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Help Me Wire My Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Old 11-14-11, 05:15 PM
  #26  
Gerrylightning
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Oh, by the way that will be $150 cyber dollar consult fee
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Old 11-14-11, 05:17 PM
  #27  
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Sounds like an actual electrician just helped ya. Hope it goes well.
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Old 11-14-11, 07:04 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Gerrylightning View Post
Oh, by the way that will be $150 cyber dollar consult fee

I have my doubts as to his expertise. Not only did he fail to mention the Conshohocken Matrix, but he completely overlooked the liberal application of goose grease to hold in the ozone.
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Old 11-14-11, 07:38 PM
  #29  
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I think this calls for a consult with pgoat, does the bathroom need air conditioning?
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Old 11-14-11, 08:02 PM
  #30  
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I'd offer my assistance, but people on this board tend to misunderstand what the pail of water is used for when fixing electrical stuff.
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Old 11-14-11, 09:07 PM
  #31  
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Old 11-14-11, 09:12 PM
  #32  
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You're confusing yourself. (Plus the wiring diagram uses a switch you don't have.)

Simply put, an electrical circuit is a "loop" with the device in the middle of the "loop." A switched circuit is still a "loop" but one leg goes through the switch AFTER the device. A device with 2 internal circuits like a fan/light requires one "power in" line, 2 "switch" lines, and 2 switches. (Yes I know this isn't 'zactly true in an AC circuit but for simplicities sake...)

So, you need to hook up the white wire to the fan unit like the diagram says. Then, you need to find out which wire goes to which switch and where the white wire with black tape goes. Then just hook up the switches according to your needs/desires. This means that you should take off the cover plate for the switches and look in there to find the white wire with black tape. The other switch is the white "line in" circuit and you'll probably find the white wire from the wall is wirenutted to the white wire to the fan/light and the black wires go to the switch.

I'd bet you can probably skip the BLACK wire in the other switchbox altogether because the usual practice is to mark the white wire with tape to take the place of the red wire shown in the wiring diagram.

So:

One white wire to both the fan and the light. This requires a wire nut to both WHITE wires inside the fan unit that go to the "plugs."
The black wire from the same romex goes to one switch and should be connected to the fan black wire.
The white wire with black tape goes to the other switch and connects to the red wire in the unit that goes to the light.
Cap and tape the unused black wire and tuck the ends into the back of the switch box and fan unit.

Now, your prior DIY home electrician COULD HAVE used the black wire for the red wire circuit leg and left the taped white wire unused. You ABSOLUTELY MUST open the switch box and verify which wires were used. Or keep the FD on speed dial and buy a few bags of marshmallows.

Last edited by Rob P.; 11-14-11 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 11-14-11, 09:25 PM
  #33  
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An alternative is that the black wire and the white wire make a "loop" for the switched leg. What I mean by this is that the 2 wires just go to the switch and then come back to the fan unit. Unless this is connected to the "line out" you won't have a circuit.

If this is so, then the switched leg needs to hook up to the other black wire. You can connect the black wire to the red wire inside the unit. The connect the white wire with black tape to the OTHER black wire.

What this means is that you have to open the switch plate and see what kind of mess someone made in there.
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Old 11-14-11, 10:40 PM
  #34  
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I realized I was overthinking this. My in-laws happen to know a 30-year veteran electrician and he said to do exactly this:

Originally Posted by Gerrylightning View Post
all you have to do is splice the white wire of the fan with the white wire of the romex, then splice the black wire of the romex with the fan, then splice the black wire of the other romex with the light, cap off the white wire that has been taged black this one goes to the 3rd switch. the installer of this used 2 runs of 12/2 romex because he needed the 3rd switch leg for the night light, you cannot do this with 12/3 and he probably figured there was no point in buying a full coil of 12/4 for such a short run.

But he didn't say this:
Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
You ABSOLUTELY MUST open the switch box and verify which wires were used. Or keep the FD on speed dial and buy a few bags of marshmallows.
Why do I have to check in the box; why would there be a fire? The electrician I talked to said that I just need to cap the white wire with the tape and there is no way I could start a fire--the absolute worst thing that could happen is that the fan simply wouldn't work, so I just simply try another wire.

But since I am not arguing with you and I know you are right, will I see a white wire with black tape on it in the switchbox, too? Are you saying that if I use the white wire with black tape at the unit but it isn't used in the box, that is where I will get my fire? Remember, with the old unit, ALL the wires were being used (two black, one white, one white with tape, two ground).
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Old 11-14-11, 10:42 PM
  #35  
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OK, I have to add this for the ex who used to work for a couple of plumbing agencies and then moved on to his own company. If anyone called the company to order this exhaust fan - it was referred to in the company as a "fart fan". Not to the person purchasing this fan, but to all company employees.

