enter image description hereWhen I went to install a new hanging light, the old junction box snapped as I tightened the screws. Pulling the old box out, I see only a small metal crossbar (maybe 10" long and a 1/4" thick) to attach the hanging light junction box. How do I attach a new box to that as I see no visible screw holes in it.

  • Pictures would help. If it is only a light and not a fan then there are many different ways of mounting. Commented May 17 at 18:14
  • I'll add one in a moment.
    – Jeffrey
    Commented May 17 at 18:15
  • I think the bar was part of the old “new-work” box and it broke apart. I’m not sure you can mount a new box without removing the “siding”. I’ll leave this as a comment and let the pros answer.
    – DoxyLover
    Commented May 17 at 19:02
  • No, that makes sense. I've purchased a new bar and now will have to figure out removing the "siding," which is not something I've done before. Thanks for the help.
    – Jeffrey
    Commented May 17 at 20:05
  • show us the picture of the broken junction box
    – Traveler
    Commented May 17 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


It looks like you have some thin vinyl material as a porch ceiling, unsuitable to hang any light no matter the weight. So you need a "fan box", one with a bar that attaches to the ceiling joists, even if you are not installing a fan.

You should remove that cross bar, buy a new fan box and install it. There are retrofit fan boxes that can be installed through the hole by expanding the bar into the joists. If the bar is not easy to remove you can saw it in half first and bend it out of the way. You'll have a problem if the remnants of the old bar prevent a new retrofit one from attaching to the joists. I won't address that yet. :)

You can't repair the old one. The boxes and their bars are not standard or modular. YOu could probably rig it especially if you can find the exact same model but it's not worth it. Just replace.

If I'm wrong about the ceiling material and it's stronger than it looks, you could remove the bar and install an "old work ceiling box" without using the joists. But given it's outdoors and subject to wind, a fan box is a good idea anyway.


That looks like standard channel siding - I'd recommend you remove it, install the light properly, and then replace the siding.

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