Ceiling Fan Mounting Bracket Doesn't Fit? (Here is The Solution)

Chad Kilpatrick
by Chad Kilpatrick
Installing a ceiling fan is difficult if the mounting bracket doesn’t fit. The mounting bracket is the essential component in holding your ceiling fan in place. Whether it be getting another bracket or replacing the electrical box, follow along as we explore the easiest options.

If you are installing a ceiling fan, you may have come across a mounting bracket that doesn’t fit. This can be frustrating, but we have the answer to how to get it to work.

To install a ceiling fan you must use a mounting bracket. The bracket attaches to the electrical box in the ceiling. If your mounting bracket does not fit the box, you have two options. First, you can get a universal bracket. Second, you can replace the electrical box with one that fits your bracket.

The easiest option here is to get a new bracket, that is universal. There are many options for universal mounting brackets. Do a little bit of research to make sure your universal bracket is compatible with your fan and the electrical box.

If you must replace the electrical box, we have put together a quick step by step guide for you, that will make that a little easier.

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How Mounting Brackets Work

When you install a ceiling fan you must use a mounting bracket to attach the fan to the electrical junction box. The junction box is attached to a beam or joist in the ceiling. This way the box has the strength to hold up a heavy ceiling fan.

The brackets usually come with the ceiling fan. In some cases, they may not come with the fan. You will have to purchase one or find a universal bracket that will work with your fan and the junction box.

There are some situations where your bracket may not fit the junction box. If this is the case, you must either find a universal bracket or replace the junction box with one that fits your bracket.

Universal Brackets for Ceiling Fans

If your bracket doesn’t fit the junction box, and you are worried about the work involved in replacing a junction box, then we have a fix for you. You can use a universal mounting bracket. They are made to fit most brands of ceiling fans.

Double-check that your brand and model are listed on the universal bracket. If you have the measurements, you can also check that the universal bracket measurements fit your junction box. Replacing the bracket with a universal bracket is much easier than putting in a new junction box.

In some cases, you may not be able to find a universal bracket that works. If this is the case you will need to replace the junction box, to fit the bracket that you have.

How Do I Install a Universal Mounting Bracket?

Universal mounting brackets are pretty easy to use. They come in multiple styles, but most of them work the same way. The bracket will have multiple holes for screws, that fit different mounting patterns.

The screw holes will also have slack slots, that will allow you to move the bracket around, to find just the right spot for your screws.

To install your universal bracket, dry-fit the bracket up to the junction box, and find the holes that work with your screw holes. You can use a pencil to mark around the bracket to know where to place it once you have it.

Next, you will attach the bracket using your template marks, screwing the screws into the junction box.

Mounting Bracket Doesn’t Fit Junction Box

If your mounting bracket does not fit the junction box, and you cannot find a universal bracket that works, you will have to replace the junction box. To do this you will need to find the ceiling junction box that fits your bracket.

There are multiple types of ceiling fan junction boxes, they are square or round and attach to the beam or joist in the ceiling. They are either attached to the side of the joist, or they are attached between joists.

You will need to figure out where your current box is attached. Chances are the box you need will be a bigger size, and could be in the center of a joist. if this is the case you will have to cut the wood in the joist to the size of the new box.

How to Replace Junction Box Step by Step

Here is our quick guide, to replacing the junction box to fit your mounting bracket. You will need to have researched what type of junction box will work with your mounting bracket. Once you are sure what size you need, you can pick it up from the hardware store.

Tools you will need:

  • Screwdriver/cordless drill
  • Pencil
  • Voltage Tester
  • Hacksaw (optional)
  • Hammer (optional)

Step 1

Turn off the breaker that controls the ceiling fan, from the main electrical panel that supplies power to the fan. Use the voltage tester to touch the wires inside of the junction box, to make sure that they are off.

Step 2

Go to the attic and locate the ceiling fan/junction box. Pull the wires from the box. There may be a cable clamp, use the screwdriver to loosen the clamp and pull out the wires.

Step 3

Remove the screws, or nails, that attach the box to the joist, and pull out the junction box. If the box is attached inside of two joists, you may have to use a hacksaw to cut through a bar or use the hacksaw to make the opening bigger, if the new box is bigger.

Step 4

Install the new box. Make sure that the box you are installing is rated for the weight of your ceiling fan. If your box was between two joists, you will have to install a new bar, or cut the wood so that the new box fits.

Step 5

Put the electrical wires/cable back into the hole in the back of the box and connect them. After you have them connected, and your new ceiling fan is connected to the box with your mounting bracket, turn the breaker back on to test the ceiling fan.

Can You Attach the Ceiling Fan Without a Junction Box?

You may be wondering, can you just attach the ceiling fan to the joist without a junction box? The answer is no. While your screws and the bracket may hold the weight of the fan, the junction box has a function.

First, the code requires you to have a fan junction box, and it keeps sparks from causing a fire. The box contains any sparks, within the box, to keep them from hitting any wood or burnable materials in your ceiling.

You will have to use a ceiling junction box if you intend on installing a ceiling fan. Never cut corners, and always keep safety at the top of your priorities. Installing a ceiling fan can be done without any special electrical knowledge, as long as you follow the safety steps.

Do You Need Ceiling Fan Repair Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from ceiling fan repair near you.

Related Questions

Can I install a ceiling fan where a light fixture is?

Yes, you can. You can achieve that by installing a support brace, for the ceiling fan. Remove the old light fixture and install the support brace. The fan mounting bracket will attach to the support brace.

What size screws hold up ceiling fan?

The screws that hold up a ceiling fan are machine screws. They are usually an inch and a half and are size 10-32 in machine screws. The size of your screws may vary depending on the brand of your ceiling fan.

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Chad Kilpatrick
Chad Kilpatrick

I'm a writer that is passionate about home improvements, remodeling, and renovating. I enjoy learning new skills and techniques and sharing them with others.

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