Wiring replacement bathroom exhaust fan

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  #1  
Old 07-02-16, 11:10 AM
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Wiring replacement bathroom exhaust fan

Hello All!

First off, thanks for taking the time to share your electrical tips and wisdom.

I replaced an old bathroom exhaust fan and am having difficulties finishing the wiring on a new unit that has a heater, fan, light, and nightlight (Panasonic fv-11vhl2). The old fixture had the same functionality except for the nightlight. There are 3 separate switches at the wall (fan, light, heater) and 2 sets of wires going to the fixture. One set of wires to the fixture is of a heavier gauge and given the load from the heater, I used those wires for the heater and it works.

The second set of wires has a black, white, red, and ground wire. All of the grounds have been attached the ground wire from the fixture and I've connected the white wires from the fan, nightlight, and light to the white wire from the source.

This leaves the black wires from the fan, light, and nightlight, as well as a red wire and black wire from the source. I don't mind wiring the nightlight and light together, because we'll never use the nightlight independently anyway.

Any help you could offer in helping me figure out the remaining wiring would be very appreciated.

Thanks!
Jim
 
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  #2  
Old 07-02-16, 05:01 PM
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The black and red from the ceiling are the 2 switched hots. Connect the fan wires to one or the other of those, depends on how you want the switches to operate the unit.
 
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Old 07-02-16, 07:52 PM
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Thanks for your help. Unfortunately, I didn't have any luck. I have all the whites together, the blacks from the lights to the black from the source, and the black from the fan to the remaining red from the source. I disconnected the heat and hooked up the fan to the larger gauge source wires and the fan worked. So I don't think it's a problem with the fixture. Any other ideas? Thanks.

Jim
 
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Old 07-02-16, 08:00 PM
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I have all the whites together, the blacks from the lights to the black from the source, and the black from the fan to the remaining red from the source.
Sounds like it is a switch loop. Measure the white of the three conductor to ground. If you get ~120 volts. It is a switch loop and the white goes to both switches.

If that is the case the white needs to be remarked red or black or any color but white gray or green.
 
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Old 07-02-16, 09:48 PM
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Thank you for your reply.

If the white is a switch loop, then does that mean that all 3 wires (white, red, and black) are hot?

As far as the actual connecting of the wires, if the white is a switch loop, can you please explain the proper connections? The remaining wires are:

1. Black & White - Fan
2. Black, Black, & White - Light and Nightlight
3. White source
4. Black source
5. Red source

(all grounds have been connected, and the heater is already connected and functioning).

Thanks again.

Jim
 
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Old 07-03-16, 01:11 AM
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You must verify using a multimeter the white is hot by measuring from white to ground. You should get ~120v. Failure to do so can result in a dead short if it isn't a switch loop or white isn't hot..

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The above assume only two cables at the switch box. One 3-conductor cable and one two conductor cable. If you have more than two cables or they don't match that description stop. Do not connect. Post back for further instructions.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-03-16 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 07-03-16, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for the info and sorry for my delay in responding.

I checked the white wire and it, along with the red and black, are hot.

Here's a picture of the wires coming into the fixture:

1st set of wires: Black and white wires with yellow wire nuts - Heater (disconnected for testing and photo)

2nd set of wires: Red wire - orange wire nut, White wire - blue wire nut, Black wire - black wire nut.

The remaining wires from fixture are:
Black/Black/White - light & nightlight
Black/White - Fan

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Thanks.
Jim
 
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Old 07-03-16, 02:32 PM
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I checked the white wire and it, along with the red and black, are hot.
How? You didn't use a non contact tester did you? if so the test isn't any good. you must use a multimeter (or neon test light or solenoid tester). If you used a multimeter did you test each one to ground. You are testing at the switch box aren't you?
 
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Old 07-03-16, 04:27 PM
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I tested at the fixture (removed the wire nuts).
 
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Old 07-03-16, 05:14 PM
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Tested with what? Were the wires disconnected from other wires.

The power in cable will be a two conductor cable with very rare exception not a 3-conductor cable so what your say doesn't make sense. That two conductor cable when disconnected will show ~120 volts between black and white. What we need to know is if that two conductor cable is at the fan or the switch box.
 
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Old 07-03-16, 05:41 PM
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Sorry about my confusion.

Everything was disconnected. The two conductor cable (larger gauge wire) showed 120 with a multimeter (holding the red prong to the black wire and black prong to the white wire). The white wire from the 3 conductor cable didn't register anything (I grounded the black multimeter prong to the ground in the fixture junction box).

I will test at the box now.

Thanks again for your patience.
 
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Old 07-03-16, 06:19 PM
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Here's the wiring at the switches:

Incidentally, I notice that there's a white wire that is uncapped. The white wire coming from the ceiling (blue wire nut in previous pictures) looked the same and my assumption was that the wire had broken off when I was disconnecting the old unit, so I stripped it back to allow for a new connection. Was this a mistake?
 
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Old 07-03-16, 06:48 PM
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To make sense of this we really need to know about cables not wires to begin with. How many 2-conductor and how many 3-conductor cables at the switch box? How many 2-conductor and how many 3-conductor cables at the fan?

To better help us understand what size breaker for the lights/fan and what size breaker for the heat?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-03-16 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 07-03-16, 07:32 PM
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There is one cable coming up into the switch box providing power.
1. The black wire is connected to the switch.
2. The white wire is connected to the white wire from the 2 conductor cable leaving the box (for the heater).

There are two cables leaving the switch to the attic.

The first cable has a white, black, and ground wire.
1. The ground wire is attached to the ground coming into the box.
2. The black wire is going into the switch to power the heater
3. The white wire is wire nutted to the white wire coming into the box.

The second cable has black, white, red, and ground.
1. The white isn't attached to anything.
2. The red goes to the switch.
3. The black goes to the switch.
4. The ground isn't attached to anything.

In sum, all the black wires go to the switch, the red wire goes to the switch, the white wires from the 2 conductor cable coming into the box and 2 conductor cable leaving the box are connected, the white wire from the 3 conductor cable isn't connected to anything, nor is the ground from the 3 conductor cable.

Thanks.

PS - 20 amp circuit
 
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Old 07-03-16, 10:05 PM
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Ok... so at the switch there are three cables and two at the fan unit.
They should have been all #12 gauge wires as you're on a 20A circuit.

You have:
1) two wire feed in
1) two wire feed out from switch to the fan unit. (basically for the heater)
1) three wire feed out from the switch to the fan unit. (basically for the lights.

The feed in hot black wire is connected to all three switches.
The feed in neutral white wire is connected to the white of the two wire cable to the fan.
The red from the three wire goes to the output of one switch.
The black from the three wire goes to the output of the third switch.
The white can be capped at both ends.

At the fan unit...
Connect all white wires to the white of the two wire cable.
Connect the heavy black from two wire cable to the heater.
Connect the red from the three wire cable to whichever lights you want.
Connect the black from the three wire cable to whichever lights you want.
 
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Old 07-04-16, 09:25 AM
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Thank you both so very much! Everything works perfectly.

Jim
 
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