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!
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Basic Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools, a Voltage Tester and a Multi Meter.
Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools, work with electrical wiring, and the available access to the project area. Precaution:
Identify the project circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Modifying existing electrical circuits or installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
This is a testing tool that is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
This is great to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring, is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets
Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency
Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included
Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect, Very handy and easy to use.
A wire stripping tool used to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets.
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