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Old 03-06-2010, 03:22 PM   #1
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installing new bathroom exhaust, need help


I'm in the process of installing a new bathroom exhaust fan, to replace my old one. The new fan has a light, a fan and a heater, my old unit only had a light and a fan. The current box has two switches in it, I need to add a third to control the third function of the new fan. I ran a new wire down the wall to the box so that I can connect the switch. I know I need to pigtail the hot wire at the box to all three switches and I now have three wires plus ground for the switches. Red, White Blue and Black, plus ground, my issue is I don't know how to hook everything up at the unit.

The current power wire running through the attic is a three wire, it has white, red and black, plus ground. I know I can pigtail the red wire, which is currently controlling the light to the new blue wire I just installed, but then won't the heater only work if the light is on? This isn't that big of a deal, but there's no sense in having three switches if only two of them actually work. Is there any way to hook this up correctly without running a new power line all the way up to the attic, or replacing the current power line with a 4 wire?

There are no other power wires I can tie into near where I am working. I live in a five level split, and this section of the attic only has the two lines running through it, one is power for the light/fan, the other is the switches.

I'm completely new to all things electrical, so any help would be appreciated.

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Old 03-06-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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installing new bathroom exhaust, need help


Did you not get a book with the unit when you purchased it? This would be the little 8x11 page that shows how to hook it up.

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Old 03-06-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
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Sarcasm noted, but standard paper size is 8.5"x11", the book that came with it is for a model that I did not purchase, IE the wrong book. When I looked up the wiring guide for my model online the wire guide clearly shows it being wired with four wires from the box, as I said, I have three, and added one, but want to know what I can do about getting power to the new line.

/edit

Also, the wire guide assumes that my set up is power-switch-unit. My setup has power and switches coming into the unit seperately. the power comes in from into the unit from one side of the attic, then a seperate line runs from the unit down to the switches, which makes figuring it out even more difficult.

Last edited by sugarbear; 03-06-2010 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:13 PM   #4
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installing new bathroom exhaust, need help


Be careful that the new heater doesn't overload the circuit.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
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installing new bathroom exhaust, need help


good point, I actually didn't think about that, well, I gotta get it hooked up anyway, I think it should be ok, it's the only thing on the circuit and I would only ever run two items at once, since it's silly to have the fan suck up the hot air.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:13 PM   #6
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Assuming I understand your set up I'll give it a shot. Two wire power cable enters the unit along with three wire cable which goes to the switch box in the wall. Additional two wire cable added between wall switch and unit.

White wire from power cable gets wire nutted to all of the white wires of the unit. Black wire gets wire nutted to the white wire of the three wire cable, sending power down to the switch box. This wire should be reidentified at the switch box as a hot wire by tape or magic marker. This wire the is attached to the switch. That leaves four wires in the switch box, black, red, of the three wire, and black white of the two wire. Use three of these wires black, red, and black to send power from switch/switches up to unit. Each one of thes wires is connected to one of the remaining three wires inn the unit. The remain white wire from switch to unit is unused.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:18 PM   #7
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very nice, I'm heading back into the attic monday to try to get it installed, if anything is different than the setup you mentioned and I don't know it, I'll update my post, otherwise VERY APPRECIATED!
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:25 AM   #8
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In order to control light, heater, and fan separately using wall switches, you need four wires between switches and fan unit, at least three of them non-white. No way around that.

The power feed from the breaker panel needs only two wires whether it goes to the fan box or to the switch box.

>>> suck up the hot air

You can do a switch setup so the fan and the heater cannot be on at the same time but you would still need three switches and four wires up to the fan unit. (A regular switch for the light, a regular switch for the fan or heater, and a single 3 way switch to select fan or heater. Connect the regular switch for fan or heater to the common terminal of the three way switch.)

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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-07-2010 at 12:43 AM.
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