How To Wire A Dual Fan Light Switch – Mr. Electrician: How can I add a bathroom fan switch to an existing bathroom light switch to control the bathroom fan separately?
Answer: Depending on how the house was originally wired, adding a bathroom fan switch may change some of the existing light switch connections. Then you can install a combination unit with two single-pole switches on the strip. NOTE: Some text links below refer to applicable Amazon products. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn money from purchases.
How To Wire A Dual Fan Light Switch
I have received this request many times and in some cases I just need to flip an existing wall switch and make changes. I would remove the wall plate, loosen the screws that hold the switch in the switch box, and move the switch away from the wall to get the wires in. Sometimes the hardest part is getting the paint off the corner screws.
How To Wire A Light Switch
If the electrical switch box has a wire that goes to the bathroom power supply and another wire to the bathroom fan, you may be able to add another switch without installing additional wiring. See the bathroom fan wiring diagram below.
The initial wiring consisted of one wire for powering the switch box and two wires for the fan and light. There may be other cables feeding power to other parts of the house. They are only connected to live and neutral cables.
All white neutral wires are tied together with a wire nut or other type of wire connector. The black wires going to the fan and lights are connected with a black braid that goes to one switch on the wall.
The black wire of the power cord goes to the other connector of the switch. When the switch is on, power goes to the fan and the light.
Proper] Two Way Switch Connection Diagram And Wiring
From the electrical box of the wall switch, I separated the black wire going to the bathroom fan and the black wire going to the lamp. Then install the combination switch shown in the picture below in place of the old single pole switch.
In the alternative scenario above, the hot wire from the switch box would be connected to one of the black screw terminals. The black fan wire then goes through the brass screw. The other black lighting wire is under the second brass screw. The ground wire runs just under the green screw.
You can see the terminal blocks in the picture below. The two screws on the left are both thermally bonded, which is obvious because there is a removable tab between them. Removing this small tab allows the device to power two separate circuits.
The picture shows the terminal blocks on the back panel of the two-pole combination switch
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Due to the wiring methods of the original installer, it is not always possible to change the wiring connections quickly. In this case, the next option is to install a new separate cable to the fan or lamp so that there are two separate switches.
The photo below shows a job where I replaced the entire tub fan unit and installed a wall switch for the fan. The old exhaust fan in the existing bathroom was wired from the side ceiling lights. So a new cable is needed from the switch location to the new bathroom fan.
Replacing the fan unit is considered a repair and does not require a city electrical inspector. The new wires and new switch box should be checked, but since it is such a small job, a small check is not necessary. I applied for an electrical permit a few weeks before starting the work.
The existing breaker distribution box was so full of wires that the old two-piece breaker box had to be installed to meet code. Section 314.16 of the National Electrical Code explains how to calculate the capacity per cubic inch for each conductor size.
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I developed my own method for cutting access holes in the walls where the wires are installed. I cut the compass saw at a 45 degree angle with the blade pointing inward. This makes it easier to fix. Look at the pictures at the end and you will see the renovation.
The current switch box has a total of six wires plus grounding. The black and white cable pair is the power source that powers the box. Another black and white wire feeds from this switch box to the switch box for the lobby lights.
The last couple of wires go to the existing bathroom ceiling lights. I used red electrical tape to mark the black wire as the light load.
Cut holes in the ceiling and walls for the new wiring to run to the bathroom fan
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I have to cut through holes in the ceiling and walls to run the new cables to the existing switch locations. There are grommets in the ceiling, which make it easy to pull the new cables.
This wall is more difficult because of the medicine cabinet, the cabinet behind this wall, and the cabinet near the door. The upper holes were cut with a hacksaw at an angle of 45 degrees.
I cut these holes with my keyhole or compass saw. However, ever since I bought the oscillating multi-tool, I’ve been using it to cut drywall dirt.
After cutting the holes in the drywall, I had to drill some holes with my half inch Milwaukee angle drill. I had to drill through the top plate of the wall to get to the ceiling. I also had to drill holes in the wall to route the new cables to the existing switch locations.
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Above is the new Romex cable that I installed next to the existing cable and will reuse it when installing the new switch.
Before removing the old switch box, I put the new working plastic switch box on the wall and drew a line to cut the opening. Old boxes with larger holes are easier to remove.
I started running wires from the old work switch box to the two new groups one at a time. As the box moved closer to the wall, I continued to pull each wire until the box was inside the wall.
The clutch installation is almost complete. The homeowner wants to install a new bathtub fan in the existing light switch.
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The hole above was cut from old plasterboard. The edges of the plasterboard and the pieces cut into the wall were covered with a thick layer of mortar. After pushing the parts into place, some compound will come out. Use a wide putty knife and smooth it out.
Thanks to the angled plasterboard cuts, there is no need to tape the joints. Allow the joint compound to dry overnight. The next day, gently sand with a damp sponge or fine sandpaper before applying the second coat. A third layer is needed for finishing.
For the large ceiling pieces, I installed a piece of wood or two to screw the drywall down until the mixture dries.
Older ceiling fans have a plastic casing that makes them easy to remove. I continued to break the parts with the pliers.
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The inside of Panasonic’s new bathroom fan housing is dusty from my work. I usually clean the engine and grill before installation. Panasonic fans are designed to be retrofitted to existing fans. I especially like the WhisperFit Panasonic fan models because of their small size and can be used with 3″ or 4″ duct.
Below is a photo of another bathroom renovation where the drywall was removed from the wall. You can see the wiring that the original electrician had to do to avoid the medicine cabinet.
When I started this job, the first thing I did was move the plug to the same height as the switch.
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