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Old 03-02-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


I had an existing bathroom light and fan that was controlled independently by two switches. The fan went bad, so I am replacing it. I got up to the attic, and found that the only wire coming into the unit was a single 14/2 wire. How is this possible? Did they make both legs hot and use the ground as a neutral? Unfortunately, this unit was very old, and if it had color or markings on the wires inside the unit at any point, it was no longer visible (they all look white and grey to me), so I am a little fuzzy on what was connected to what inside the box.

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Old 03-02-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


That's not possible. Unless someone was stupid enough to use the ground as a neutral. If so, rewire it properly with either one switch or add a new wire.

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


Were the fan and light all part of one unit? Also for reference see below
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches-romex-vs-wire.jpg  
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #4
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


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Were the fan and light all part of one unit? Also for reference see below
Yes, one unit.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


What is the bare ground of the cable hooked up to??
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:40 PM   #6
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


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What is the bare ground of the cable hooked up to??
Well, nothing now. But when I took the unit out, I'm pretty sure it was only connected to another ground inside the unit. Since I didn't take a picture, I'm not 100% certain about that.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:59 PM   #7
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


Confirmed, they used the ground as their neutral. Crap. Was that ever considered "acceptable"? This house was built in 1981, although, I doubt this light/fan unit is that old. I'm guessing this was just laziness by whoever installed it.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


I don't think that type of situation would have ever been legal.

Probably they wanted to install both a light and fan and didn't want to run a new cable.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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Bathroom light/fan on 14/2 with two switches


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Originally Posted by Kyle_in_rure View Post
Probably they wanted to install both a light and fan and didn't want to run a new cable.
Yep, and since they didn't want to, now I have to. It's not in the worst spot, but it's still kind of a PITA.

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