I was trying to install a ceiling fan in my new home. The home is prewired for ceiling fan install. It has the pancake box. However, the 2 screws that are going to hold the mounting bracket are not through a threaded screw hole. The screw appears to be fastened to the wood above the pancake box.

I saw many videos on how to install and in all of them, the screw that holds the mounting is through a threaded screw hole. In my case it is directly screwed to the stud above the pancake box.

Please see the pic attached. Is it okay to fasten the mounting bracket that way? Please see the picture attached and the screws are the black screws I am referring to.

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2 Answers 2


Screwing into a ceiling joist through holes in the pancake box is a sound method for securing a fan bracket, if the wood screws are rated for the purpose. I have installed Hunter fans that way using the special wood screws supplied with the fan. If this is a new fan, read the instructions and examine the hardware supplied.

The black screws in the OP's pic however do no appear to be rated for holding a fan. If the fan you are installing does not have wood screws for this purpose, then you will have to source some that will work.

  • Thank you for the quick answer. I read the manual for the fan installation. It states to use the screw on the electric box and did not provide and details of what the screw size or gauge it must be. It says to use the supplied screw (HH) that was with outlet box. I read the entire manual and there is no mention of what size or quality or type of screw must be used to fasten the fan's mounting plate.
    – Ram
    Jun 22, 2020 at 15:53
  • Is the plastic part held by the two black screws part of the fan mounting system or is it something else? What is the brand of fan? What country is this installation in? Jun 22, 2020 at 16:32
  • Your existing box is different from the drawing in the instructions. For one thing yours is a "pancake" box 1/2 inch deep. And it does not appear to have tabs or integral nuts for "machine screws" to secure the fan to the box. Still it might be rated for hanging a fanbe Jun 22, 2020 at 16:47

Assembly - attaching the fan to the electric box

See the instruction 1: where it says to use the supplied screw on the electric box. The fat itself did not come with this screw.

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