There is this metal bar over this junction box which also holds a light fixture.

There is also 4 BX cables connected to it in which I am trying to upgrade the existing light fixture attached to it and use a Romex cable to power recessed lights.

Do I need to upgrade this junction box if I need to add a romex cable?

Does anyone know what this type of box is called? I am trying to research it but do not know.

Junction box

  • 3
    Picture is none too clear but it's some sort of "ceiling fan box" (whether or not the fixture is a fan, the large support bar is a support for heavy fixtures including ceiling fans.) Unless it is a large/deep box I would question whether it's already overfilled, and adding more to it might not be OK, but you should be able to make something work, perhaps by adding another box and relocating some wires. You don't remove the bar to access the box - you remove the light fixture down on the ceiling below to access the box, which is fixed to the bar, which is fixed to the joists.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 17:33
  • As Ecnerwal stated the "upgrade the existing light fixture" happens from below the ceiling. Is there a problem in the box that you are trying to address?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 17:39
  • Thank you for the comments and advice! No there is nothing wrong with the box that I'm trying to address I am trying to remove the light fixure that is attached to up and was planning to attached a romex wire (where the current light was powered from in the same box) to power the recessed lights that I installed around it therefore I no longer need this fixture. Commented May 17, 2019 at 17:55
  • I was thinking of updating the box itself but am confused how to remove it. Commented May 17, 2019 at 17:56
  • Is the box undersized (3.5" when the normal box today is 4")? (and a 4" box is actually closer to 3.5" diameter by the way). Because a metal box is as good as you get. A plastic box would be a downgrade. Commented May 18, 2019 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


This looks like it's an old school ceiling box. Note how the metal rod appears to attach to the box on top. It looks like these were attached from below (the bar bends and appears to go under the joist). They still sell a similar product today, with a bar that goes between the joists to hold a junction box.

As noted elsewhere, your best bet is to put a box nearby to lower the number of wires, then run only the needed wires into the box. I've done that myself and it helps a great deal when you have a box stuffed with wires.

If you're determined to remove it, I would cut the drywall back and see if you can detach it from below. Because it looks to be flush with the ceiling drywall, it's impractical to cut using anything but some sort of rotary tool (which would be a massive fire risk). Replacing a section of ceiling would be the least intrusive method of doing it.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.