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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Old-stye electrical box

    I am attempting to mount a light fixture to an electrical box that is 1930s vintage. The round box doesn't appear to have the front tabs to accept the mounting plate screws, and the traditional screws that come with mounting plates go right through the holes in the back of the box (too small). Is there another way that mounting plates affixed to electric boxes back then? The fixture I took down (about 10 years old, seemed to screw into the plaster and lathe that is behind the layer of wallboard.
    Last edited by wsragan; 02-23-2010 at 03:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,130

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    Hi,
    I have seen boxes like yours; there was a threaded nipple that screwed into the central fitting/hole in the box and the wires were threaded through the nipple to the fixture. A canopy went over the whole thing and was retained by a decorative nut screwed onto the nipple, or the adapter that accompanied the fixture.
    There are small round boxes available that are just slightly bigger diameter, but have the threaded tabs. You need to switch them out.
    S_M
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    I don't know where you live but in NYC and places like Chicago,you can go to any hardware store or electrical supply and they'll set you up with whatever you need. Most of the buildings still have those old style boxes and the hardware store will stock the parts you need.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    Thanks for both of your comments. I'm not sure switching out the box is an option, but I'll consider it. The fixture I'm installing doesn't hang by the center nipple (it's a pendant light). My current plan is to secure the face bracket over the box by driving drywall-type screws into the plaster and lathe on the outside of the box. That's similar to how the previous one was installed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Alpharetta, Ga
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    There are boxes like that here in Atlanta. We almost always replace them, but there are options if you have time.

    1. Drill & Tap new screws in the back of the box.

    2. Use a piece of all thread and a nut to attach a bracket to the ceiling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    jersey
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    Quote Originally Posted by wsragan View Post
    Thanks for both of your comments. I'm not sure switching out the box is an option, but I'll consider it. The fixture I'm installing doesn't hang by the center nipple (it's a pendant light). My current plan is to secure the face bracket over the box by driving drywall-type screws into the plaster and lathe on the outside of the box. That's similar to how the previous one was installed.
    Thats a bad idea ... Replace the box.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    Thats a bad idea ... Replace the box.
    I agree
    Two wrongs do not make a right.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    staten island ny
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    Thats a bad idea ... Replace the box.
    My 1910 had all of the ceiling boxes like this. The real solution like others have said is to replace the box. If you install it like you describe there is really no difference between that and not using a box at all. Which i am sure you would not do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Old-stye electrical box

    if you are uncomforable replacing the Box, call an ELECTRICIAN, a few hundred bucks now will save you big down the road. Is the pendant light low voltage? if so it will have a transformer that generally needs to sit in the electrical box, so you might need the bigger box.

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