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Old 02-20-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
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adding new light, to existing switch


Hello...
I am redoing my master shower, removed walls down to studs. While Im at it, I want to put a light/exaust fan unit in above shower. There is already a switch on the wall as you can see, that powers one set of lights in the bathroom. I simply want to tap into that switch to run this new shower light/fan.

I am going to imagine its a pretty simple procedure since I have access to everything, but just want to know from the experts-what to do?

(there are 3 wires coming out of the switch box, my guess is one is the MAIN power line coming in?, one going to the light its controlling, and the other seems to lead over to another switch down the room that powers another switch/light setup.....so would I tap into the current line that goes to the lights I want to run with for this shower light?......and there is a skinny white wire coming down, leads to nothing??)

Thanks

Craig
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
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adding new light, to existing switch


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I simply want to tap into that switch to run this new shower light/fan.
By "tap into" do you mean use this switch to also control the new fan/light, or do you mean use the power supplied to the switch to feed new switches, which will control the fan and light.

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Old 02-20-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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adding new light, to existing switch


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By "tap into" do you mean use this switch to also control the new fan/light, or do you mean use the power supplied to the switch to feed new switches, which will control the fan and light.
Yes, use this existing switch to still use its current light setup AND the new shower/fan/light.

Our bathroom has 2 recessed cans (on that switch) then a massive row of vanity's on another switch (will leave that vanity switch alone).

This current switch for the 2 recessed cans will work perfect also powering the shower light/fan.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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adding new light, to existing switch


easiest way is to run a cable from new light to other light controlled by the desired switch. Later you would tie new cable into the same wires as the old light. we would be glad to help if you need more direct info on which wires
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:41 PM   #5
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that said we should probably ask some other questions, is the rating of the light/fan going to be too much for the circuit? we may need to have it GFI protected? is the fan rated to be install directly over the shower stall?
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:27 PM   #6
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adding new light, to existing switch


Cowboy, thanks for replying...

I have not purchased the light yet, so I will make sure its rated for shower use.

I am trying to get that electrical squared away so I can seal up that wall and get going on the shower work (laying the pan, hardieboard, WP membrane, etc...)


Can I do the preparation for the new light WITHOUT having the new light? I was assuming I could just splice in some romex wire to the wire LEAVING the switch that goes to that current existing light, tap into it, cap it off, wait till I am ready for new light?
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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adding new light, to existing switch


Pending answers to the questions of Saturday Cowboy, I would run a wire from the existing fixture box to the location of the new light/fan. Don't hook it to anything. When you add the new light/fixture, hopefully, you can find the wire.

Understand that when you flip the single switch, all lights and fans will come on. If you think there is any chance you will change your mind, now is the time to add wires for additional switches. Once the walls are closed up, it is much harder.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:15 PM   #8
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adding new light, to existing switch


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Originally Posted by Saturday Cowboy View Post
easiest way is to run a cable from new light to other light controlled by the desired switch. Later you would tie new cable into the same wires as the old light. we would be glad to help if you need more direct info on which wires
Except the power source hasn't been determined. If power is fed to the existing light this is OK but power may be in the switch box.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
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adding new light, to existing switch


Oberkc...

Good point, and I guess wouldn't be that hard to just add in an accompanying switch, so the 2 lights can be controlled separately...I mean, I want to add it on to a set that would go well for this area, but I guess would be nice to have ability to be separate.

And assuming I went that route, I knock out the SINGLE switch box, put in a new DOUBLE, wire it up, feed some new wire out for the NEW light that will get put it in later and good to go?


P.S. I didn't even think about the actual venting/duct needed for an exaust fan! ooops. Not even sure there is a route out for such a thing, have to investigate.

Last edited by stiksandstones; 02-20-2011 at 03:18 PM. Reason: ducting
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:22 PM   #10
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adding new light, to existing switch


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Except the power source hasn't been determined. If power is fed to the existing light this is OK but power may be in the switch box.
still ok. thats why i sugested it that way
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:26 PM   #11
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adding new light, to existing switch


So anyone-on the idea of putting in a new DOUBLE switch, separately powering the NEW fan/light and existing recessed can lights?...good idea right?

But the ventilation on the new fan light, there has to be some ducting/vent to the outside I'd imagine?
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by stiksandstones View Post
So anyone-on the idea of putting in a new DOUBLE switch, separately powering the NEW fan/light and existing recessed can lights?...good idea right?

But the ventilation on the new fan light, there has to be some ducting/vent to the outside I'd imagine?
Only you can tell us if it is a good idea, as that comes down to personal preference. It can be done safely either way.

Yes it has to be vented either out the roof or out the wall.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:17 PM   #13
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adding new light, to existing switch


I would recommend putting in a timer switch that just runs the fan and no other lights. This allows you to run the fan for a set period of time after a shower when you are no longer in the bathroom and don't need any lights on but still want to clear the air with the fan.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:00 PM   #14
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adding new light, to existing switch


Double switch? Do you mean that you would put a new double gang box where the curent box is or do you mean to put a single yoke double throw switch in? THe box you have in right now would not be big enough to add another cable into. Its not hard to take the old box out and replace with a bigger 2gang remodel box. I would vote for this so that you don't have the fan on every time you turn the can lights on. IMO
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:28 PM   #15
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adding new light, to existing switch


I'd consider a 3 gang switch box...one switch each for the lights and one for the fan. Gives you the most options for controlling the lights and fan, not to mention more room for wiring and timers. The 'skinny white wire' might be a phone line or t/stat wire....possibly used before...possibly for furture use...hard to say.

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