Патент US8297579 — Electrical box hanger assembly for a suspended ceiling — Google Патенты

Патенты

This invention relates to supports for electrical junction boxes and specifically to an improved load bearing hanger for a suspended or drop ceiling.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Electrical boxes are commonly installed above suspended or grid ceilings in order to provide secure enclosures for making electrical connections to supply the various electrical needs including lights, fans, and electrical outlets. Hangers for supporting such electrical boxes typically include anchoring structure above the electrical box to enable the electrical box to be tied off or supported from above by a chain, wire, or similar device.

Heretofore, hangers for grid ceilings typically provided a limited amount of knockouts or access apertures for the connection of conduit or cables. The limited amount of access apertures is typically a result of the anchoring structure interfering with access to each of knockouts on the electrical box. Thus an installer was limited in the amount of electrical conduit or cable that could be connected to the electrical box.

Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide an electrical box hanger for supporting an electrical box above a suspended or drop ceiling in such a manner that all of the knockouts on the electrical box are available for use. Additionally, it would be advantageous to provide an electrical box hanger that was simple to install and could be manufactured at low cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a hanger assembly for supporting an electrical box above a drop ceiling having a grid supporting structure. The assembly includes an elongated one-piece bar with a U-shaped cross-section, an end bracket secured at each end of the bar, a center bracket, an anchor bar, and an electrical box. The end brackets include an inner leg for resting on the horizontal ledges of adjacent T-rails and arms for loosely fitting over the top of the T-rails. A fastening arrangement for securing the electrical box to the elongated bar enables mounting the electrical box in two ways. The electrical box can be mounted with its sides square with the bar or with the sides at a 45° angle to the bar. Mounting the electrical box with the sides at a 45° angle provides full access to all knockout apertures in the sidewalls of the electrical box.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Several advantages are achieved with the suspended ceiling electrical box hanger assembly of the present invention, including:

      (1) The hanger assembly is an assembly of components that can be manufactured at low cost. Many of the parts, including the bar and end brackets, may be stamped and shaped from sheet metal. This lowers the cost of production of the support assembly. (2) The hanger assembly enables an installer to mount the electrical box to the bar in such a manner that knockouts on all four sides of the electrical box will be available for making connections, thus greatly enhancing the functionality of the electrical box. (3) Ample clearance is provided between the arms and end plate of each end bracket. This enables rapid placement and mounting of the electrical box hanger assembly over the bulb portions of adjacent T-rails in a drop ceiling. (4) An anchor bar, provided for supporting the hanger assembly from an overhead structure, is integral with the elongated bar thereby having the advantage of supporting the load from the bar rather than from the electrical box. (5) The hanger assembly includes an elongated bar and a center bracket having U-shaped cross-sections that advantageously provide extensive surface contact between them when secured together to support an electrical box.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reading the following description along with reference to the drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a suspended ceiling junction box hanger assembly according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of an elongated hanger bar that forms a portion of the hanger assembly of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 3 is a side view of the hanger bar of FIG. 2 .

FIG. 4 is an end view of the hanger bar.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of an end piece that forms a portion of the hanger assembly of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 6 is a top view of the end piece depicted in FIG. 5 .

FIG. 7 is an end view of the end piece depicted in FIG. 5 .

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the end piece.

FIG. 9 is a top view of an electrical box that forms a portion of the hanger assembly of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 10 is a side view of the electrical box of FIG. 9 .

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the electrical box taken along line 11 -11 of FIG. 9 .

FIG. 12 is a top view of a center bracket that forms a portion of the hanger assembly of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 13 is an end view of the center bracket of FIG. 12 .

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the center bracket of FIG. 12 .

FIG. 15 is a plan view of an anchor bar that forms a portion of the hanger assembly of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 16 is a sectional view of the elongated bar with the anchor bar attached thereto.

FIG. 17 is a detail view of a portion of FIG. 16 depicting the clip members attached to the elongated bar.

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the suspended ceiling junction box hanger assembly installed on the rails of a grid support structure for a suspended ceiling.

FIG. 19 is a top view of the suspended ceiling junction box hanger assembly with the electrical box mounted in a second orientation wherein the sidewalls of the electrical box are square with respect to the longitudinal axis of the elongated bar.

TABLE OF NOMENCLATURE

The following is a listing of part numbers used in the drawings along with a brief description:

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