Installing Switches For Fan And Light On One Electrical Line - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 08-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
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Installing switches for fan and light on one electrical line

I want to have two separate switches to turn on a light and a fan. The wiring is one line, which had a wall plug from the fluorescent light. Is is posslble to use this one line with two switches to operate the light and a separate fan? If so, how should it be wired?


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Old 08-25-2011, 08:22 PM   #2
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You need a 14/3 or 12/3 wire/cable, depends on the breaker, to the existing box you want to install the fan on.

Box must be fan rated or fan independently supported.

If box is fan rated or fan is independently supported a remote switched may work with existing wire.


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Old 08-26-2011, 04:50 AM   #3
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I believe it's possible with 3-wire cable with ground that Code05 refers to. If it's a non-metallic cable and you don't see a red wire, chances are you have a 2-wire cable with ground. The wiring scheme depends on whether the power enters at the switch box or at the light.

If at the switch I *believe* you would probably see a 2-wire cable coming in on the line side and a 3-wire cable going to the fan. In this case, I *think* you could wire nut the white from the line side and the white to the fan together. Connect the black wire from the line side to both switches via a pigtail. Connect the black wire leaving to the fan to one switch and the red wire to the other switch. At the fan, connect incoming black wire to the fan, the red wire to the lights (or vice versa) and the white wire to both via pigtail. Pigtail grounds in all boxes via grounding screws or approved clips and connect to the fan's ground.

Please, for the love of God, let somebody more experience confirm that is safe before trying it.

If you don't have a 3-wire cable running from the switch to the light, then you have a few choices. You can replace the 2-wire with 3-wire, or run a second 2-wire and pigtail at the switch, or use a remote control unit. In the case of the remote, you'd connect incoming power on one side of the unit, then connect the fan and light seperately on the other side. Because the unit switches the light and fan, the wall switch would turn off both simuntaneously (but not necesarily turn both on without use of the remote).

If power is at the light/fan, well... then we have an entirely different situation.
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