I have a ceiling light which is held up by am electrical box. The box is hanging down at an angle.

I opened the box and found that one side of it is secured to what I hope is a cross brace. The other side is not secured.

Also, the ceiling flexes upwards in this area when I push on it.

Is there a way to level the box so the light hangs flush with the ceiling?

Loose box

Current mounting

  • Do you have enough play to make the box level on the side that is sticking out?
    – WarLoki
    Aug 30 '15 at 18:24
  • @WarLoki: No, I can move it up about half that distance before it stops. It's pretty tight.
    – Richard
    Aug 30 '15 at 19:39

Turn off the power to the circuit at the breaker, and verify power is off. Then pull the nails, and remove the box. Then install an old work braced ceiling box.

old work braced ceiling box

They are available at any hardware or big box home improvement store, from many different manufactures.

Those nails should not be inside the box, and replacing them will screws does not solve that problem.

National Electrical Code 2014

Chapter 2 Wiring Methods

Artical 314 Outlet, Device, Pull, and Junction Boxes; Conduit Bodies; Fittings; and Handhole Enclosures.

III. Construction Specifications

314.43 Nonmetallic Boxes. Provisions for supports or other mounting means for nonmetallic boxes shall be outside of the box, or the box shall be constructed so as to prevent contact between the conductors in the box and the supporting screws.

  • I think the box is close to a stud now, but this shows the box I've the middle of the brace. Is it possible to find these with the brace on the side or otherwise adjust its location?
    – Richard
    Aug 30 '15 at 19:40
  • 2
    The box can slide from end to end on the bracket. I just installed one of these this weekend. The two nuts on the interior get tightened after installation to secure its position. Aug 30 '15 at 19:43
  • 2
    Richard the box in the middle can move to the side.
    – WarLoki
    Aug 30 '15 at 19:44
  • Thanks, @BrownRedHawk: Home Depot only had one of these for new construction. Any recommendations on a brand for an existing ceiling?
    – Richard
    Aug 30 '15 at 20:57

Remove the two nails holding it in and replace with wood screws.

Most likely the nails just came loose, which would make it hand at an angle like that. Screws won't (easily) do that.

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