Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.
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How do I attach a heavy ceiling fan so it won't fly or fall off?
If you have access over the light (an attic, for example) this is what I'd do. Leave the existing electrical box in place that the old light attached to. Watch for wires and drill a 1/2 inch hole or remove the knock out in the center of the box at the top. Get the appropriate length of 1/8" running pipe thread; these come in lengths from 1/2" up to 3'. At the bottom of the rod in the box, attach a spreader bar with a threaded hole already in it to accept the 1/8" pipe thread of the rod. It may be in the fan/light kit or you might have to buy it from a light shop. Attach the spreader bar to the two screws in the box with the rod sticking up through the box into the attic.
Go up into the attic and place 2 - 2x4s, on edge, with the rod between them. Screw a plywood scab over the top into the 2x4s to keep them together and put the washer on top of the scab. Fasten these 2x4s across the ceiling joists or truss bottom cord. You will notice that the fan has a steel safety wire to help support it as well. This wire should be fastened to the 2x4s for safety. Now the weight of the fan is supported by the joists or truss. This will hold a very heavy fan.
If you have to make a large hole around the box, you can install a rosette around the box later. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, giving an easy fix to a messy hole.
Dave(Ask Dave) (About Dave)
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