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Old 12-03-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
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wiring question

I need to hook up a new bathroom fan and I know nothing about wiring. Below I have a photo of the wiring in the ceiling and the wires for the fan. How do they go together? It seems like there's one to many wires?
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:34 PM   #2
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looks like the fan and light each have their own hot (black) and neutral (white) wires, indicating they're powered independently. In that case, you'd expect to have two separate wall switches, one switch sending power to the fan and another separate switch sending power to the light. In that case, a likely scenario would be that the red and black wires in the ceiling are both hot conductors, each connected to separate wall switches.

In that is indeed the case, then you'd connect the red ceiling wire to one of the black fixture wires, and connect the black ceiling wire to the remaining black fixture wire. The white ceiling wire is most likely a neutral wire, in which case it would be connected to the 2 white fixture wires with a single wire nut on all 3 wires. The bare ceiling wire should be a ground which would connect to the green fixture ground wire.

The FIRST step is to identify where the ceiling wires come from and confirm what I've assumed above is correct. I've seen a lot of wrong-wiring in my remodel days and would never assume anything about existing unattached wiring sticking out of any wall or ceiling. You gotta trace it back to the source. You should use a 110V circuit tester to determine which wires are hot and switched hot. And then turn off the breaker before doing any wire connections.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:26 PM   #3
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What Bodie said. Sometimes wiring is wrong and sometimes it is wrong in inconceivable ways. So until you really figure it out don't trust any of the wires to be safe all the time. (Don't ask how I know.) Think about temporarily putting a wire nut or piece of electrical tape over the end of each wire until you are ready to connect the fan.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:56 PM   #4
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I have wire nuts on all of them right now and Bodie is right. It's two switches. I don't know why I didn't think of that.

So the fan has three things to power: a normal light, a night light, and the fan. The old fan only had a light and a fan. Which one of the lights should share a switch with the fan?

Should it be Switch 1 night light; Switch 2 light /fan?

Or Switch 1 light; Switch 2 night light /fan?
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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I would think if you need the fan on, you'd have the regular light on with it.

The night light is just so you don't miss when your eyes are only half open.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:52 PM   #6
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Option 3: Put the light on switch 1, the fan on switch 2, and ignore the nightlight. If you really need to incorporate a nightlight, you can always use illuminated switches.

Option 4: Put the fan and light on switch 1, hardwire the nightlight to be always on, and replace switch 2 with a (GFI) receptacle.

I don't really see the point of a switched nightlight. Kinda defeats the purpose. Especially for a small interior bath, option 4 really is a good choice.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry
Option 3: Put the light on switch 1, the fan on switch 2, and ignore the nightlight.
Or go ahead and wire it up but leave the bulb out of the night light so it could be used later on without any rewiring.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:09 PM   #8
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Put a timer on the fan switch. We like this one that shuts itself off and has no dial to break
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:29 PM   #9
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Larry's got good ideas.

I presented her with 3 wiring options and she chose Kevin's #1. Night light on it's own switch. If it were my house I think I would go with the night light/fan on one switch or Larry's #3. But what I prefer don't matter.

Paul, I was just thinking about putting a timer on. I sure would like the fan to run for a bit after a shower.

Fun fact: I went up into the attic today and the vent hose wasn't even connected to the roof vent. It was just laying up there.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:29 AM   #10
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I would go with both lights on the same switch, one of them controlled by the pull chain.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #11
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In my rentals we put the shower light on with the fan so they HAVE to run the fan. Otherwise they forget about the fan.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:57 PM   #12
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Ditto what Paul said.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:47 PM   #13
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I did what Paul said on our main bath too, otherwise the fan would never be turned on.
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