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electrifier
electrifier , Electrical and Mechanical Inspector
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1633
Experience:  24 years as an Electrical Contractor and Electrical and Mechanical Inspector.
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Mounting A Ceiling Light Fixture in a Prewired Junction Box

Customer Question

I live in a newly constructed apartment building. Each room has a space for a ceiling fixture which can be added by the tenant. It is prewired with the standard white, black, red, and ground. It currently has a cover on it to hide the hole. I have purchased a ceiling light that I would like to install. The problem I am having is that the junction box does not seem to be mounted flush with the drywall. The junction box is aproximately 1" below the surface of the drywall. The screws currently in the junction box are 3" screws and go through an outter hole and connecting to an inner hole at the bottom of the junction box. My problem is mounting the ceiling fixture to the ceiling. The ceiling fixture is not a flush mount. It is raised about 2" from where it lies against the ceiling. The screws provided with the light are 3" screws. I'm thinking I would need about a 5" long screw to make this work. However, Home Depot does not make anything like this. Suggestions? View pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/michael.r.peloquin/CeilingFixture?feat=directlink
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  electrifier replied 6 years ago.
Hello Mr. Pelican,
What you have in your ceiling is a ceiling fan support box. That is why the screws go thru the back of the box. These screws are more than likely 10-24 screws and you can use a screw longer than the 5" that you feel you need. It should be no problem if the screw goes thru the back of the box. Home Depot should have a 6" screw 10-24 that will work. If you are not able to find screws that will reach you can get a box extension for an octagon box that is 1 1/2" deep and will allow you to mount your box with the 8-32 screws in the ears of the box. You are mounting a light fixture so you don't have to worry about hanging a fan without enough support. Use the 3" screws to mount the extension box and the screws in the box or longer 8-32 screws to mount the light support to the box. If you have additional questions please let me know and I will help you solve your problem.
From the pictures it appears an extra layer of drywall was installed and the electrician did not make provisions for his box to reach thru the drywall far enough to
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

It appears your explanation cut off:

  • From the pictures it appears an extra layer of drywall was installed and the electrician did not make provisions for his box to reach thru the drywall far enough to

...can you please complete your thought?

Expert:  electrifier replied 6 years ago.
From the pictures it appears an extra layer of drywall was installed and the electrician did not make provisions for his box to reach thru the drywall far enough to reach the face of the drywall like it is supposed to do for proper mounting. It will be OK to attach to the box or a box extension for a light fixture only and make the wire joints in the box.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you so much for your help! Can I ask you a big favor and ask you to provide me a link to the exact hardware I need from a site like homedepot.com or lowes.com?

 

Based on your answer, I can take one of two routes. Find some 5 or 6" 10-24 screws to mount the fixture to my exisiting box or add an octagonal 1 1/2" deep extension box and connect to the exisiting box and fixture using the provided 8-32 3" screws.

 

Thanks again!!

Expert:  electrifier replied 6 years ago.
Either way will work well for you. The plate you show for the fixture will pull tight against the drywall and be secure. Let me look on the Home Depot website and see if they show the extension box. I'll post again with the results.
Just from the description of the extension box the person working in the electrical department will easily know just what you are looking for. Where are you located?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
92806 Zipcode - Anaheim, CA... thank you
Expert:  electrifier replied 6 years ago.
HERE is your box extension from Home Depot
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you again! I'm off to Home Depot to see what I can find...
Expert:  electrifier replied 6 years ago.
Good luck. I'll be around if you have more questions.