Bathroom Exhaust Fan

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  #1  
Old 02-19-06, 06:21 PM
J
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Question Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Just moved into cute little condo.
Little bathroom with 1 switch that turns on the light & exhaust fan.
Would like to install proper switch that separates control.
Would like to turn on just the light or just the fan or both when needed.

Current switch box has 2 main wires each with 1white, 1black, 1ground.
The 2 whites are connected with cap. The blacks go to switch. Simple switch with 2 pole connectors, 1 ground connector. 1 black wire screwed in to top pole, 1 black wire screwed to bottom pole. NEITHER ground wire are attached to anything.

Tried a couple of different switches picked up at home depot. Kept shorting the circuit. Looked up solutions in books at HD. Didn't see any examples to match my situation.

Would like to know which switch to use and proper wiring instructions.

THX in advance.
 
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Old 02-19-06, 06:25 PM
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You don't have the correct wiring installed to do what you want. The cable that goes from the switch to the light needs to have an additional wire in it to separate out the functions of the light and the fan.

As for the ground wires. They should be connected together, and pigtailed to the switch and to the box, if the box is a metal box.
 
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Old 02-19-06, 06:32 PM
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What you are wanting to accomplish will require an additional wire run from the switch to the fan/light combo. It is not the switch, so quit trying to make it happen and get hurt! It should have been wired with a 3 wire cable (bare, black, red and white) in order to enable actuation separately. So look for a way to run another cable from the switch to the fan. If you are able to do this, you will need to determine which black wire in your switch box is energized. Purchase an over-under spst switch which will fit your single box. Run the energized black wire to the black screw, and the old black wire to one of the brass screws, and the black wire from your new run to the other brass screw. Tie the white to the other whites in the switch box, twist all 3 grounding wires together, leaving one longer than the others, and attach it to the switch frame green screw. In your fan unit, separate the fan and light black wires and hook one to the old black wire, and one to the new black wire, tie the whites together. This separates your fan and light with two switches.
 
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Old 02-20-06, 04:24 AM
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WOW Thanks fellahs.

I surely didn't expect such a quick response and to have 2 experts tell me that I'm screwed .

Well I see this will be a bigger job than expected. I'll fix up the grounds right away but put the rest of the job way down the list o' things to do.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-20-06, 03:17 PM
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You'll be surprised how many college apartments I go into and wire the light and fan together on the same switch. These college kids take steamy hot showers, and can't understand why the wallpaper is falling off the wall and the paint is peeling off the ceiling. DUH! They only turn on the light and forget the fan. I get tired of doing the repairs, so when they turn the lights on, the fan comes on, too. You may not be screwed after all. You are assured of ventilation if you turn on the light. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-20-06, 08:01 PM
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And being in the "ocean" state , if you don't have a window in the bathroom, Bldg code requires the fan and light on the same switch.
 
 

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