Question from vlee4 about bathroom fan


Old 10-15-07, 07:26 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Question from vlee4 about bathroom fan

I want to replace a bathroom exhaust fan, with light, and night light.
The new one comes with wiring instructions:
1- From the fan box, a 2-pin connector has one white (W1) and one black wire (B1) coming out. It powers the fan.

2- From the same fan box, a 3-pin connector has one white (W2), one red wire for night light (R1), and one black wire for the light (B2) coming out.

The user manual says, connect:
- Bare copper from wall to ground - this one is OK
- W1 to W2 to wall-White - this one is OK
- B1 to wall-Black1 - also OK
- R1 to wall-Red - this is where the problem begins
- B2 to wall-Black2 - here too, another problem

My problem is: I do not have two Black wires coming out of the wall. And we only have two switches (one for fan, one for light).

a- If I only want the light (without night light), can I just connect B2 to wall-Red? This means I leave the R1 wire unconnected.

b- If I want to have the light and night light, how do I do it, and do I need another switch for the night light?

Thank you for any suggestion,

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Old 10-15-07, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
You told us what you do not have coming out of the wall. It would have been good to be more explicit about what you do have coming out of the wall.

You have two switches, and thus two wires, to control three things. You have options. You can have one of the switches control two of the things, you can leave one thing uncontrolled (and thus unused), or you can add a switch (and a wire).

So the answer to (a) is "yes".

It's up to you to decide whether you have the interest and skill to add another switch and add another cable between the fixture and switch box. That's certainly one option.

If you want to leave one feature of your fixture unused, then just leave the corresponding wire unconnected.

One of the switches controls your red wire in the wall, and one of the switches controls the black wire in the wall. If you want one switch to control two of the three features, then just connect the corresponding wall wire to the corresponding two of the fixture wires.
Old 10-15-07, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If you only have two switches you only have two switches. Leave something unswitched (as you have suggested) or switch two things as the same time. For example, switch the fan and the light together and switch the night light separately. Or rewire so that switch them all separetely.
Old 10-15-07, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1
Thank you!

Thanks for your time/response/expertise!

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