Wiring Help Needed for Replacing Bath Fan/Light/Heat w/ Light/Fan

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Old 07-08-14, 07:55 PM
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Wiring Help Needed for Replacing Bath Fan/Light/Heat w/ Light/Fan

I've searched these forums, but can't uncover my issue and hope someone can help. Let me start by saying that it would be helpful to me if any replies were as simple as possible (ex: black wire, white wire, etc). Here goes:

I am replacing a bath heat/fan/light combination with only a new fan/light combo. In my attic I have 2 Romex lines (both have 1 black, 1 white 1 ground wires.....no red wire) that serviced the old unit. On the wall I have 3 switches for each function. 1 switch had a white wire and black wire. The black wire there jumped to the adjoining switch. Only the 1st switch featured a white wire, black wires on all others.

In the attic at the new unit, how do I proceed with wiring it? The new unit has a place to ground (green wire) with 2 white and 2 black wires inside. I pulled 1 of the Romex lines into the unit and wired it up (black to blacks; white to whites and ground). I put wire nuts on the other white/black wires from the other Romex line in the attic for now and it's just hanging out until I can figure this out. The other Romex that I wired into the new unit had a hot wire for the original light function. The unit will not work (light nor exhaust).

Do I need to rewire at the 3 switches? If so, what do I need to do?
Do I need to rewire it differently in the unit to include wires from the currently unused Romex #2?

Any help would be appreciated. Again, please keep replies simple (black/white wires, etc.....I don't understand things like "lead, load" etc.)

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 07-08-14, 08:03 PM
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Does power come in at the fan? It sounds like it does. Do you have three 2-conductor cables* (black, white, bare) at the fan?
 
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Old 07-08-14, 11:36 PM
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The new fan/light combo features 2 black wires, 2 white wires (1 set for fan, another for light) plus the ground of course. I used one of the two Romex's that was in the attic servicing my old fan/heat/light unit and matched it to those black/white wires in the new unit. The other Romex up there is wire-nutted off and placed aside.

When I was in the attic testing out the wires, the Romex #1 (currently wired to the fan) was live at white wire when I switched the light on and the black wire was live when the heat was switched on. Romex #2 was live when the fan was switched on (can't recall if it was the black or white wire there).

Nothing will work on the new unit as I currently have it wired.

Not sure if that answers your question or not. Thanks for trying to help me.
 
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Old 07-08-14, 11:55 PM
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You shouldn't be in the attic looking at the cable. Doesn't tell you anything. If you used a non contact tester it doesn't tell you anything useful. You need to be looking at the connections in the fan's junction box. How many cables? To check which cable is hot you disconnect the cables and measure between the black and white of each cable with a multimeter, preferably an analog multimeter.
 
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Old 07-09-14, 09:32 AM
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Hello nicholbry,
I have replaced two of these heat/fan/light combos with light/fan unit as you're looking to do. Don't remember the manufacturer just that it sounded like a freight train in the ceiling. Few things I discovered... Your mileage may vary:

Chances are the old unit has its own circuit breaker as these units especially the heating coil use a lot of wattage so couldn't be tied to other lighting even within the bathroom ..

The "triple" wall control switch (if I'm reading your post correctly) should be replaced with a "double" wall switch as the addl switch will do nothing for you and are usually manufacturer specific. I'm sure the new unit's manufacturer sells their own version of a double switch, which might have dimmer or rheostat or timer controls, but if you're looking for simple on/off for each function, a double switch will do. It's at the big box places maybe a buck or two more than single switch. It looks like ..well like it sounds, two switches on one unit. Of course if you have the room in the wall box, you can just use two regular switches.

As for wiring, I agree w ray2047, you have to identify which line (wire) does what and where it's connected to. Did you happen to take a pic when you opened up each box? Better yet, next time tape a small diagram next to each box with the "before" as soon as you open it up.

Question though, how was the old unit functioning, ie did the light turn on when either the fan or heat coil get switched on? Because if there are only two BW romex wires going into ceiling box, then those wires should have been to control on/off for heater OR fan OR light, therefore at least one of those Romex should have a red wire OR there would have to be one wire serving two functions. That brings the next question, how many Romex wires are in the switch box? Did you check yet to see if source is coming in that way?

As for installing the new unit, if your old one was same as what I took out, and I didn't find any other manufacturers at that time, it's a larger unit than the new modern ones so some Sheetrock might be in your future. And when you get to that point, make sure you cover the exhaust vent to keep spackling dust out of your ductwork.
 
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Old 07-09-14, 10:38 AM
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Just a drive by observation. It would appear that there are 3) two wire cables at the ceiling box and 2) two wire cables at the switch location...... for three switches.
 
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Old 07-09-14, 11:28 AM
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That was my thought also PJ but I,m having trouble getting Nicholbry to confirm.
 
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