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Thread: Installing Ceiling Fan Box and Pulling Romex

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Default Installing Ceiling Fan Box and Pulling Romex

    I plan on tapping into an outlet and pulling 14/2 ROMEX®® through a light switch box and terminating in a reinforced ceiling fan box in the center of my bedroom ceiling. This is a finished (drywalled) room with no attic. My question is, How can I do this with the minimum amount of damage to the drywall? I have a wire puller, 4" holesaw for the fan box, and Dremel/Rotozip for the light switch cut-out.I think I will need to make a rather large hole near the outlet box in order to push one end of the ROMEX® into the outlet box. Is that correct? Pulling wire straight up shouldn't be much of a problem (perhaps a small hole where the wall meets the ceiling), but how do you guys pull wire across the studs? Do you make a gash in the drywall with a rotozip set at a depth of 1/2", then push the ROMEX® into this gash and staple the ROMEX® to the exposed studs after perhaps notching them out a bit?
    Last edited by Terry; 12-07-2011 at 10:51 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member partimer 31's Avatar
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    Does your ceiling come with that pop corn finish.

    Switch boxes are rate in cubic inches. A # 14 wire is rated at 2.00 C.I. A # 12 wire is rated at 2.25 C.I.

    The switch is 2 x the C.I. rating of one individual conductor. This food for thought is your trying to do this under the N.E.C. code rules.

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    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on wire gauges.

    The ceiling is not textured.
    I'm wondering how a professional would tap into an existing outlet, pull the wire up the wall and across two ceiling joists with a minimum of damage to the wall and ceiling.

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    Electrical Contractor jbfan74's Avatar
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    What I do is cut a square of ceiling out so that I can hit two joist from the same hole, drill my hole for the wire and screw the rock back into place.

    To get power from the receptacle to a switch, bepends on the location of both.

    Where the ceiling and wall meet, cut the rock from both, and notch the top plate for your wire.
    Yes I am A Pirate-Jimmy Buffett

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I would make an effort to run parallel to the ceiling joists, even if it means running into the basement or crawl and coming back up in another wall.

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    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions!!

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Consider running 14-3 so if you add a light kit, you can control them as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Jadnashua, would that not also require me to install a double toggle switch?

    jbfan, I don't understand how you can just screw the rock back into place, unless you cut out the entire area between ceiling joists and sister new studs to them, so you would have something to screw into.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you wanted to control lights and fan separately (and this isn't something that is already in the fan - i.e., done at the fan, not remotely), then yes, you'd need a second switch. Doesn't mean you actually have to use that wire right away, you can cap it off for later use, if you decide to add lights. The Cassablanca fan I have uses just two wires to control the speed, direction, and lights (plus dimming) from the remote electronic wall switch. It superimposes a signal on the wires that is 'read' by the fan to control things. I've had them for a very long time (probably 25-years), not sure if they still make this style.

    If you don't have a stud or joist to screw the drywall section back into (easiest), then slap up a short stick that bridges the hole on either end, on the inside, screw it to the drywall, then you'll have something to screw the patch back into. They also sell some little clips at the big box stores that does a similar thing.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Electrical Contractor jbfan74's Avatar
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    I cut from the middle of the joist in both directions.
    When I am finished, i screw the rock back to the joist and then patch the cut lines.

    I cut out just enough to get a small impact drill in to drill the holes.
    Yes I am A Pirate-Jimmy Buffett

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    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Jim, that makes a lot of sense. I forgot about using furring strips for relatively small areas.
    I'm not averse to pulling chains, so I will probably not go with a remote unit.

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    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    jb, Okay, I thought you were making a large hole in between the joists, so you could access two joists at once.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    As far as the light/fan switch is concerned, there are many "single device sized" switches with light dimming and fan speed, or just on/off, controls.

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    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    To use with 14/3 Romex?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are many choices of switches that fit into a single gang of a box to control multiple things (stacked switches), but, each function generally requires it's own dedicated wire to the fan/light - thus, using 14/3 gives you the opportunity to do that from the wall switch. 14/2 only has one control (power) line, 14/3 has two.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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