Working with Wall Fixture Junction Boxes
Working with Wall Fixture Junction Boxes.
I am trying to install a new, heavier wall light fixture to a junction box installed 30-40 years ago.
The old junction box is not flush with the drywall opening; it sits back and in at an angle.
I can't mount the mounting plate to the old junction box. Only one screw can be place in the junction box.
This won't support the new fixture.
What can be done to fix this besides enlisting an electrician?
Hi Patricia - Great Question
Sometimes we need to get a little creative, and yet keep the electrical parts safe.
First of all, is the original fixture box mounted firmly solid or not? If it is not secure then it may need to be replaced with a supportive box, metal preferably due to the weight of the new fixture.
There are side mount ceiling fan boxes which could be used for your application as well which offer a great deal of support. If the original box needs to be replaced then the original mounting needs to be loosened from the wall stud. This can be accomplished by carefully using a metal saw blade in a saws-all and cutting the mounting nails or screws loose being very careful with respect to the existing wiring.
If the box is secure then longer screws may be used to install the mounting bracket. If the box is set really far back then an extension box could be added or a box extension which is like a plastic sleeve. The sleeve extension will still require you to attach long screws to the original box.
The purpose of the sleeve is to provide a protective barrier between the wiring and any area that is open between the box and the wall opening for the fixture. There have been times when a screw hole of a junction box has been striped out and I've had to use self taping screws, and that works fine as long as the fixture is secure.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!