Switch wiring for exhaust fan and light


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Old 03-22-16, 02:01 PM
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Switch wiring for exhaust fan and light

The switch that operates my bathroom exhaust fan, heat lamp and light is beginning to fail. All three switches are in a single size plate. I have tried to find a replacement switch on amazon but have not been successful. We don't really use the heat lamp so I guess i could replace it with a two switch but I cannot figure out the wiring. Attached are some pictures. Any help would be appreciated.Name:  WP_20160131_10_26_12_Pro.jpg
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Old 03-22-16, 02:28 PM
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Would a standard triplex switch work for you?

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LEVITON 1755-W : WHITE TRIPLEX SWITCH | Gordon Electric Supply, Inc.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 06:26 PM
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Yes, I think so. Would it have the same wire connections as the old one? The old one has three connections per switch. It's pretty confusing how it is wired. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 06:43 PM
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The old one has three connections per switch. It's pretty confusing how it is wired.
Add me to the confusion list unless this is a 3-way switch there should be two connections. I see only four wires going to the switch. That would be expected. One wire for power in to all three switches and one wire out for each device. Three connections per switch would be nine wires. Post different pictures to give us a better view of the switch connections.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 07:30 PM
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It looks like your old switch is actually 3 separate switches (Not like the new ones with a common hot wire) There is one black for power in and the other three wires are for the loads (Lamp, Fan, Heat Lamp) The short black wires are just carrying power to the next switch
So it looks like the Levition 1755 Switch that Ray posted will work

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Old 03-23-16, 06:19 PM
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Thank you so much for the help! Attached is a better picture of the current switch. So I guess the wires on the top right of the 3 switches are the load (White, red, black) and the black wire on the bottom right of the bottom switch is the power? The current switch does not seem to have a ground connected. Would that be okay on the new switch? Thanks again.Name:  WP_20160131_10_23_14_Pro.jpg
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Old 03-23-16, 06:28 PM
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Do you have a 2-conductor cable and a 3-conductor cable coming into the switch box? I'll admit I'm a bit confused by what I see.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 05:41 AM
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Yes, there is a 2-conductor cable and a 3-conductor cable coming into the switch box. Both cables also have a bare copper wire. The two bare copper wires are twisted together and not connected to the switch.

The 2-conductor cable has a black and white wire. The black wire is connected to the bottom right corner of the bottom switch. I am guessing this is the hot wire. The white wire is capped off with a wire nut.

The 3-conductor cable has a white, red and black wire. Each of these wires goes to the upper right connector of the the 3 switches.

I would post another picture of the wiring but it is too crowded in the box to clearly see everything. Thanks again for all the help with this.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 12:22 PM
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Okay your installation is probably not code compliant*. That is what was throwing me off. By code there should have been a single 4-conductor cable. The switch will work with what you have. The black of the 2-conductor cable will be your common on the triplex switch.

*Code says all conductors must be in the same raceway. In this case that means the sheath of a cable. This is to limit over heating of the individual wires by having their electromagnetic fields close enough to cancel each other out. I can't say if what you have is unsafe. If you want to discuss making it code compliant I can give you options.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 02:02 PM
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Ok, thank you. I will try to connect the new switch with the current wiring. The old switch does not have the bare copper ground wires connected to it. With the new switch do you think I should try to connect the bare copper ground wires to the ground connection on the switch? Thanks.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 02:27 PM
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The old switch does not have the bare copper ground wires connected to it. With the new switch do you think I should try to connect the bare copper ground wires to the ground connection on the switch?
Because your switch box is plastic you are required by code to connect all grounds together and pigtail them to the switch.
 
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Old 03-28-16, 05:53 AM
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I got the new switch, wired it up with the grounds pigtailed and replaced it in about 15 minutes. Saved $200 from the electricians quote and my wife has finally stopped complaining about the switch. Thank you so much for all the help!
 
 

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