replacing ceiling fan w/two switches With new light and separate exhaust fan

Old 04-19-08, 10:39 PM
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replacing ceiling fan w/two switches With new light and separate exhaust fan

I have two switches for the ceiling fan, one for light one for the fan. power to the fan switch is 2 wire, cable to the light dimmer is a 3 wire. I think the 3 wire is bringing the power to the ceiling fan because I see only 1 cable to the fixture itself in the attick (just a whole drilled thru the rafter to the box in the fan, the fan looks mounted directly to the flat rafter)

What I want to do is use the switch that operated the fan portion for a new exhaust fan about 10 feet away from where the new light replacing the ceiling fan will be. The ceiling fan's dimmers switch for the light will be used for the new light.

Now I can put in a junction box in the attic, cut the cable to the ceiling fan, bring it thru the junction box... bring the new 14/2 wire from the new exhaust to the junction box... then string new 14/2 wire (Assuming I should use 14/2) to the new light replacing ceiling fan and I'll have three cables in a new junction box.....NOW what?

how do I wire 14/3 to two 14/2 wired fixtures? The red wire used by the dimmer/light switch is the extra that I'm not sure of, do I combine it with the black to the new light's 14/2? and what ever else I might not be thinking of, please advise.

Option #2 - I do have another exhaust fan in the water closet with it's separate switch, I could come off of that but then one switch would operate two fans and thats not really preferable. I'd like to use the ceiling fan switches location. I DO NOT want to run any new cables into the existing walls.

Thanks so much for any help offered. I have the exhaust fan and 12 ft of wire in place and ready to go just have to get a METAL OR PLASTIC junction box to put in the attic. Please advise on that to.

I know I cut off the power for the whole floor when I do electrical work! I don't care for any 'shock therapy'.

Thanks again!
Old 04-19-08, 11:39 PM
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If i were doing this then YES... i would use one of the wall switches for new exhaust fan .... definitely would not be using a dimmer on the exhaust fan though.

however, that said.... 3 wire could even be from a 3way switch .... did that light/fan get controlled from any other switches in the house? 2 switches/1 wire going to fan makes sense IF
a. both in the same switch housing/junction box
b. fan used Black hot and light used Red hot (or vice versa)
c. power started BEFORE the light switches and then carried just into the fan

you really need to first diagram current wiring (in case you need to put it back), then take all wiring apart..... assuming you do this when power is turned off; NOW you need to make sure no one walks by these separate wires, make sure they are not touching ... and now turn the power back on......test what wire is still hot...... should only be one ... but you might have more so test them all.

this will tell you if you are right or not on the power coming in and will also tell you what the RED (3rd wire) is for too.....

assume you will have one hot coming in... then pigtailed into both switches.... one switch has new black coming off, one switch has new Red coming off .... both running to ceiling fan..... that seems how your setup would be working to control lights/fans by separate switches.....

re: wiring ..... pending outcome above then you would take one of the HOT wires coming into the new Attic junction box and use that as your hot for the new Exhaust fan..... connecting all Neutral's (whites) of course.....wiring size all depends on what is there.... CANNOT go bigger in the middle/end of current if only 14 gauge coming in then STAY will be limited to 15amps on this line.... fyi

let us know what you find when you test the power..... hopefully staight forward.

good luck.
*** p.s. did not address CODE on this email as this did not seem too severe...... but i am sure there are local bldg/electrical codes for Exhaust fans .....

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