Bathroom Exhaust Fan


Old 08-24-01, 07:29 AM
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I am planning on installing a ceiling exhaust fan in my bathroom to vent steam from the shower. The fan will also probably contain a light.
Is there anything special I need to know before performing this job? Also, is there a preferred method of getting the exhuast out of the house (aluminum pipes vs. flex-type?
Finally, to place a switch in the room, can I put another
switch box by the current one and use that as my source of power?

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Old 08-24-01, 11:33 AM
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Either aluminum or flex will do for a bathroom exhaust.

If you can get power from an adjacent switch, run 2-wire-plus-ground from it to the new switch, and 3-wire-plus ground from the new switch to the fixture.

If you want one switch to control both the fan and light, connect the power black to one screw of the switch, and the black from the 3-wire to the other screw. Then connect power white to the white of the 3-wire. Cap the red wire at both ends. (The reason to run 3-wire now is in case you change your mind later, and to do the next guy a favor).

At the fixture connect all colored wires (e.g., black, red, blue, etc. but NOT green, grey or white) from the fixture, to the black wire from the switch and connect the white (or grey) from the fixture to the white of the 3-wire.

Connect all grounds (green and bare) to ground.

If you want a separate switch for the light and fan, connect your source of power to one of the screws on each switch, connect the black of the 3-wire to the other screw of one of the switches, and the red of the 3-wire to the other screw of the second switch. Then connect power white to the white of the 3-wire.

At the fixture, connect both whites together, connect the (fixture) fan wire to the red of the 3-wire and the (fixture) light wire to the black of the 3-wire.

Now the hard part - Can you get power from the existing nearby switch?

Pull it out and look in the box. If there are white wires wire nutted together and not connected to the switch, maybe you can do it.

Using a voltage tester, measure between the hot wire and the white wires. If you get 120 volts then test between the white wires and the bare wire in the same box. If you get nothing you have a neutral, and you are OK. Just run a 2-wire-plus-ground from the hot and neutral to your new switch(es).

If you can't find a neutral in the adjacent switch, there are other ways to wire this, with power coming to the fixture. Post back.

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