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Old 01-13-2008, 10:36 PM   #1
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exhaust fan wiring question (aluminum wire)


In my bathroom i currently only have a light. I bought a light / exhaust fan combo and was wondering on how to wire it. I have aluminum wiring currently. what is the best / safest way to go about this? Thanks

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Old 01-14-2008, 12:03 AM   #2
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exhaust fan wiring question (aluminum wire)


Get some connectors designed to connect a copper wire with an aluminum wire. They might resemble wire nuts with a jelly like material inside. I think they are referred to either as COALR or CUAL.

If the light and fan unit has a pull chain switch built in, optionally you can connect it up so the light comes on whenever the wall switch is turned on but both the wall switch and the pull chain switch have to be on for the fan to be on. This is accomplished by connecting the light black lead, the black lead from the wall switch, and one lead from the pull chain switch with a copper-aluminum connector. Connect the fan black to the other lead of the pull chain switch only, using a regular wire nut since there is no aluminum wire in this joint.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 01-14-2008 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:13 AM   #3
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exhaust fan wiring question (aluminum wire)


There is no pull chain. You can wire to either have the fan seperate than the light or both on one switch. So you recommend leaving the aluminum and connecting it to copper for the fan/light connection? Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:16 AM   #4
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exhaust fan wiring question (aluminum wire)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sflamedic View Post
You can wire to either have the fan seperate than the light.
While the fan is wired this way you cannot use it seperately unless you have seperate switches and wiring to support two circuits from the switchbox to the fan/light. I had to do this in my bathroom- the line power came into the switchbox on the wall- I needed to rewire from that box up to the fanlight. Fortunately it wasn't too dificult just using 14-3 between the two boxes and adding a duplex switch in place of the original wall switch. In any case you do have to use the proper connectors for copper/aluminum though.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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exhaust fan wiring question (aluminum wire)


If you have to run a new separate cable to provide a second switched power source for the fan, that will be copper so there will be a copper-aluminum joint down in the switch box requiring a COALR connector there. Actually two since the neutral in the new cable should be tied to the neutral in the switch box and also to the neutral for what it serves in the light/fan unit. The old aluminum neutral remains in use if any hot conductor in that cable remains in use.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-14-2008 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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exhaust fan wiring question (aluminum wire)


Aluminum is not allowed today, but was in the past. You are not required to replace the aluminum wire. But, you must, as said above, use the proper connectors. Take a look at these connectors. Try to find them or similar. This type of connector keeps the AL and CU wires seperated and provides a great connection. I don't like the wirenut type. But that's just my humble opinion.. http://www.alcopstore.com/
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:41 PM   #7
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exhaust fan wiring question (aluminum wire)


I have seen these in Lowes recently

2 connectors were about $5.00 per package by Alumiconn.

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Last edited by handyman78; 01-15-2008 at 02:39 PM.
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