wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

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Old 09-14-14, 05:06 PM
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wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

I am trying to wire a Nutone 769RL fan/light exhaust fan. In the current setting in the bathroom there was only a vanity light controlled by a single pole switch with one red wire and one black wire (hot), there is a white wire that is capped. My question is how do I change the switch to a double (leviton) switch so I can use one of the switch for the fan/light exhaust, and the other for the existing vanity light?
 
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Old 09-14-14, 05:20 PM
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Assumes fan and light controlled by the same switch. Black of 3-conductor cable to side of switch with the tab (tab is left in place). Red of the 3-conductor cable to one of the screws not connected by a tab and black of the fan to the other screw on the side with no tab. White to white. Grounds according to code.

However you may want to use a triples switch or put both lights on one side of the duplex and the fan on the other side of the duplex.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 06:51 PM
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I did that and connected the black to black, and black to blue , and white to white on the fan/light combo, but did not get juice to fan light combo, however i got juice to the vanity light. What am I missing?
 
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Old 09-14-14, 07:00 PM
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Did you identify the hot wire correctly? You wrote:
one black wire (hot),
and I assumed that was determined with a meter not a non contact tester. Did you put the hot on the side that has the two screws connected by a tab? (The screws on that side are often dark gray.)
 
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Old 09-14-14, 07:04 PM
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I did use the voltmeter, and the non contact tester to verify that the black was hot. I put the hot on the side that has a tab connecting both screws, yes.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 07:27 PM
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Assuming you ran new cable from switch box up to new fan/light combo.... You do not have a neutral at new fan/light. The existing light does.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 07:32 PM
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Handyone, I ran new cable from the double switch to the fan/light combo. the existing switch that controls the vanity light has three cables black (hot), red and a white one that is capped, no ground.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 07:41 PM
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Well,
I'm sorry, I reread Ray's post and I think my post was wrong and he's right.

You connected the fan/light white to the capped off white?
 
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Old 09-14-14, 08:11 PM
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At the switch using a multimeter check for voltage between the black and white of the 3-conductor cable. If no voltage check at the vanity light that the 3-conductor white is correctly connected.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 06:33 AM
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thanks ray2047,
there was not voltage between the white and the black on the switch
 
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Old 09-15-14, 06:41 AM
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However, thereisvoltage between the black and the red. what does that mean?
 
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Old 09-15-14, 07:19 AM
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You need to remove vanity light, you can keep it wired or write down how it's presently wired and reconnect later.
Here's what you're looking for:

The white wire in switch box that was capped off, you're looking to see if it is also capped off inside vanity light box. If it is capped off, connect to an available neutral (other whites).

Once you have a neutral in the switch box, both lights should work. Refer to post #2 after restoring neutral in switch box.

If this isn't the case, post results.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 10:35 AM
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Handyone
Right now the vanity light is connected with only two wires, they are old, there is no color. This house was built in 1941.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 10:58 AM
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Right now the vanity light is connected with only two wires, they are old, there is no color.
Then you have a mystery unction box somewhere. Are there receptacles in the bathroom?

Note if the ground in the switch box is not actually connected to ground then you probably can't by code use the cable in the switch box for the new fixture. Test the ground wire to black using a multimeter. Do you get ~120v?
 
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Old 09-15-14, 11:01 AM
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OK,
That's strange. I thought your house was new since you had a white, black and red in switch box.

If there are only two wires in vanity box, you can determine which one is hot by checking each wire to ground (box may not be grounded, you will have to find a ground nearby). Hot will be 120V to ground, Neutral will have no voltage but will have continuity to ground. Mark the hot with black tape.

This doesn't help the switch. For switch, look in attic or elsewhere and see if you can find out where that cable goes. It must be wired into a junction box somewhere.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 11:08 AM
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There are not receptacles in the bathroom, however I trace the wire coming from the breaker to a junction box, there are only two wires being use ( red and black) the white is not in use. I am guessing that the black is hot and red is neutral? How do I use this set up to wire my fan/light combo and vanity light, using a double switch? Any ideas?
 
