ceiling fan support

civ_IV_fanJune 13, 2011

needing to hang a ceiling fan in an upstairs bedroom, i removed the 20-ish year old simple light fixture that was supported merely by the wood lath. knowing this wasn't good enough to support a ceiling fan, i picked up an old work ceiling fan kit and got to work cutting out the plaster and lath in about a 4.5 inch diameter.

working slowly, i found a certainly original 1x3 or 1x4 support above the wood lath, dead center in the room, with the original knob and tube (still in service) running through it. i tested the support with some modest weight and it seemed very sturdy. so i simply cut out some pieces of wood, glued them to the support to give me something to mount the fan brace to at ceiling level, predrilled and then ran 2.5 inch screws through the brace, into the wood blocks and into aforementioned support. it seems to be holding wonderfully.

what i'm wondering is if anyone else has found a similar existing cross support in their ceiling (not sure what kind of weight a light fixture had ~ 1910) and reused it, or if the typical approach is to attempt to cut it out partially and install the ceiling fan box above it.

i have no attic access

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renovator8

The brace was probably there to support a gas pipe and gas light fixture. Often a nib was screwed into the end of the old gas pipe and the new electric light fixture was hung from it. If you see some bell wires nearby that would be the low votage power for lighting the lamp.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 11:43AM
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civ_IV_fan

renovator8 - interesting; i think the house was built with k & t installed. i haven't seen evidence of gas fixtures anywhere in the house, and it was built in a city. it is newer than some old houses - built in 1915. the k & t is still in use running from switches to light fixtures - the two wires each are double insulated and i don't see any breakdown of the insulation when i handle it. replacing hasn't been a priority in any case.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 12:09PM
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Billl

"i found a certainly original 1x3 or 1x4 support above the wood lath, dead center in the room, with the original knob and tube (still in service) running through it."

That is how it was in my house in the entry way and dining room. The 1x was actually an extra piece of the T&G subfloor. I don't know what the "typical" fix is, but we removed it and put in ceiling fan boxes.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:22AM
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civ_IV_fan

bill - i'm actually already regretting not doing that. the ceiling fan is small and lightweight and isn't wobbling and certainly won't go anywhere, but i think next time i'll just remove the 1x the best i can.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:34AM
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