Ceiling Fans Question

After reading some of these boards, I think it would be wise to point out in every inspection something about ceiling fan braceing. We may not be able to see if they are braced properly but we all know that most people don’t have them braced properly. Most people think a metal box or a metal electrical box bolted to a 2x4 is all you need. That just isn’t true! The two little threded screw holes can not support the weight & vibration of a fan.

Any comments?

Yes I have a comment.

What do you think is required and by what code?


Here’s what is required by product and industry standards, and your comment about the two 8/32 screws is accurate, because after prolonged vibration the “tabs” on an octagon box broke away, and many people were seriously injured. I can supply detailed information if necessary.

Look over on www.ul.com and search for “paddle fans”

I hope this helps answer your question. I have, in the past discussed this here, and now that information is located in the archives and is readily accessible if desired. Any more questions?

Please ask away and you shall receive an answer.

Images Courtesy: www.nfpa.org

I do not have the code in front of me but I used to sell ceiling fan brace kits at Builders Square way back when. They had the code stamped on the boxes.

Basicly a ceiling fan should not be mounted (hanging) from the box it’s self. It should be mounted from the braceing. The box is for houseing the wire connections.

Check out some of the Ceiling Fan Kits at a store next time your there. You will notice that all the kits have some way of transfering all the weight of the fan to the brace and the fan would be mounted to threaded rods not screws to the box that is 1/8" thick flap with about 2 threads.

Did that make any sense. My daughter woke me up at 5:30 this morning.


I am not totally sure an HI can make that statement in that as you stated for the most part fans that are already up… Depending on when the fan was installed it just may have not been a code compliant issue at the time it was installed. As for safety, most certainly a safety issue and can be mentioned but I can see the Real Estate Agent now giving you a fit over it.

I would say if you are going to call them out on this, you need to be 100% sure it is not braced in the correct manner as to not cause possible issues with the agent and your income in the future because of it.

Again…is it unsafe…YES…can you prove they are not braced even if it is a older house before the 35 and ( specific weight fan requirement ie: 75 ) pound box requirement…NO…so you may have to look at every one from an attic location if possible…but will need to be done before making that statement to them…

Then I will tell you what I charge to go and take down all ceiling fans and re-box them…lol…the Agent wont be happy…lol

Just some thoughts…thats all…not on safety but on practicle inspection thoughts. This is why I do not like the infared meters ( the 12,000 buck ones ) because they take us PAST being a generalist on home inspections and in my opinion open up for more legal issues.

Jason yes there are UL listed ceiling fan boxes available. usually the 8/32 screws are replaced with 10/32 screws.

That said the use of a listed fan box is optional per the NEC.

I can use any box I want if it is not the sole support of the fan.

As long as the fan is also secured to the structure the type of box is irrelevant.

On the other hand if I use a ‘fan box’ I do not have to support the fan independently.

Man…I do not like how this new look effects the message board area…have to scrol left and right and well…I dont like it…anyway…

Anyway…Here is my take…

422.18(A) says in short…fans weighing less than 35lbs shall be permitted to be supported by outlet boxes IDENTIFIED for such use and supported in accordance with 314.23 and 314.27

Which then should read 314.27(D)

Translation : Section 314.27(D) prohibits standard-type boxes from supporting paddle fans unless the boxes are provided with supplimental support. However, 422.18(A) does permit boxes listed for the application ( fan boxes ) as the sole support for fans that do not exceed 35 lbs.

Now they DO make exceptions for boxes like the above that can hold fans over 35lbs…but they MUST be marked as such.

Paul isnt that what Joe and I both said?

Ahhh…Yeah…but you know how SLOW I type and you all post things before I can even type it…SORRY…thehehe

Hey…You know how LONG freakin winded I am…

Bob…Question…is it just me or is your screen giving you different size message areas…and looks weird.

Never had that before with the old message board layout…I think it is not the message board itself as it was fine yesterday…has to be the new left menu layout…

Yes it acts crazy, very annoying.

I do have a suggestion that may help some.

Put some forced breaks (hit enter) in your signature line, only the part in red about calling Aimee.

Joe’s signature is wide also.

Just realized it might also be the second line of your Header.

Look at your posts widths and compare it with others note the size of the header as well.

Of course if the board was not as slow as molasses on a winters day it would the page would ‘settle down’ quicker.

You may want to include a blurb that states that all appliances and fixtures should be installed in according to manufactures recommendations in your report if you suspect a substandard installation, or recommend review of the installation by a qualified trades person.