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Old 09-15-14, 11:18 AM
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I am guessing that the black is hot and red is neutral?
Red is/should never be neutral. At the switch you said red and black or connected to the switch so no red is not neutral.
wire coming from the breaker
no a cable not wire
to a junction box, there are only two wires being use ( red and black) the white is not in use.
Tell us all the wires in that junction box. Normally you have a 2-conductor cable from the breaker box not 3-conductor cable. Why do you think the 3-conductor is from the breaker box?
 
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Old 09-15-14, 11:24 AM
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Handyone I found the junction box in the basement where the wire that comes into the existing single switch is connected to. There are connected black to black and red to red, the white wires were not used. Apparently, the previous owner used the wire coming from the breaker box, old wire, and brought it to the junction box, but before getting to the junction box he tied a new romex with three wires, r,w, b. no ground, tho. And from there he only join together the black to hot from breaker box and the white from the breaker box to red on new cable, white wires were left alone. Now, from this junction box comes the cable going to the existing switch. What do I need to do?
 
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Old 09-15-14, 11:34 AM
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Ray2047,
From the breaker box to the junction box there is one cable containing two wire ( white and black) , but prior to entering the junction box they hooked a 5in piece of romex 14/3, and threaded it into the junction box. Now, in the junction box there three cables being fed. One of this is the one that goes to the existing switch.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 11:48 AM
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elzorro,
I'm not abandoning you, stick with Ray, it's less confusing.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 12:23 PM
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but prior to entering the junction box they hooked a 5in piece of romex 14/3, and threaded it into the junction box.
Tell us about that connection, what to what. Is the connection in a junction box? Can you post a clear picture of the wires and connections in the junction box? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 09-15-14, 12:51 PM
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I am using my smartphone, so I do not know how to post a photo from my phone. There are two wires coming into junction box red and black , then the red is connected to a red wire going to the vanity, then a black is coming down back and hooked into the black coming from the breaker box. Also, the red one from the breaker box is toggle twice going to two different romex one of which goes to the switch.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 02:02 PM
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I do not understand your description. What does "toggle" mean?

Does this look anything like what you have:

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Old 09-15-14, 02:16 PM
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Wiring a fan/light combo exhaust

Yes, it looks like that ray
 
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Old 09-15-14, 03:16 PM
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Is cable #4 cloth covered Romex with no ground?

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Is cable #3 the only 3-conductor cable in the box?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-15-14 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 09-15-14, 03:34 PM
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Wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

Yes. It looks like that Ray. The red is going to the bathroom cable that feeds the vanity
 
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Old 09-15-14, 04:40 PM
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The red is going to the bathroom cable that feeds the vanity
Do you mean the switch not the vanity light? Not possible as drawn. I previously asked:
I s cable #3 the only 3-conductor cable in the box?
Are the 2-conductorcables cloth Romex with no ground?
 
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Old 09-15-14, 06:47 PM
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Elzorro,

I want to explain what I think your junction box in basement looks like. Study the wiring carefully and tell me where I'm wrong, specifically.

First the Basics:
R, B, W coming in
R, B, W going out
2 blacks and 2 whites (going out) in the "other" cables you said are there.


Here's how I think it's wired and what I want you to correct:

Black coming from breaker is connected to 2 other wires:
Black going to switch and black to one of the "other" cables

Red from breaker is connected to 2 other wires:
Whites from "other" cables 1 and 2

Red from bathroom switch is connected to one of the "other" blacks.

This may account for all wires, like I said, tell me specifically where I am wrong.

BTW, this is not normal wiring. It is how I think it was wired. It can be corrected.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 07:38 PM
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wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

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Ray ,
I am attaching photos of the junction box. I hope that helps to discern this mystery.
Thanks,
 
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Old 09-15-14, 07:45 PM
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Can you pull the wires out so we can see better and a picture of that 3-conductor to two conductor connection.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 08:08 PM
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wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

