In my house a walk-in closet had a 4 foot fluorescent light
fixture. It was ugly, so I removed it. That left the cable dangling
from the ceiling. Since most fluorescent lights have a metal body,
that body forms the junction box needed for the electrical
connections. Consequently, when a fluorescent fixture is removed, a
junction box must be installed in its place.
|After I removed the light I patched the holes
from the toggle bolts that held the light to the ceiling.
The starting point for this project was a cable that
dangled from the ceiling. Of course the ends of the wires were
capped with wire nuts, and the power was shut off. (In this
case, the light switch was off. Sometimes the breaker would
have to be turned off.)
This saw is a drywall saw and is useful for cutting
circular or rectangular holes is wallboard
The blue plastic object is an "old work"
or "remodel" junction box. It hangs from the
ceiling drywall or plaster and is not nailed into any wood
framing. This box is only meant to support a few pounds.
Don't even think about using one to support a ceiling fan.
Fans require a special vibration-resistant box that must be
connected to the ceiling structure.
|I held the plastic box against the ceiling, in
upside down position, and drew a line around the outside. Note:
this is not the line to cut on.
I could see through the existing hole that a ceiling joist
lay nearby, so I had to position the junction box away from
||I made a pencil mark parallel to the first
circle, about 1/2" inside.
This outlines the body of the junction box.
|I used a drywall saw to cut the
hole, cutting on the smaller circle.
||This completes the initial cut.
But... the junction box still won't fit, because of the
three tabs that clamp it to the wallboard.
|I fed the wires through through the cable
opening in the back of the old work junction box. This box has
molded-in spring tabs that prevent the cable from being pulled
from the box. But the cable can still be pulled
further into the box.
||Next, I pushed the junction box into the hole
until the clamp tabs hit the ceiling.
Then I made a pencil mark around each tab.
|I pulled the box back out and made cuts for each
The object of the game is to make the overall hole as small
as possible, leaving as much intact wallboard as possible so
the clamps have adequate solid material to hold on to.
||I pushed the junction box into the hole. The
clamp tabs must be retracted against the body or they
will prevent the box from fitting in the hole.
If this box was being installed in a plaster-and-lath
ceiling then the screws would have to be withdrawn a bit so
that the clamps can bite the greater thickness.
|Once the box is all the way in the hole, the
screws for each clamp are tightened. This step is critical.
When the screw is first turned, the plastic clamp arm swings
away from the body and stops at a plastic tab. This requires
that the clamp arm be backed off far enough from the flange
that it does not hit against the wallboard. I always turn each
screw a bit and then gently pull on the box. If a clamp is not
catching it will be noticed then... not when a light fixture
falls from the ceiling.
||Once the box was securely fastened to the
ceiling, I capped the wires with wire nuts and tucked them
into the junction box.
This wiring project will be put on hold until the ceiling paint
is touched up. This would conclude the "rough-in" portion
of a wiring job on a remodeling project. There is often a break in
the action after the rough-in is completed, so the painting or other
surface finishing can be done.
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