enter image description hereI need to replace this old ceiling box. I'm wondering if I have to remove it from the attic (not easily accessible). I don't know what was used to attach it to a joist (or whatever). enter image description hereIt's not a screw. Thank you.

  • 2
    looks like plastic ... destructive removal
    – jsotola
    Jun 12, 2021 at 18:19
  • 1
    Very hard to see what we're looking at. A better picture of the entire box would help.
    – jay613
    Jun 12, 2021 at 18:25
  • resized the pic. My guess now is that the box is attached to a bracket that's attached to a joist. Is that best removed from the attic?
    – Blake
    Jun 12, 2021 at 18:50
  • If you can reach it without tearing up the attic floor then "yes"
    – Jasen
    Jun 13, 2021 at 10:42

2 Answers 2


It's a bog-standard plastic box, attached to a metal bracket. enter image description here

Drill out the rivets holding the box to its bracket, or just cut the thing into bits.

  • Great. Thank you. I'll give it a go.
    – Blake
    Jun 12, 2021 at 19:22
  • 1
    If theres nothing above you can usually hit it up and break it free. If your removing the box entirely then you just need to push it up far enough to drywall over it. If your looking to replaced it then youll need to get it far enough out of the way to get a self attaching box in place.
    – JpaytonWPD
    Jun 12, 2021 at 19:59
  • 1
    Is that dark spot a single rivet? I would test to see ifvthat is the case. If so, drill it out and see if that frees the box. Jun 13, 2021 at 21:05
  • 1
    @JimStewart - My supposition would be that the dark spot is a single rivet. Hard to say with certainty, though.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 13, 2021 at 21:52
  • 2
    Safely drilling a rivet (or any metal) above your head requires extreme attention to eye protection. Safety glasses alone might work, but might not. Better would be tightly fitting goggles or a face shield. It could be that safety glasses alone would work if one kept one's head off to one side and as high as possible. Jun 14, 2021 at 19:26

They were rivets. Had to tear apart from below. Worked fine.

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