I am not able to pull the wires at this point they are pretty tight. However, the cables order goes something like this (if you look at the middle photo) from left of the screen to right: 1) coming from breaker black and red, 2) yellow (white and black) 3) white cable (red and black wires) and 4) cable (red and black)
Cable 4) goes to switch on the bathroom controlling the vanity light.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 08:13 PM
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wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

actually the top photo. is the diagram that I described previously. I will take a better photo tomorrow, and try to pull out the wires.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 08:29 PM
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wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

Ray,
Red from breaker is connected to black going to the switch in the bathroom,and also connected (pig tailed) to a black wire on the yellow cable(2)
 
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Old 09-16-14, 06:11 AM
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I know how I would fix it but the question is how committed to do it correctly. I have had some trouble getting conformation on some things but
  • Cable 4 in my diagram by code should not have been connected to 3. Code violation. Extending an ungrounded cable.
  • The connection of cable 3 to 4 is a code violation. Connection can not be made outside a box.
  • Your new fixture can not be connected to switch because it is a code violation. An ungrounded circuit can not be extended.
I can tell you how to wire this in a safe code compliant way but it may be more work then you bargained for. I also need you to answer all the questions I ask so I can be sure I am giving you the correct help. If your willing, I will give you a list of questions. Some will seem redundant but I need to get a clear image in my mind.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 06:53 AM
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wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

Ray,
Thanks! What are the questions you need to ask me? What do I need to do to make this fan exhaust work?
 
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Old 09-16-14, 07:43 AM
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Referring to my diagram:
  1. Is cable 4 an ungrounded cable (no bare wire on cable)?
  2. Is the splice between cable 4 and cable 3 outside of any box?
  3. Are there two 3-conductor cables in the junction box?
  4. Are any other fixtures receiving power from the junction box? (Not important for now. Just say you don't know if you don't.)
  5. What color wire in cable 3 is the white of cable 4 connected to?
At the vanity light:

6. Is that an ungrounded cable (no bate wire)?
7. Are there any other wires?
 
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Old 09-16-14, 08:16 AM
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wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

Referring to my diagram:

Is cable 4 an ungrounded cable (no bare wire on cable)?
yes cable 4 is ungrounded
Is the splice between cable 4 and cable 3 outside of any box?
yes,it is outside the junction bx
Are there two 3-conductor cables in the junction box?
there are actually two 3-conductor cable(white), and one 2-coductoer cable (yellow)
Are any other fixtures receiving power from the junction box? (Not important for now. Just say you don't know if you don't.)
I do not know
What color wire in cable 3 is the white of cable 4 connected to?
black

At the vanity light:

6. Is that an ungrounded cable (no bate wire)?
correct! No ground wire
7. Are there any other wires?
no
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-16-14 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Remove referer link.
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Old 09-16-14, 09:29 AM
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Best practice that whole mess in the attic needs to be abandoned in place. Multiple code and safety violations that can't really be fixed. Abandoning includes disconnecting cable 4 at the breaker box and shoving it out of the breaker box, abandoning the cable to the vanity light and the 3-conductor cable to the switch.

What to do:
  • Replace old breaker with 20 amp breaker.
  • Run 12-2 NM-b from the breaker box to the switch box. (Switch box will be replaced with a deep old work box).
  • Run 12-3 from new fan/light to switch box.
  • Run 12-3 from switch box to vanity light

Explanation:
  • Increasing breaker to 20 brings it to modern code.
  • Running cable direct to switch reduces points where connections can fail.
  • Using 12-3 for the fan/light gives you the option of separate switch for each function.
  • Using 12-3 for vanity light gives you the option of a always hot receptacle at the vanity.

I suspect something else may be connected to the attic junction box. You can start looking for that by turning off the breaker, seeing what is dead, and trying to see where the yellow cable goes. We will handle that separately depending on what is found.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-17-14 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 09-18-14, 06:49 AM
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Thumbs up wiring a fan/light exhaust fan

Ray,
Thanks for the advice.After analyzing everything need it to fix what was done wrong in that junction box. I decided to take your advice and run a new cable from a new breaker to the switch, and left the old switch going to the vanity alone.
Thanks,
elzorro
 
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Old 09-18-14, 07:39 AM
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But at some point you need to correct the code violations and more importantly the fire hazard of the connection outside of a junction box in the attic.
 
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