Патент US7355118 — Electrical box mounting assembly — Google Патенты

Патент US7355118 - Electrical box mounting assembly - Google Патенты

Патенты

This application is a Continuation-In-Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/945,407, filed Sep. 20, 2004 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,967,284,

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to electrical junction boxes and specifically to an electrical box mounting assembly for mounting a fan or light fixture to a ceiling.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

An electrical box mounting assembly was disclosed in co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/945,407, commonly owned by the assignee of the present invention, the contents of which is referred to herein and incorporated herein in this specification in its entirety. Electrical boxes are commonly mounted on ceilings for the purpose of supporting ceiling fans, light fixtures, or other electrical devices. The electrical box provides a safe enclosure to house all wiring connections. Typically, these electrical boxes are secured to the ceiling by a supporting device that spans between two adjacent ceiling joists.

Various considerations are necessary in providing supporting devices for ceiling-mounted electrical boxes. The National Electrical Code specifies a maximum weight of 80 pounds for ceiling light fixtures and a maximum weight of 70 pounds for ceiling fans. It is therefore very important that an installer use adequate load-bearing fasteners for securing the supporting device to the overhead joists. It is also important that the load be carried by the supporting device, and not by the electrical box.

A second consideration arises from the awkwardness of working overhead. Typically, when securing a supporting device and an electrical box to the overhead structure of the ceiling, several separate items must be manipulated. These include the mounting bar, the electrical box, the fasteners for securing the mounting bar to the ceiling structure, and the fasteners for mounting the electrical box to the mounting bar. Considering that the installer is typically on a ladder, this creates a challenging task for any installer. It is therefore imperative that all parts necessary for a successful installation are on hand for the installer.

A third consideration is that the support device must be matched to an electrical box. Many supporting devices are meant to accommodate most commercial electrical boxes. This typically requires complex arrangements on the supporting device to accommodate a variety of boxes.

A further consideration arises as a result of the various different types of ceilings, each of a different thickness. It should be easy for an installer to mount the support device correctly on the overhead joists to position the bottom of the electrical box flush with the ceiling, regardless of the thickness of the ceiling.

Many supporting devices for ceiling fans and fixtures include an arrangement to temporarily secure the device to the ceiling joists including U.S. Pat. No. 5,934,631 to Becker, et al. U.S. Pat. No. 5,954,304 to Jorgensen, U.S. Pat. No. 5,938,157 to Reiker, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,098,945 to Korcz, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,332,597 to Korcz et al.

Although all of the above supporting devices include an arrangement for temporarily fastening the supporting device to overhead joists to free up an installer’s hands, they are still not completely satisfactory for simplifying the remainder of the task for installing the electrical box and the light fixture or fan to the supporting device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is an adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly for hanging a light fixture, fan, or other electrical device from a ceiling. All hardware required for mounting the electrical device is included with the assembly. The adjustable mounting bar includes sliding tubular members with end flanges for spanning between adjacent overhead joists. An electrical box is connected to the tubular members by a clamp and outer clamping fasteners, which can be loosened to adjust the length of the adjustable mounting bar. The end flanges include penetrable tabs that can be driven into the overhead joists to temporarily secure the adjustable mounting bar to the joists and thereby free the installer’s hands. The outer face of the end flanges include a series of rows of slots arranged horizontally thereon and forming a plurality of bend lines. The end flanges also include alignment stops that, for a predetermined thickness of ceiling covering, can be positioned flush against the overhead joists to quickly position the adjustable mounting bar for a ceiling covering of the predetermined thickness. To accommodate thicker ceiling coverings, the end flanges can be bent outwards at the proper bend line to position the lower end of the electrical box flush with the ceiling surface. Load bearing bar fasteners threadably engaged in temporary storage receptacles in the sliding tubular members are removed therefrom and fastened through the end flanges to securely fasten the mounting bar to the joists. Load bearing device fasteners threadably engaged in temporary storage receptacles in the electrical box are removed therefrom and driven into receptacles in the clamp to secure the electrical device to the mounting bar. Oversize openings are provided in the top wall of the electrical box to ensure that the entire suspended load is borne by the clamp and mounting bar and not the electrical box.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

The electrical box mounting assembly of the present invention provides a complete mounting assembly for mounting an electrical device to a ceiling, including all of the required fastening hardware. All of the installation hardware that is required to complete the task is provided as a part of the mounting assembly, including all required fasteners.

An additional advantage is that the required fasteners are held securely in the electrical box mounting assembly in temporary storage receptacles. The temporary storage receptacles provide an advantage in that the fasteners are held securely in the assembly until they are ready to be used. The required fastening hardware is therefore on hand for installation at the time it is required. By freeing up an installer’s hands, the task of mounting an electrical device to a ceiling is therefore greatly simplified and the installation time greatly reduced. Additionally, by having all of the required fastening hardware on hand, the installer is not burdened by the task of locating appropriate fasteners at the appropriate time.

The electrical box mounting assembly also provides the advantage that the entire load is supported by the supporting bars and the clamp, and not by the electrical box itself.

A further advantage is that the fastening hardware, while in storage in the temporary storage receptacles, does not extend beyond the outer periphery of the bars and end flanges.

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 first embodiment of an electrical box mounting assembly according to the present invention including an adjustable mounting bar and an electrical box assembly.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of two tubular members that will be fitted together to form an adjustable mounting bar according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the two tubular members of FIG. 2 .

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the two tubular members of FIG. 3 after they are fitted together to form the adjustable mounting bar of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the adjustable mounting bar taken along line 5 -5 of FIG. 4 .

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the electrical box portion of the electrical box mounting assembly of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the electrical box shown in FIG. 6 .

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the electrical box taken along line 8 -8 of FIG. 7 .

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an outer clamping member that forms a portion of a clamping arrangement in the adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an inner bar that forms a portion of a clamping arrangement in the adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the adjustable mounting bar taken along line 11 -11 of FIG. 12 and depicting the clamping arrangement portion of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a bottom view of the adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly of FIG. 1 .

FIG. 13 is an end view of the adjustable mounting bar taken along line 13 -13 of FIG. 3 .

FIG. 14 is a side view of the adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly of FIG. 1. overhead joists, and a ceiling fixture in position to be attached thereto on a ceiling with a thin ceiling cover.

FIG. 15 is a side view of the adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly of FIG. 1. overhead joists, and a ceiling fixture in position to be attached thereto on a ceiling with a thick ceiling cover.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a second and preferred embodiment of an electrical box mounting assembly according to the present invention including an adjustable mounting bar and an electrical box assembly.

FIG. 17 is a bottom view of the adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly of FIG. 16 .

FIG. 18 is a side view of portions of the two tubular members of FIG. 16 .

FIG. 19 is an end view of the adjustable mounting bar taken along line 19 -19 of FIG. 18 .

FIG. 20 is a side view of the adjustable mounting bar and electrical box assembly of FIG. 16. overhead joists, and a ceiling fixture in position to be attached thereto on a ceiling.

FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view of the inner tubular member portion of the electrical box mounting assembly taken along line 21 -21 of FIG. 17 .

FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional view of the outer tubular member portion of the electrical box mounting assembly taken along line 22 -22 of FIG. 17 .

TABLE OF NOMENCLATURE

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


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