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I am tasked with mounting a ceiling fan w/ light in an interior master bedroom that has a wooden ridge beam (covered with textured drywall) going down the center of the vaulted ceiling. Since the customer wants the fan mounted directly in the center of the room (OCD reasons among other things....) I am looking for solutions for mounting the light and staying within electrical code. This means somehow mounting the ceiling fan junction box in the center of the beam and attaching the light to it.

Problem is -- since the junction box will be face-mounted to the bottom of the beam, the light, and its shroud will be offset and no longer be flush with the beam itself.

I'm brainstorming, and all I can think to do is trace the junction box on the bottom of the beam and route out enough space for it INSIDE the beam itself, but then I would have to feed the electrical wire somehow into the box.

What are other professional ways to solve this problem?

  • What wiring method is coming into the fan box? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 2 '18 at 4:06
  • @ThreePhaseEel - 14/3 romex will be fished from the switch, through and out of the wall, along the beam and into the box. That answer your question? – tresstylez Jun 2 '18 at 4:11
  • Sure does -- how much space is there between the actual beam and the covering? Or is the drywall directly up against the beam? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 2 '18 at 4:20
  • I believe the drywall is directly attached to the beam -- mudded/taped and textured to match the rest of the walls. – tresstylez Jun 2 '18 at 4:45
  • Is the beam solid/laminated wood, or some other sort of construction (such as a wooden I-beam?) – ThreePhaseEel Jun 2 '18 at 5:08
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Routing into the beam is probably not a practical option, you can't notch the bottom of the center of a beam without compromising it structurally.

I would use a surface raceway, wiremold is popular but there are others. Wiremold makes a Solid Base Fan Box Fitting that will make things very straightforward, the instructions illustrate things very clearly.

If the customer doesn't like the appearance of a surface raceway, it's always possible to strip off the drywall, surface mount conduit, then rebox around the beam and conduit - but in most cases, the expense of that work will make the surface raceway seem a lot prettier.

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Exposed beams covered with drywall would require conduit as there would not be 1-1/4" space as required for romex. In most exposed work the box is directly mounted to the beam, cutting the box in May help to hide it a bit but then the conduit will be tougher because of the ko's being partly covered but it can be done.

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