Wall-mounted lamp problem -- more support needed

Last year an electrician installed wall-mounted lamps over my bed. Each was installed in a junction box, but has no other support. The electrician claimed drywall would shore them up, but no such luck. I've never been able to swing the lamps out on their arms as intended because of sagging, and now even with the arms retracted, one lamp is visibly pulling away from the wall. What can I do to fix this?
q wall mounted lamp problem more support needed, electrical, lighting, Wall mounted lamp pulling away from wall
Wall-mounted lamp pulling away from wall
  7 answers
  • The fix can be something as simple as removing the light fixture and inserting a screw into the side of the box into a beam. If the box was installed in the center and not near any wall stud the fix is to remove the wallboard from wall joist to wall joist and inserting a filler board that spans from side to side. Fasten this in with screws into the wall joists. Then center the box where its supposed to be located and insert wood screws through the back of the box into this new wooden bridge you inserted. Then after that replace the wall board, spackle and paint. It appears from your photo your in the process of doing these types of repairs. They do make boxes with long arms that are normally used for ceiling joists. They have screw type extenders that bite into the joists located on each side of the box. These can be a bit expensive and way overkill for this project. My suggestion is to open the wall and block it out so the box can be properly secured from the side or the back. It will then help assure you that the wiring behind the wall that is now exposed using this method is safe and done properly.
  • Jane B Jane B on Jan 13, 2012
    Yes, my bedroom is in active renovation -- it's a poorly constructed addition built 26 yrs ago without permits by the original owner, which a trusted & skilled friend is helping me improve. I'm giving him your answer -- he'll know how to follow your instructions. Thanks so much!
  • Paul M Paul M on Jan 13, 2012
    If the box doesn't have any support and you don't want to open up the wall you can use a jiffy clip on each side of the box and it will then get support from the adjacent drywall. I have used them several times in the past and they work very well. Home Depot and Lowes both carry them as well and every Ace Hardware store too. Good luck. BTW just because someone does something without a permit doesn't automatically make it bad work. Bad work comes from people that don't care or don't know what they are doing in the first place. Lots of contractors that pull permits do bad work too, so is the permit or lack thereof the determining factor of quality?
  • Paul I could not agree more with your last sentence. I think sometimes those who do pull permits cheat even more as they know what they can get away with. While those who skirt the law want to do the job right but do not want the issue of dealing with the permits. In my experience more often then not. If something has been installed incorrectly and its obvious, I find things much worse behind the hidden wall areas. So permit or not, if a light fixture is falling off of the wall, what else did this guy do or not due that was wrong? Here is a U tube video of one type of clip you can use to hold the box into the wall as well. You would need to go to an electrical supply house for these as I doubt you will find these clips at the big box stores. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T38GceTBVX4
  • Paul M Paul M on Jan 13, 2012
    Woodbridge I have had to come behind supposed professionals so many times and correct their mistakes/clean up their mess I have made my living doing that, because it happens so often. Of course in the process I learned a lot and hopefully have given some insight to others that are still in the process of treading ground that has been covered many times by others before them. I think the majority of issues we run into are people cutting corners because they are in a hurry or they want to maximize their money. Either way I don't have a lot of respect for individuals like that and what I learn from them the most is what not to do, then I keep a wide berth.
  • LandlightS LandlightS on Jan 13, 2012
    Don't open the wall. If the j box is next to a stud, just screw it to the stud. If it is a remolders j box, remove and get a old work ceiling fan brace at a big box or local Ace. It is installed through the j box hole and will hold a 50 pound Hunter Original fan.......so I know it will hold your wall sconces very upright. Far stronger than jiffy clips or anything else for the cost of approximately $12.50 per brace...and simple to install Good luck, Gary
  • Jane B Jane B on Jan 13, 2012
    Hi guys. Thanks for all the answers. Let me give you some background to explain my comment about permits: I bought this house in 2006 from the son of the original owner/builder. The main house, a brick rancher, was built in 1975. In 1986, the owner built a 300-sq-ft addition over what had been a carport -- it's sided in aluminum and was seriously underinsulated, had tons of water and air leaks, active rodent infestation and three rotting floor joists, in addition to one that had been seriously undermined by whoever did the HVAC. No plans were filed or permits pulled with the county, which meant that the spotty work went unnoticed. The owner's son told me his dad was a terrific mechanic and could fix any car, but he wasn't much of a builder, and neither were his friends who built the addition. I was only able to get around to fixing the addition last year -- my husband and I made it our bedroom because it was easy for him to negotiate in his wheelchair, but his health took a complete dive two months after we moved in, so there went our renovation budget. His best friend helped me strip the room down to the studs, reinsulate (including under the floor and above the ceiling), put down a new floor and put up drywall. Still work to be done, but far superior to what was there before. The work done by the electrician is to code and was done before the new drywall went up, but he obviously didn't care about making sure the lights didn't pull out from the wall. He dates a friend of my daughter's and we've all discovered that he's the type who will do the bare minimum and nothing more. Since he didn't charge me anything other than food and a place to sleep for two nights, I guess you could say I got what I paid for. Thanks again for all the answers. I appreciate your help!
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