fan/light switch incorrectly wired

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  #1  
Old 08-23-07, 10:03 PM
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Unhappy fan/light switch incorrectly wired

My handyman changed the switch box in the bathroom. The light (top switch) used to work independent of the fan (lower switch). Now the light won't go on unless the fan is on. I would like them to work independently again. This is the way he wired it: Red wire to the top brass screw, green wire to the green screw, black wire to the bottom brass screw, white wire to one of two black screws on the other side. How do I correct this? Thanks, Bob
 
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  #2  
Old 08-24-07, 01:00 AM
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Move the black wire to where the white is and the white to where the black is connected. The black is your incoming power. Normally about 2 inches of the white wire should be marked with a black marker to indicate it is a hot wire when switched.

What is happening is when you turn the lower fan switch on the black (incoming power) is energizing the white which is the switched wire to the fan. The brass tab between the two dark screws also becomes energized when the fan switch is on and takes power via the tab to the light switch. So the light can't work unless the fan switch is on. This is backward for the switch configuration for your application. Incoming power must come to the dark screws (either one) with the tab between them. This energizes both dark screws (both switches) at the same time and now you can switch either the light or the fan..

EDIT: Be a good idea to turn the power off first


Roger
 
  #3  
Old 08-24-07, 04:27 AM
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In the future, do NOT use this person for electrical work. The mistake made is a trivial one, the solution simple. The mistake made means that this person is either lazy (didn't know what you wanted and/or didn't test when finished and/or didn't pay attention to how things were wired before he started) or that he does not know what he is doing. Either way, you need someone else doing your work.

As way of further explanation, the manner in which the fan and light are presently wired is a valid way of wiring it, and the way that some people would want it. It's a good idea to always run the fan to ventilate the moisture from the shower, and if the fan has to run to allow the light to work this ensure the fan will be used, unless you want to shower in the dark. The issue is that the handyman did not pay attention to how it was wired and/or did not bother to ask you what you wanted.
 

Last edited by racraft; 08-24-07 at 05:14 AM.
  #4  
Old 08-24-07, 05:49 AM
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Although minor you also have a code violation. The white wire should be used as the incoming hot not the the switched hot.
 
  #5  
Old 08-24-07, 07:59 AM
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Yes.. Joe is correct about the white. I suppose I should have mentioned that it should be changed at the fan/light fixture. I felt the violation was very minor in his case and my decision was to keep it simple as possible for the op. However in hindsight it should have been mentioned for accuracy and compliance with code.

Thanks Joe for bring this up.

Roger
 
  #6  
Old 08-24-07, 09:23 AM
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Thumbs up many thanks

Thanks a bunch. Happy for the simple solution. And yes on turning off the power first! I did decide to not use this handyman for electrical in the future. Just for clarity, the light and fan are separate fixtures. Bob
 
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