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I'm looking to add a ceiling fan to an existing junction box. The current junction box runs parallel to a joist (which it's screwed into on one end) and is circular on the other end. Which of the two options would be better: - Add a 2x6 for bracing on the top of the junction box between the joists where attached (would nailing or screwing it be better?) - Remove the current box, and put in a fan rated metal box. This would require me to cut and patch drywall, since the current box has an odd shape.

Any insights on what's the best / easiest option are appreciated!

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Try a beefier box

If you want a side-joist mounted box, the Hubbell/Raco 294 is rated for 70lbs fan support, as per this brochure. Note that it is a new-work box, so it may require a bit of drywall work to install.

The reason your existing box is inadequate is because a fan-rated box's fan load rating not only considers the weight of the fan, but the dynamic loads placed on the box by the big spinning thingy attached to it, and your fan clearly imparts too much loading to the box for a 50lb rated box to do the job.

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You are in luck, that is a fan rated box. If it's installed per the manufacturer's instructions with three large screws into the face of the joist, it's rated for a fan up to 50 pounds according to the manufacturer's specifications.

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    Unfortunately, the fans installation guide says up to 70 lbs is required, in spite of the fan weighing less than that. – gohabsgo Aug 10 '18 at 1:16

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