Question on Ceiling Boxes

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by moeronn, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. moeronn

    moeronn New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    California
    Has the standard ceiling box (for light fixtures) changed since 1970?

    I've installed new light fixtures in my condo - which was built in 1969. Installing the mounting brackets was no problem, as the screw holes lined up fine with the box. However, the mounting screws that attach the fixtures to the bracket always interfere with the box. Have the standard size of the box increased?

    FWIW, most of the wiring is 12 guage/20a with 1/2" flex con, also acting as ground.
  2. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    Nope, the people that design the mounting hardware are idiots...
  3. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    There are also 3" round and 4" round boxes....always have been.


    I agree on the "idiot" part though. Everthing else (switces/receps) is pretty well standardized but they can't seem to come up with a universal fixture mounting method.
  4. moeronn

    moeronn New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    California
    So this leaves me with two options -
    1. Replace the boxes - 6 ceiling, 2 vanity - and maybe 2 ceiling fans.
    2. Keep the existing boxes and while the wiring is still in the box, the mounting screws may be poking into the drywall and the fixture may not be centered on the box.

    I'm not really concerned about some drywall cutting. The main concern is how easy/difficult it is to install boxes in the openings. Do they make "retrofit" metal boxes that can easily be secured to the studs/joists?
  5. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    Why not just cut the mounting screws and space the fixture bracket off the ceiling a 1/4"??? This will give you ample room, the other thing is some boxes have two sets of threaded holes, so alot of times you dont even need the fixture bar...
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  6. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Don't change the boxes. Use different brackets, drill some holes in something.

    There is ALWAYS a way.


    Post a pic of the box, bracket and fixture.



    BTW, welcome to our world. A simple 10 minute job turns into a 45 minute fiasco because of some moeronn engineer.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  7. arfeller

    arfeller New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Hey! Not all morons are engineers!
    Wait... i'm not sure that is what i meant :D

    Rob
  8. moeronn

    moeronn New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    California
    Hey, wait a second... how'd you know I was an engineer?

    I think cutting the screws will be the easiest thing to do. That, or I'll see if I can buy a couple dozen in a shorter length than the fixtures came with.

    Thanks for the suggestions and the welcome. Considering I've been switching nearly daily between electrician, plumber, painter, carpenter and general laborer, this place will come in handy. The joys of DIY...
  9. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    I had to drill holes in the metal back of the light that I mounted.
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