<ahem> dives back under rock
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Old 11-15-11, 10:35 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
and 2 switches.......switches...........other switch........the other switchbox.............to one switch...........the other switch......
Wait a second....are we on the same page?

I only have ONE SWITCHBOX with ONE COMBINATION SWITCH with three rockers. In other words, I only have ONE of these running the entire show.
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Old 11-15-11, 11:56 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Tude View Post
OK, I have to add this for the ex who used to work for a couple of plumbing agencies and then moved on to his own company. If anyone called the company to order this exhaust fan - it was referred to in the company as a "fart fan". Not to the person purchasing this fan, but to all company employees.

<ahem> dives back under rock
It must be noted that the chief purpose of these fans is to keep the moisture level down in the bathroom so that the place doesn't rot out. Removing farts from the bathroom before your wife gets there is a secondary purpose at which they are only somewhat efficient.
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Old 11-15-11, 01:00 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
If you don't end up using that third switch, be sure to connect it to something completely random in a different part of the house (or your neighbor's house, if you can swing it!) before you move, just to **** with the new owners.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 11-15-11, 01:19 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
If you don't end up using that third switch, be sure to connect it to something completely random in a different part of the house (or your neighbor's house, if you can swing it!) before you move, just to **** with the new owners.
Before I move?! How about now, so I can screw with my preschooler and wife!?
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Old 11-15-11, 01:40 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
Before I move?! How about now, so I can screw with my preschooler and wife!?
Dude, do it now!
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Old 11-15-11, 01:49 PM
  #41  
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use the switch to turn pgoats a/c on and off.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 11-15-11, 02:07 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
use the switch to turn pgoats a/c on and off.
This.
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Old 11-15-11, 03:39 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
Wait a second....are we on the same page?

I only have ONE SWITCHBOX with ONE COMBINATION SWITCH with three rockers. In other words, I only have ONE of these running the entire show.
Yes we are on the same page this switch does not change anything this switch is just a way of having 3 switches in a 1 gang box and all 3 switches have one common hot wire the switch legs going up to the fart fan will still be the 2 blacks and the white taged black. as for fire there IS NO CONCERN at worst case if you wire it wrong you will trip the circuit breaker, in looking at the diagram you drew there is almost no other way to wire it. Just to give you a little backgroung I have been a profecional electrician for the past 13 years and I currently teach electrical theory and residential electrical construction at a technical school.
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Old 11-15-11, 03:41 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Tude View Post
OK, I have to add this for the ex who used to work for a couple of plumbing agencies and then moved on to his own company. If anyone called the company to order this exhaust fan - it was referred to in the company as a "fart fan". Not to the person purchasing this fan, but to all company employees.

<ahem> dives back under rock
I knew I liked you for some reason
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Old 11-15-11, 05:12 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
No, all wires of both runs of 12-2 connected to the fan/light unit (6 wires total connecting to the unit). On the old fan, I remember all the white wires went together, one black went to the fan motor outlet (the two-prong outlet inside the unit housing), the other black went to the light/nightlight outlets, and the grounds all tied together, but I don't remember where the white-with-black-tape wire went. Apparently, if this were new construction, then there would be one run of 12-3 wire, with the red wire connecting to the blue wire and I'd have had this done in my sleep?
https://www.doityourself.com/stry/homewiringconnect2

Read the link, it should explain the "black tape on white wire"... you should be able to figure it out from there.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:15 PM
  #46  
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Oh and there is the "correct" way to do wiring and what might actually be in your walls.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:19 PM
  #47  
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Just make sure your volunteer FD's motto isn't "We Haven't Lost a Foundation Yet"
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Old 11-15-11, 06:31 PM
  #48  
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Or: "We saved the mineral rights!".
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Old 11-15-11, 09:48 PM
  #49  
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Piece of cake. I grabbed the fan by the poo and just did it.

Capped the white-with-black-tape; Black to black; Black to Blue; Ground to Ground; White to White to White.

Cut the wires down so they fit in the box.

Blew nothing up. Easier than putting a 3 year old to bed.

I just had to not worry and go at it. I had it right all long for the past week...just too scared.
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Old 11-16-11, 01:25 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
Where does the nafarian fabernaculator go?
He always forgets to mention the thermal capacitors and veeblfetzer interfaces too.
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