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Old 10-02-2010, 02:06 AM   #1
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


In terms of household electrical wiring, all I know is how to connect a switch. I would like to move on to a small project I've been wanting to do for a while - wire the bathroom fan to its own switch.
  • With the Broan 679, am I able to separate the fan and the integrated light to their own switches?
  • If yes, I presume a three gang box similar to this could easily replace the current single gang box (gently pull out if secured with nails for minimal drywall repairs).
  • There are tiles around the area of the switch. Once those are off, I will use a key hole saw to enlarge the hole for the new box.
  • Running the wire from the attic to the switch. This to me is more difficult to predict. How easy will it be to run new wire through the wall? Will I need to drill holes at any point?
Being the first time, I imagine there will be hurdles. For that reason, I'm hoping you guys can help guide me to ensure a smooth installation. I will take lots of pics whenever possible.

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Old 10-02-2010, 06:08 AM   #2
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


Depending on your wiring method this should be fairly easy. The box you show is only for non-metallic cables.

If you cut the hole for the larger box you can remove the old box fairly easily normally. A Roto-zip with a carbide tile blade can cut the tile and the sheetrock or plaster without needing to remove the tile. Be sure to make sure there are no studs in the way so the box fits.

You will probably need to drill one hole at the top plate of the wall so the new cable can be installed. A 1/2" hole should be fine.

Most fan/lights have a separate receptacle for the fan and the light so switching these should be easy. You would wire one with the black and the other with the red of the new cable.

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Old 10-03-2010, 05:27 PM   #3
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


I'll be using the following Lutron timer and the appropriate 3-gang 2-toggle 1-decora wall plate.

Since the vanity lights and bathroom fan/light are currently wired to turn on at the same time, will one run of 14-3 wire be all I need for this purpose?

Last edited by argh; 10-03-2010 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


heres one for you, try this, they make stack switches double, triple,type that can fit inside of a single box with out tearing up the wall, they make 14-3 romex and 14-4 romex, youll need beaded chain(like the chain for bath stoppers the bigger type) tape it to end of the new romex and drop the chain thru the hole on the top plate and you should be able to see the box opening below thru the hole. Open up a new opening in that box and can land the beaded chain close to the new opening and by using a hook wire from some 14-2 snag the chain into the box. Provide the power down with the white wite, id'd with black tape for voltage. As no nuetral is needed for the switch. This should be a easier and cheaper way to make your fan separate for quiet time at the sink with your tooth brush.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:23 PM   #5
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


I've considered replacing just the current switch with one of those, but I wouldn't be able to have a timer. With this method, there is even the possibility of a dimmer for the bathroom fan light for nightlight purposes. Would a fiberglass rod work better for fishing the wire?
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


Quote:
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I've considered replacing just the current switch with one of those, but I wouldn't be able to have a timer. With this method, there is even the possibility of a dimmer for the bathroom fan light for nightlight purposes. Would a fiberglass rod work better for fishing the wire?
They make this one, dimmer/timer in one device. I used it for my bathroom, it works great:

http://www.mrsupply.com/lutron-maest...l3t251-wh.html

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Old 10-07-2010, 02:19 AM   #7
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


Unless they make one with three controls (can't imagine that being too easy to use in a bathroom), that won't work to control my vanity lights.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:43 AM   #8
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


So, you have 3 devices? Vanity light, other light, and fan?
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:56 AM   #9
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


Once you have the hole in the top plate you can just push the wire down into the cavity of the wall. No need for fish tape or rods.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:46 AM   #10
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


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Once you have the hole in the top plate you can just push the wire down into the cavity of the wall. No need for fish tape or rods.
Right - as long as you pull the wires through the hole before you put the box in (which is how you do old-work boxes)...the hole is big enough (even a single gang hole) to stick your fingers in and find the wire in the wall cavity.
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:38 AM   #11
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


I finally was able to start working on this today. The RotoZip made a perfect cut out of the tile & drywall for the three gang box. Haven't installed the replacement box yet because after removing the previous single gang new construction box, two nails remain firmly attached to the stud. What is the best way to remove these?
  • The single gang box had three cables coming in. Two blacks were connected through pigtail to the top screw and the third black to the bottom screw. Does this change my plan of running a new length of 14-3 from the bathroom fan/integrated light to the new switches?
  • Is there a proper method to feeding these wires - through the top or bottom punch outs - or is it dependent on personal preference?

Last edited by argh; 10-24-2010 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:01 AM   #12
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


You can cut the nails off with a handheld hacksaw blade or pull them out.

The two blacks together are power in and power out to another part of the circuit. the single black is the switch controlled hot to the fixture.

If you can keep all the cables coming into the same side of the box it is easier to get it into the wall cavity.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:53 AM   #13
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


Nails are out, but the box is not permanently attached yet. At the bathroom fan/integrated light, I connected red to blue, black to black, the three whites together, and ground to screw. Capped up the ends of the previous wire going to the fan. After finally finding a safe place to loop the wire down, I reconnected the first switch as it was before. All the whites were capped together and the ground wires (as it was before) twisted together in box. On the two new switches (toggle for now), one has the red and the other the black connected to the screw. Something seems incomplete.
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:38 AM   #14
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


Also, is there any reason I shouldn't just go ahead and get a timer that requires a neutral connection? Are they more future proof/robust for any changes to the bathroom fan?
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:14 PM   #15
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One step at a time - bathroom fan & light


bump.

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