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Unread 05-08-2011, 08:39 PM   #1
lati_cz
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bathroom fan switch

Is there electronic switch for fan/light combo which works with 2 wire romex and allows to operate fan and light separately?
I believe I red about it in a magazine few years ago - I can't find it. Thanks.
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Unread 05-08-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
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Not that I am aware of. Need 2 wires for each appliance.

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Unread 05-08-2011, 08:43 PM   #3
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You can get away with sharing the neutral, but I try to avoid that.
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Unread 05-08-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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u need 2 switches and 14-3 wire for switchlegs
and i would stay in electrcal codes from your area.
call a qualified electrition
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Unread 05-08-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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Round these parts 14 gauge is allowed.
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Unread 05-08-2011, 08:50 PM   #6
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sorry i'll edit i meant 14-3 wire
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Unread 05-08-2011, 09:52 PM   #7
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As jeff mentioned, you need 14/3 wire to control the light and fan separately, not the 14/2 you say you have. I did a renovation once where a hack used the ground as neutral and the neutral as the second leg.
I ripped it out and replaced the wire with a 14/3 as soon as we discovered it. It's not that difficult to fish a new wire, especially if you can access the ceiling above.


I have seen the control module you are talking about but it is usually for a ceiling fan/light combo and the module is designed to be used with a specific fixture.

http://www.hunterfan.com/Products/Ac...al-fans-27189/
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Unread 05-09-2011, 06:01 AM   #8
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Definitely 14/3.
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Unread 05-09-2011, 06:37 AM   #9
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michal- use the old wire to pull new wire through. tape them together, keep the knot small.
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Unread 05-09-2011, 07:34 AM   #10
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thanks guys,
it's small, quick remodel for my cousin. The ceiling is high, a lot of turns - I won't be able just pull old romex. I want to avoid opening the drywall, patching, texture, painting....
I do not think using the neutral as hot is wise, the neutral can become under certain circumstances hot - specially with electric motor, when it sends unused power back. It's dangerous.
I red about new electronic switch for that application few years ago, maybe it was discontinued, I remember - it caught my attention.
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Unread 05-09-2011, 07:42 AM   #11
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got it:
http://www.fanbuys.com/servlet/the-4...h-Light/Detail
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Unread 05-09-2011, 10:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
Round these parts 14 gauge is allowed.
For inductive loads, Paul?
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Unread 05-09-2011, 02:42 PM   #13
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Vincent,

Assuming it is romex which is stapled per code, not greenfield, how do you propose he use it to pull the second wire through?

You'll need another conductor. If the bathroom is on one 20amp circuit, use 12-3. Not that the light and fan would ever draw 20 amps, I think the EC requires use of 12ga for 20 amp circuits even if it's only for lights....

If there's a 20 for the gfci and a 15 for the lights, 14-3 is fine.

If it is run through greenfield, you should be able to get another wire through with some lube.

Paul, I am sure the fan and lights all use the same neutral back to the breaker, are you just paranoid, or what?

Nothing like using a ground for a neutral, even though they both go to the ground bus in the panel....
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Last edited by coping skills; 05-09-2011 at 02:50 PM.
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Unread 05-09-2011, 02:42 PM   #14
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If you look at the picture, you will see that the part that mounts in the fan appears to be twice the size of the part that mounts in the wall box. I suspect the wire going to the fan/light is always hot and the switching is done electronically at the far end.

Some of the home automation systems, like X10, probably have similar features. Just watch the capabilities, since some are not made for inductive (e.g. fan) loads.
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