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NateHanson 11-11-2007 02:34 PM

14-3 to feed exhaust fan/light combo?
My folks have an exhaust fan in their bathroom, and they'd like to install (or rather have ME install) a fan with a light. I'll put a duplex switch where there is now a single switch, so each can be controlled separately. My question is this: can I replace the 14-2 romex from the switch box to the fan with 14-3, using black for the fan hot, red for the light hot, and share the neutral wire?

Thanks, Nate

Andy in ATL 11-11-2007 02:40 PM

Yes you can, Nate. They didn't sneak a heater on that sucker, did they? That is a whole 'nother can of worms. :huh:

NateHanson 11-11-2007 03:01 PM


Originally Posted by Andy in ATL (Post 73166)
Yes you can, Nate. They didn't sneak a heater on that sucker, did they? That is a whole 'nother can of worms. :huh:

Thanks Andy.

It's a heat lamp. Does that count?

Also, it turns out it's already switched by a duplex switch in a single-gang box (you know the switches that use the same coverplate as a duplex outlet). I think I've seen triplex switches in bathrooms sometimes - am I imagining that? If those do exist, would I be cramming too many wires into that little box? I could always replace with a duplex box - I'm just trying to avoid more work, as usual.

Andy in ATL 11-11-2007 03:37 PM

Now we need some info, Nate. Often times the lamp or element will jump your but right on up to 20A. Any info???

The "tri switches" you've seen are sold with the exhaust fan/ heater/ light. I could be wrong, but I don't think you can buy them seperately. Someone will correct me.

The key is finding out what the requirements are for the one you are holding right now.

NateHanson 11-11-2007 03:55 PM

Ok, I'll have to go take a look at it in person.

So are there "special" rules for a heat lamp, or is it just a matter of making sure the circuit is not overloaded? I believe this just takes a big orange bulb, like 200 watts or something. Should be fine on that circuit.

I'll check it all out to make sure it's not overloaded.

Andy in ATL 11-11-2007 04:04 PM

If that's all it is you should be fine. Of course, if it is an older house and every thing is on the same circuit... When Dads shaving, Mom starts blowdrying, and the cat flips on the heat lamp and BLAMMO:laughing: the breaker trips.

HouseHelper 11-11-2007 06:47 PM

The triplex switches are available. Look in the bathroom vent section of your local home store. They also have some that will control four hots (used with vent/heat/light/night light combos).

Follow Andy's advice and check to see what else is on that circuit to make sure you don't overload it.

NateHanson 11-11-2007 08:24 PM

Thanks guys.

Time to drive home tomorrow, so I won't get to this until X-mas, when we visit next. Tonight I need to finish painting walls, and sealing and grouting the marble, then get up early to install the new toilet and pedestal sink. (Looks like trim is going to have to wait until X-mas too).

Someone tell me I'm a good son please. I don't get half this much work done on my own house. :(

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