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Old 01-20-2013, 03:32 AM   #1
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Exhaust fan/light from single switch to dual: HELP


I am trying to split my exhaust fan and light in my bathroom from one switch to two separate switch. I purchased a Combination two switches, I am just not sure about the wiring.. what goes where.

I plan on using existing wire.. otherwise I will abandon this project, it is in an apartment complex and not worth the added effort. There are a lot of wires in the gang box..

I tried to connect them how I thought it would work with no affect. There are three bundles of wire.. what seems to be black, tan, and white in each bundle. The tan and white wires are all tied together and capped off. Two black wires were originally bridged together and then connected into the single switch. The last black wire, which i assume is the "common". What I tried to do, assuming a SINGLE LING HOT was split the two bridged black wires into each pole of the new combination two switch i bought and the single black wire to the bridged common.

The result is one switch turns both of them on again and the other switch does nothing. Ideas? Mind you these are older wires and colors might not be correct.. but I matched them properly.

Also this is not a exhaust fan/light combo, separate fixtures with separate wiring to gang box. Thanks in advance, if you need more depth/detail let me know.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:39 AM   #2
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Exhaust fan/light from single switch to dual: HELP


You should not be doing this work in an apartment, it is the owners responsibility.

This cannot be done without adding additional wiring.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:34 AM   #3
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Exhaust fan/light from single switch to dual: HELP


The existing wiring will not allow you to do what you would like to do without pulling a second switch leg from the switch box to the fan/light.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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Exhaust fan/light from single switch to dual: HELP


@ryowens,

I just finished doing exactly what you are hoping to accomplish, in my case, the exhaust fan was wired to the vanity light, so basically the power was supplied from a outlet, to the bathroom light switch, from the light switch to the vanity light, from the vanity light to the exhaust fan. I chose to remove the existing single gang switch box and replace it with a double gang old work box, having two separate single pole switches, one to operate the light, one to operate the fan. In order to work, it meant removing the supply wire to the fan (all done in the attic) and terminating it in a junction box. I then had to run a new wire from the double gang switch box in the bathroom, to the fan. The second switch for the fan receives the power from the first (or original) switch in the box. I chose to replace the box with a double v.s using the existing single gang box because it makes it easier running a new wire down the wall from the attic, eliminating the hassle of trying to fish the wire into the existing single gang box, good luck doing that, unless you plan on cutting out some drywall above the box to be able to reach in the wall and assist the wire into the box. I might mention I also disconnected the original wire in the light fixture jct box going to the fan, just so the wire was not live in the attic.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #5
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Exhaust fan/light from single switch to dual: HELP


Sounds like more effort than I or the APT complex would want me to put into it.. it is one of those things that really makes me want to be a homeowner soon.. alas thanks for the input @fltdek.

What I think I want to try next is just replacing the old exhaust fan with a more efficient, and more importantly, quieter replacement. (other than it being annoying that a single switch operates both.. it the the loud noise that is really driving my efforts for this fix) The exhaust fan is louder than the washing machine and you can hear no one if you are near.. well at least clearly.

I assume if I buy a new exhaust and it would be a simple replacement of the existing wires and my life would be much happier,
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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Exhaust fan/light from single switch to dual: HELP


Quote:
Originally Posted by ryowens View Post
What I think I want to try next is just replacing the old exhaust fan with a more efficient, and more importantly, quieter replacement. (other than it being annoying that a single switch operates both.. it the the loud noise that is really driving my efforts for this fix) The exhaust fan is louder than the washing machine and you can hear no one if you are near.. well at least clearly.

I assume if I buy a new exhaust and it would be a simple replacement of the existing wires and my life would be much happier,
Im not certain where you are located, by our local Home Depot had bath fans made by Nutone on clearance tables, the one I looked at particulary was a .85 sone/80cfm marked down to 67 dollars, originally $97 (without light)

and had a couple other ones with lights for right around $100.

I would think though most apt complexes probably keep one or two on hand, talk to your maintenance people, maybe they can help you out- its worth a try! Good luck.
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