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Old 10-29-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
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bathroom light with fan and heater


How can I run a 3 way switch for the fan and light? I am running the heater to it's own switch but wanted the fan and light to be able to be turned on at 2 locations. Can this be done?

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Old 10-29-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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bathroom light with fan and heater


Do you want the fan and light to each have their own switch (so 4 switches total)? Or one switch at each location will turn both on or off at the same time (2 switches total)?

Either is possible if you run enough wires.

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Old 10-29-2010, 01:45 PM   #3
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bathroom light with fan and heater


1 switch to operate both. So I'll have 3 total switches.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:55 PM   #4
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bathroom light with fan and heater


Is it possible for you to run new wiring? Is this a remodel job?

The only issue I see is box fill - two 3-ways and a single pole is a lot of wires, but you may be ok.

Where does the power enter from the panel...at the fixture or at the current switch?
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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bathroom light with fan and heater


I can run the new wiring to the switches no problem. what I wanted to do was run the wire from the box to a junction box and split it then run it to the light. From there run to the switches. If it's not feesable to split the wire I still have room in the breaker box to run another wire.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:09 PM   #6
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bathroom light with fan and heater


Assuming your switches do NOT require neutrals, this is how I see it wired. It's late (and I'm tired) so hopefully one of the experts can chime in if there's an error. Also - I am pretty sure this is up to code, but I've never seen done what I drew in the last leg of the 3-ways (2-wire cable with each cable used as a switched hot for a different device)

Note that most of the white wires in the drawing are used as hot conductors, so you have to mark the ends of them with colored (black) stripes with a sharpie or tape. I also omitted all grounds for simplicity of the drawing. They would be connected to every switch, fixture and metallic box.

Assuming you are ok with box fill (you may NEED a 3-gang box for that first set of switches), you may be able to use a double-switch like this one for either your two 3-ways, or a single pole and a 3-way:

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Last edited by secutanudu; 10-29-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:30 AM   #7
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bathroom light with fan and heater


Thanks for the diagram, Secut. What the picture proposes is 5 switches total, and the heat has to be switched on for the fan or light to get power. I thought Abrite was describing one switch for the heat, one 3-way switch for the fan and light at one location, and one 3-way switch for the fan and light at a second location. 3 switches total. Do you want the fan and light always on together, Abrite?
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:08 PM   #8
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bathroom light with fan and heater


This could be totaly innacurate for Abrite's question. I don't know if the power comes in at the fixture or at a switch. Here's my first try at a diagram. You would need 3 wires between the fixture and the first switch.

Abrite, can you tell us how many wires are in the switch boxes now?
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Last edited by Lurlene; 10-30-2010 at 05:11 PM. Reason: add pic
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:57 PM   #9
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bathroom light with fan and heater


In fact, there is probably an easier way to wire it if you only want one switch. It's too late for me to look at Lurlene's diagram since I am half-asleep (again!) but on first glance it looks ok.

I am looking over my original drawing and there are definitely a couple of errors in it, so disregard it till I can do one when i'm not half asleep, sorry!
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Last edited by secutanudu; 10-31-2010 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:05 AM   #10
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bathroom light with fan and heater


I am replacing my bathroom vent that has a fan, heater, light and night light with a new very quiet Broan unit that does the same things. The switch has 2 toggle switches. One for fan and heat neutral position in the middle. The other toggle controls the light and night light.
I removed the old unit which had 5 wires coming from the unit. The wires coming from the wall up into attic consists of to lines. Line one has a black, red and white wire along with a copper ground. The other line has a white and black and ground. I got to the point where light, night light, heater was working with there respective switches. Tried to add the fan into the mix and messed the thing up. All the diagrams that come with the unit show both lines have 3 wires each. The one that seems to be the problem is the missing red wire. Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong? Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #11
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bathroom light with fan and heater


thank you everyone, I got it running. I just ran it the light and fan to one switch. I'll use the empty slot on other wall to run for the shower light. All's well that ends well! Thanks again.

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