Falling Fixtures

A/A Fuel GTX

Senior Member
Location
WI & AZ
2014-02-27 15.07.44.jpg2014-02-27 15.06.23.jpg2014-02-27 14.47.30.jpg2014-02-27 14.47.10.jpg

The ceiling box is a CANTEX EZ18CN. I have used them quite often in the past. Probably won't anymore after this. The box is rated @ 50#. I always discard the cheap Chinese 8-32's that come with the fixtures and replace them with better quality 8-32's. At first I thought it had to be Rotozip damage but there is no evidence of that. The house is 1 1/2 years old. There have been 3 separate incidents of dangling fixtures over the course of 6 months. Lamp wattage is correct. Any thoughts?
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Over tightened screws or wrong size screws for the holes in the box?
Unless there was overheating or deterioration of the plastic just with age, I have a probllem seeing what would break out the holes that way.
Although if one side let go for some reason, the torque in the other hole from the weight of the fixture might be a problem.

I have seen box damage from people trying to use a deck screw rather than machine threads, but not that bad.

Since you are the one installing the 8-32s, I guess that is ruled out though.
Are you sure the box was not built for 6-32s or a metric size?

New idea: Maybe the finish ceiling sagging away from the wood and putting too much downward force on the fixtures???
The combination of one stripped/cracked hole and one broken off hole screams out that a large pull was applied.
Maybe someone walking in the attic???
 
Last edited:

A/A Fuel GTX

Senior Member
Location
WI & AZ
Over tightened screws or wrong size screws for the holes in the box?
Unless there was overheating or deterioration of the plastic just with age, I have a probllem seeing what would break out the holes that way.
Although if one side let go for some reason, the torque in the other hole from the weight of the fixture might be a problem.

I have seen box damage from people trying to use a deck screw rather than machine threads, but not that bad.

Since you are the one installing the 8-32s, I guess that is ruled out though.
Are you sure the box was not built for 6-32s or a metric size?
I have never seen a ceiling box that accommodated anything but 8-32's. They went in just fine. Over tightening? I suppose it's possible but I would have to think that the screw heads would pull right through the sheet metal on the fixture before the box would be damaged. It took over a year for this issue to manifest.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
I have never seen a ceiling box that accommodated anything but 8-32's. They went in just fine. Over tightening? I suppose it's possible but I would have to think that the screw heads would pull right through the sheet metal on the fixture before the box would be damaged. It took over a year for this issue to manifest.
See edit to my post....
 

A/A Fuel GTX

Senior Member
Location
WI & AZ
New idea: Maybe the finish ceiling sagging away from the wood and putting too much downward force on the fixtures???
The combination of one stripped/cracked hole and one broken off hole screams out that a large pull was applied.
Maybe someone walking in the attic???
One of the incidents was a wall mount fixture over a vanity.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
One of the incidents was a wall mount fixture over a vanity.
OK, then poltergeists.
Any adolescent young girls in the house?

:)
Shrinkage or warping of the framing in new construction? What was the box itself attached to and how?
Contaminated Chinese drywall chemically damaging the plastic?

I am obviously getting desperate now.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
OK, then poltergeists.
Any adolescent young girls in the house?

:)
Shrinkage or warping of the framing in new construction? What was the box itself attached to and how?
Contaminated Chinese drywall chemically damaging the plastic?

I am obviously getting desperate now.
Say rather, "engaged in creative lateral thinking". :D
 

A/A Fuel GTX

Senior Member
Location
WI & AZ
OK, then poltergeists.
Any adolescent young girls in the house?

:)
Shrinkage or warping of the framing in new construction? What was the box itself attached to and how?
Contaminated Chinese drywall chemically damaging the plastic?

I am obviously getting desperate now.
The box is a nail on attached to a truss in this incident.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
The box is a nail on attached to a truss in this incident.
It may be a lot to ask, but does the setback between the edge of the box and the drywall seen in the photo match your recollection of what it was at installation?
Are there some of the fixtures and boxes still undamaged? If so try loosening the screws and see what happens in terms of motion of the parts.
For example, is there still tension on the screw for a large number of turns?
 

A/A Fuel GTX

Senior Member
Location
WI & AZ
It may be a lot to ask, but does the setback between the edge of the box and the drywall seen in the photo match your recollection of what it was at installation?
Are there some of the fixtures and boxes still undamaged? If so try loosening the screws and see what happens in terms of motion of the parts.
For example, is there still tension on the screw for a large number of turns?
Yes, there are two other locations that utilize the same box and I have inspected them and there is no evidence of cracking. I do like things a bit on the snug side but I can't believe this would be the result. The drywall setback seems to be the same as at original install.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
View attachment 9860View attachment 9861View attachment 9862View attachment 9863

The ceiling box is a CANTEX EZ18CN. I have used them quite often in the past. Probably won't anymore after this. The box is rated @ 50#. I always discard the cheap Chinese 8-32's that come with the fixtures and replace them with better quality 8-32's. At first I thought it had to be Rotozip damage but there is no evidence of that. The house is 1 1/2 years old. There have been 3 separate incidents of dangling fixtures over the course of 6 months. Lamp wattage is correct. Any thoughts?
A look at photo #4 rules out any "operator error" related to screws. Even a self tapping screw of twice the diameter at 4x the torque is not going to cause failure outside the screw hole like that. My guess is they are bad boxes (bad mix on the thermoplastic?) and there are many more out there than the few you have. I'd contact the supplier and manufacturer.
 

PetrosA

Senior Member
Either bad boxes or possibly a temperature issue? PVC gets brittle when very cold, so maybe the attic temp is dropping to a lower temperature than the PVC can withstand and the sidewall pressure from the screw is shattering the PVC. That wouldn't necessarily explain the wall mounted box that you mentioned (unless the opposite side of the wall is exposed to unheated space).
 
A look at photo #4 rules out any "operator error" related to screws. Even a self tapping screw of twice the diameter at 4x the torque is not going to cause failure outside the screw hole like that. My guess is they are bad boxes (bad mix on the thermoplastic?) and there are many more out there than the few you have. I'd contact the supplier and manufacturer.
Looking close at the pics, it looks like the boxes have been forced out of place. #3 shows damaged drywall and #4 looks like the box has moved away from the edge of the hole. It's the paint on the ceiling, the rim of the box and none on the side of the box that makes me think that.

I wonder if there is a 'rest of the story'.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
Yeah you're customer is doing side work. Pretty simple to me.
The customer screwed up and put them back acting like nothing happened.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Looking close at the pics, it looks like the boxes have been forced out of place. #3 shows damaged drywall and #4 looks like the box has moved away from the edge of the hole. It's the paint on the ceiling, the rim of the box and none on the side of the box that makes me think that.

I wonder if there is a 'rest of the story'.
As in sheetrock man missed his hole and put a screwdriver in the screw holes to move the box? Certainly logical.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
I wonder how the hole got in the wood in pic #3?
Is this a test? it seems pretty clear to me. zoom into the pics. You can see that a screw in the wrong place has blown out the box. Who did it only that person will know.:slaphead:
 
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