going above the box and for old work you can flip the bracket down so it's facing the sheetrock.

Thanks for the pliers suggestions.
 
 

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