I used a retrofit fan brace kit to install a fan rated ceiling electrical box. Several brands are available, but most of them mount the same way by expanding two pieces of the metal brace between two wood ceiling joists to form a strong, tight wedge. The ends of the brace have teeth on them to bite into the wood joist. Other types of fan boxes mount directly on the side of the joist or on the bottom of the joist.
A 3/8″ nut driver was used to tighten the nuts that hold the fan box onto the fan brace. Notice that the bare ground wire is under a green screw that is tight against the metal box. All metal electrical boxes are required to be grounded.
UPDATE: The above box grounding method has been outlawed in the 2020 National Electrical Code. It is now required to have a separate grounding pigtail to ground the box. Click to see my article about grounding outlets and switches.
My ceiling fan wiring diagrams may be helpful for an installation such as the one on this page.
I try to leave the wires a little long for ceiling fan installations so that it is easier to make splices out in the open. The ceiling fan canopies tend to be big enough to cover the wires.
I connected two 2″ x 3″ x 3 1/2″ deep metal gangable switch boxes to create a two-gang switch box. This type of electrical box is made to be joined together by removing one side from each box and then putting the boxes together and tightening the screws. This can also be done if more gangs are needed. The limitation of gangs is determined by how big of a switch plate you can get.
I think up to 20 gangs is available for switch and receptacle wall plates by special order from an electrical supply company. The problem with such large switch and receptacle wall plates is lining everything up to look straight and trying to catch all of the wall plate screws in the designated holes on the wiring devices.
I installed two gang metal switch boxes above using one Madison Bar on the left side and two #8 sheet metal screws on the right side. I drilled two holes in the box to get the screws where I wanted them to be.
Having the box secured to the wood stud is much better than being secured by drywall only. I installed the Madison Bar first. See my blog post on the correct method of installing Madison Bars.
In the photo above, you will notice that the ears have been removed from each switch bracket. This was done to keep the switches from protruding from the wall too much due to the ears on the electrical box being on the wall surface. The existing hot wires were spliced together and pig-tailed to provide a hot lead to each switch.
The existing red wire was spliced onto the hot wires so the former switch-controlled outlet would always be on. All of the white neutral wires were spliced together. The grounding wires were pig-tailed to have a ground connection to the green screw of each switch.
You should look at my collection of switch box and wiring articles to learn more about changing one gang switches over to two or more gangs.
Click to see my Ceiling Fan Wiring Diagrams which may be helpful to you.
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