View Full Version : Ceiling Fan Installation Problem

Tom Leftley
06-15-2010, 10:57 PM
I have been "invited" to help my son install a ceiling fan. However, the problem is that the electrical box in the ceiling is mounted sideways onto an existing joist.
I don't think the box will support a ceiling fan, and short of opening up a large portion of ceiling, and installing a header, how do I safely mount the fan?

Von Bickley
06-15-2010, 11:21 PM

If the ceiling fan has a large canopy that goes next to the ceiling, you may be able to fasten a shallow box (sometimes called a pancake box) to the existing joist. You would just cut out enought sheet-rock for the pancake box to fit in (either 3-1/2 or 4 inch) and screw the box the the joist.

The pancake box is only 1/2" deep and should work for you. Hope this helps.

Art Mulder
06-16-2010, 12:08 AM
I'd climb into the attic (ugh) and mount a 2x on the flat between two joists/trusses, then move the box over so it is now beside the joist.

(I don't think there is any rule that says it MUST be centered between joists.)

This will still give you a bit of a hole to patch, but not that much. I know someone who did something like this and rather than patch the ceiling they went out and bought a circular piece of trim (look like a round piece of plaster, but it was foam) to cover the hole and wrap around the base of the ceiling fan.

Sam Layton
06-16-2010, 2:37 AM

The electrical box you mount the ceiling fan to must be rated for ceiling fans. Make sure you use an electrical box for ceiling fans. I second what Art said...


Prashun Patel
06-16-2010, 2:53 AM
There exists some kind of hanger bracket that you can reach in through an existing box hole in the drywall. It ratchets open and nails itself through adjacent joists. The box is then screwed to this bracket thru the hole.

Google 'retrofit ceiling fan box' and you'll get some good links.

glenn bradley
06-16-2010, 9:59 AM
Right, O have used the threaded, telescoping bar/box combination unit designed for this with success a few times.

Garth Keel
06-16-2010, 12:27 PM
What Shawn & Glenn said

Zach England
06-16-2010, 1:02 PM
I "invite" anyone here to come disassemble my ceiling fan, locate the source of the knocking noise, and re-assemble. Please PM me to schedule a time.

Jim Koepke
06-16-2010, 8:08 PM

Does you fan remain solid at all speeds or does it wiggle a little?

The fans I have installed in the past came with a test clothes pin and a sticky weight. These are used to balance out the blades to keep there from being any out of balance situation to cause such noises to develop.


Zach England
06-16-2010, 10:07 PM
Fan is balances. I believe it is a wire hanging down...since that sounds safe...

...still waiting for a creeker to come fix it...

Lee Koepke
06-16-2010, 10:24 PM
how 'bout spending about 3 hours (most in the attic) wiring and installing a fan, hooking up a remote control to it ... only to find out the remote is broken and doesnt work :mad:

Jim O'Dell
06-16-2010, 11:29 PM
Tom, will you have access to the unit from an attic, or is this between floors? If the former, I always sandwich the electrical box with another 2 X ? secured to the ceiling joists, Kind of like Art said, only I run the extra one vertical just like the joist. I then put one across the top of the electrical box between the 2. I try to get a screw or to into the joist and the sandwich piece I install, and one up through the top of the box into the piece on top.
If you don't have access from an attic, the piece in the picture that Glenn shows would be the safest and easiest to use. Good luck! Jim.

Ed Harrow
06-17-2010, 1:01 AM

The electrical box you mount the ceiling fan to must be rated for ceiling fans. Make sure you use an electrical box for ceiling fans. ...

Don't mess around.