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Wiring ? for light/exhaust fan combo, wall light & GFCI outlet...

Wiring ? for light/exhaust fan combo, wall light & GFCI outlet...

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  #1  
Old 03-19-07, 03:08 AM
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Question Wiring ? for light/exhaust fan combo, wall light & GFCI outlet...

We did this once, and we got it done without too many problems, but this bathroom is wired differently, and we desperately need help! PLEASE?

We added a new exhaust fan/ceiling light combo to our bathroom that had no ceiling fixture, decided to add a GFCI outlet by the light switch as well, and we decided to keep the light fixture on the wall, but we can't seem to figure out how to wire it just right.

There is 14/2 wiring that the original light switch was wired to, and we had to use 14/3 to install the fan/light combo.

We're not sure what we did wrong, but something isn't right. The GFCI apparently has reversed polarity with the way we have it currently wired, (The power is just off to the bathroom completely for now!), the existing light on the wall is controlled by the switch we have for it, but it's also controlled by the light switch part of the dual switch we have for the fan/light, but the light on the fan/light doesn't work, in spite of the fact that the fan works. UGH! And the directions to the fan/light were NOT thorough instructions at all. So..

We pigtailed 3 black wires, 3 grounds, and 3 white wires to the existing wires coming into the switches, so we'd have one for each switch. (Starting closest to the door it's the switch for the wall light first, the fan/light switch is next and that is followed by the GFCI). Then there are 4 wires coming in from the 14/3 that is hooked up to the fan/light.

First, we put the grounds on all 3 switches. Then we put one of the piggybacked black and white wires where they go on the wall light switch.

Next, the black wire coming from the house is on the left top of the dual switch with the red wire coming from the fan/light unit (the 14/3) on the top of the right side of the switch, and the black wire from the 14/3 on the bottom right of the switch.

Finally, we have the black and white wires from the house going to the appropriate places on the GFCI outlet.

Considering that we know for sure that the white and black wires on the GFCI are where they are supposed to go according to how it is labeled, but it is still showing that the polarity is reversed, we think that we've messed up on the neutral wires, but we're not sure where. The reason we're thinking this, is because all of the neutrals in the other bathroom are pigtailed together, and only one of them actually goes to any of the switches. But if we do that in this case, one of the switches would be left with only a ground and a black wire. We just can't figure out where we went wrong!

Can anyone help us? Please?!

Waiting with great anticipation (since the power is off in the bathroom until we get it wired correctly!!),
CanIDoItMyself & Wife!
 

Last edited by CanIDoItMyself; 03-19-07 at 03:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-07, 05:26 AM
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Assuming that you are in the US...

I am not even going to try to understand what you did to the existing wiring. You did not provide nearly enough details to figure out what you started with or what you added. And it's all moot anyway...

Since you are attempting to add a receptacle, you need to start from scratch, from the main panel and add a new 20 amp circuit to feed the bathroom. Code does not allow you to add a receptacle to a bathroom on a 15 amp circuit. Since you will be starting from scratch, wire in whatever manner is easiest to run the cable. If you need help with this wiring, post back.
 
  #3  
Old 03-27-07, 10:21 AM
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Question

Thanks for letting us know it was against the code to put a GFCI in the bathroom without updating the wiring. We scrapped that idea entirely, until we can get an electrician out to wire in a 20 amp circuit for the bathrooms.

In the meantime, we cannot seem to get the wiring correct on this, and we have searched the wiring books we have at home as well as the internet on a wiring diagram that addresses this in particular to no avail. We have also consulted the guys at the local hardware stores, but we always get a different answer-none of which work. So..if someone could help, that would be great!

To begin with, there was only one switch in the bathroom that controlled a single light above the vanity. Coming into the switch there was only one cable with 3 wires. A black, a white, and a ground. That's all there was. They were hooked to the original switch in the typical fashion.

We installed the exhaust fan/light combo, and we ran some 14/3 Romex to the switch, so we could wire it up.

Initially, we wanted to have the fan/light on one switch with two buttons, so we could control each separately from one switch and leave room for the future GFCI. However, we were told that we can't do that, because it's an end of the run switch. So we were totally ok with skipping the GFCI entirely and simply using 3 switches to control the two lights and the fan independent of one another.

Can anyone tell me, if this can be done? And if it can, can you please tell me how to wire it? Or will we need to just wait to have an exhaust fan in the bathroom until we have a 20 amp circuit in there?

We honestly don't care which switch controls what. We would just really love to get this running properly!

Thanks in advance.
 
  #4  
Old 03-27-07, 11:00 AM
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You attempted the impossible. There is no power in the switch box--only a switch loop. The white wire in the switch box is not a neutral, so you cannot power any new loads from the switch box.

The only way to do this is to find another source of power, and run a cable from there to the new fan, and then from the fan to the switch you want to control it from. If and only if the source of power is on the same circuit, then you can control it from the same switch if you want.

By the way, "14/3" is a cable with black, red, white, and bare wires in it. Does your cable have a red wire? If not, it's not "14/3".
 
  #5  
Old 03-27-07, 11:06 AM
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If all you had to the switch was a single cable with two wires (plus ground), you did not have a neutral there and you can't extend fro there, at least not without rewiring. You have a switch loop. There is no neutral there.

The only way to add anything from this switch is to replace the cable to the switch with a three wire cable (plus ground). Then you will have full power at the switch and can add any number of lights or fans you want.
 
  #6  
Old 03-27-07, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
You attempted the impossible. There is no power in the switch box--only a switch loop. The white wire in the switch box is not a neutral, so you cannot power any new loads from the switch box.

** Thanks! We were beginning to think this was impossible, so it's actually sort of nice to have someone confirm it! LOL

By the way, "14/3" is a cable with black, red, white, and bare wires in it. Does your cable have a red wire? If not, it's not "14/3".
**Yes, the 14/3 Romex that we ran from the exhaust fan/light has 1 black, 1 red, 1 white and one bare wire in it.

Thanks again for your help!
 
  #7  
Old 03-27-07, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
If all you had to the switch was a single cable with two wires (plus ground), you did not have a neutral there and you can't extend fro there, at least not without rewiring. You have a switch loop. There is no neutral there.

The only way to add anything from this switch is to replace the cable to the switch with a three wire cable (plus ground). Then you will have full power at the switch and can add any number of lights or fans you want.
Thank you. I appreciate it.
 
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