Switch wiring for bathroom vent/heater

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  #1  
Old 11-02-07, 07:40 PM
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Switch wiring for bathroom vent/heater

I am replacing a bathroom light/vent fan/heater with a Patton model 659. My problem is the switch connections. Instructions indicate not to wire so that vent fan and heater can be operated at the same time. It is designed to be used with a pre-wired switch set of two switches, both rocker switches, one light-off-night light, and the other vent-off-heater, which I dont have. I have looked all over and cant find a switch with these functions. Right now there are two 12-2 runs from the switch location to the vent location. Is there any way to accomplish this with traditional switches. There must be an unsafe condition if vent and heater are allowed to run at the same time. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Last edited by rdrnr; 11-02-07 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 11-02-07, 08:05 PM
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I'll make two assumptions here: 1) The night light you describe is in the light, not supposed to be in the switch. 2) You have a double gang box for the switches.

If you want to do it exactly how they describe you can just buy two SPDT 'center off' switches. Here are some pricy Leviton examples . Those are industrial ones; probably can find them cheaper I didn't really spend much time looking.

There is a way to do it with traditional switches if you are willing to lose the night light and a lot of functionality: You have one regular switch and one three way switch. The standard switch controls power to the light and the three way switch. Then the 3 way switch directs power to either the heater or the exhaust fan.

Problem here is when the light comes on either the heater or the vent must always be on. This may not be a huge issue to you though because it's common for fans to come on with the light anyway.

-core
 
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Old 11-02-07, 08:10 PM
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You aren't looking in the right places. Contact the manufacturer or ask at an electric supply store (and I don't mean at a big box store). They do make three position switches.

Before you do that, though, does this unit have all four items (night light, light, fan and heater) or does it only have the light, fan and heater? 2 runs of 12-2 will only support three items, so if you have and want all four, you will need different wiring.

To answer your question, yes you can replicate this with traditional switches. Use two sets of a three way switch with one traveler feeding a two way switch. The common of the three way is fed with power. With the switches oriented properly, the three way switch in the up position will power the fan (fed off a traveler) while the three way switch down will power the two way switch, which powers the heater. With this setup, both switches down means nothing on, two switches up or the three way up means the fan is on, and the three way down and the two way up puts the heater on. Use a similar setup for the light and night light, or just use a regular two way switch if all you have is a light.
 
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Old 11-02-07, 08:31 PM
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Didnt ask for the right thing.

Thanks for the info. I went to electrical supply store, but they were looking for mfgr supplied switches, and couldnt find one. I didnt use the 'center off' terminology. I think this will get me what I need, and be the best solution.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 07:57 AM
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Vent and Heater

"There must be an unsafe condition if vent and heater are allowed to run at the same time."

Not necessarily unsafe, just undesirable. Why would you want to vent the heated air?
 
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Old 11-03-07, 11:20 AM
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It may be that the same fan is used for both functions.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 01:15 PM
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It probably uses a reversible motor, it turns one way for heat and the other way for exhaust. The three way switch mentioned above will work well for this, or the middle off switch will also work fine.
 
 

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