regular light/fan switch found a mod now what?

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-11-18, 12:59 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
regular light/fan switch found a mod now what?

my "new" to me house has all three bathroom with one switch to run the lights and fan at the same time.
I plan to convert them to a dual switch to control each independently.

The first floor guest bath has a modification. I think the previous owner tapped into the electrical off this switch to run to the garage for additional outlets.

So here are the pics. There is 3 sets of wires coming in.
1) is the fan
2) is the light
3) is the power going to the garage outlets.

So if I am understanding this correctly I need one of the black wires to one screw on the switch to power the fan the other black to the screw to power the light, but then what to do with that blue wire that goes to the garage?

Do i just need to combine the blue with one of the black? seems like that should work.
 
Attached Images      
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-11-18, 02:14 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 44,398
You have a conduit system there. It's pretty hard to just "tap in". It must have have been done during original construction as conduit cannot be changed once the walls are closed in.

You've identified what you think is the wiring but where is the feed to that box ??
 
  #3  
Old 02-11-18, 02:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
ok you are correct. So what he did was tap into an existing conduit in the crawl space, install a new junction box, then run a new piece of conduit from that into the garage.

So it makes no sense that the wiring in that switch would have anything to do with the garage.
why is there 3 sets of wires? 1=fan, 1=light, whats the 3rd for? im guessing that is the light blue? I have not encountered light blue in residential wiring before, just white/nuetral, black/hot, red/hot, green/ground

so how should that switch be wired up?
 
  #4  
Old 02-11-18, 02:38 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 44,398
When you have a conduit system.... you have more wiring color choices. Black, blue, red, brown could all be found as hot or switched hot colors. White is still neutral.

You have to identify where that blue wire goes. Black is most likely non switched hot.

You are asking us to guess where the wiring goes. You need to to check where it goes. One way is to see and ID the colors at both ends.
 
  #5  
Old 02-11-18, 03:27 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
I have 3 wires.
blue=fan
black= line in
black= unknown ( assuming the light)

I attached the line in to Common A on the switch.
The blue to the bottom brass screw
the other black to the top brass screw

results: the fan works at switch but the light does not respond at all.

There is also a tab on the back that is says to pull for separate circuits which i left in.
 

Last edited by enrststavro1; 02-11-18 at 05:03 PM.
  #6  
Old 02-11-18, 07:12 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 44,398
If the circuit uses a common hot wire..... the jumper stays in place.

You have three conduits entering that box. Each conduit has two wires in it. Based on your guesses.... one conduit is power in, one is power out to the garage and the third is the fan and light combined. So I'm not sure what the deal is,

Did the fan and light work from one switch before ?
Try switching the two black wires on the switch.
 
  #7  
Old 02-12-18, 06:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
The previous set up was one basic switch controlled the light above the mirror and a stand alone exhaust fan at the same time.
previous set up was the blue wire to one screw on the basic switch, then the two blacks twisted with a small piece connecting to the other screw.

The other black wire was not hot, i was hoping it was switched control to the light but it appears not to be.

I will investigate where this other black wire goes off to.
 
  #8  
Old 02-12-18, 06:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,399
previous set up was the blue wire to one screw on the basic switch, then the two blacks twisted with a small piece connecting to the other screw.
Based on this explanation, it sounds to me like blue is your hot/feed and the two blacks that were pigtailed to the other side of the switch are your fan and light. To verify, temporarily touch the blue to each black and either the fan or light should come on. Connect the blue to the black screw on the new switch, and each black to its own brass screw on the other side of the switch, bare copper to green screw. Done.
 
  #9  
Old 02-12-18, 07:16 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
but when i tested the wires with the circuit on the blue wire was not hot, only one of the black wires was hot

that being said I will try it.
 
  #10  
Old 02-12-18, 07:32 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,399
If that is true, then either the fan or light would have been on constantly with the old switch. For the old switch, you said the blue was on one screw and the two blacks were on the other screw, correct?
 
  #11  
Old 02-12-18, 09:18 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
yes, correct. sorry got busy with work for a minute, i will wire it up how you describe and post back here in the next hour.
 
  #12  
Old 02-12-18, 10:11 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
okay so i hooked it up how you describe mossman. when i flipped the switch the light and fan come on, the other switch doesnt do anything and the wire is not live. I swapped the black wires and all it did was change it to the other switch paddle.

I checked the light and its the same blue wire, so the fan and light are wired with one blue wire inline.

I guess that means i cant separate them unless i ran another wire from the light to the switch box correct?
 

Last edited by enrststavro1; 02-12-18 at 10:30 AM.
  #13  
Old 02-12-18, 10:33 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,399
I guess that means i cant separate them unless i ran another wire from the light to the switch box correct?
Yes, that appears to be the case. If you have conduit, then that should be pretty simple.

So one black is a feed in, the other black is a feed out, and the blue is your switch leg for the light AND fan.
 
  #14  
Old 02-12-18, 11:10 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
"So one black is a feed in, the other black is a feed out, and the blue is your switch leg for the light AND fan."

That is correct, although one thing still bugging me, at one point the way i had it connected and i dont remember now i tried so many combinations, i had it connected that when i flipped the switch only the fan came on, but no light. How did i manage that if they are on one line?

the feed out goes to the garage. the panel is labeled
slot 16 1st flr bath
slot 19 garage GFCI

however when i turn off circuit 16 all power is shut down to the garage lights and opener.
its misleading.
 

Last edited by enrststavro1; 02-12-18 at 11:25 AM.
  #15  
Old 02-12-18, 11:40 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,399
i had it connected that when i flipped the switch only the fan came on, but no light. How did i manage that if they are on one line?
Doesn't make any sense. Unless you blew the light bulb and didn't realize it.
 
  #16  
Old 02-12-18, 12:48 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 27
no they still work, its a 5 light vanity. who knows.
basically its all on one wire so im just going to replace with a single paddle switch for now, its not that big of a deal.
thanks to you and pjmax for the help though.
 
  #17  
Old 02-12-18, 06:51 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 44,398
Keep in mind..... you have a conduit system. That usually means you can pull an extra wire in if needed. You would have to find where that conduit with the blue went. It could go to the fan first or the light first.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'