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Old 12-31-2013, 04:22 PM   #1
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Hello,

I am trying to add a second switch next to my current bathroom switch.

I understand about making a pig tail and the basics of how to connect it, but the problem is:

When I opened up the switch, there was two black wires, and that's it. No white, no ground.

Is this some type of old wiring system? The house was built in the 50s.

Is there any way I can still wire this exhaust fan and switch?

Also, any tips on fishing the wire? I have a telescopic pole that you gradually twist together to add length. It seem to be a very difficult place to run wire to.

I thought about attaching the new wire at the bottom, and then pulling the old wire up, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to get the old wire back down, it's very stiff and damn near impossible to pull up in the first place.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 12-31-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


First tell us where you are located.

What you have is a switch loop. You will have to add wires in any scenario.

Then: what is the wiring method? conduit? non metallic cable, metallic, sheathed cable, knob & tube?

Show us a pix of the box and switch.

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Old 12-31-2013, 05:48 PM   #3
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


If the wiring is ungrounded it should not be extended.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


If there are only two wires ?
Chances are it is a switch loop !
That means there is NO neutral.
So you cannot put a fan in here, unless you run a neutral line.
Probably best to take power from the light fitting,
As there will be a neutral there !

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Old 01-01-2014, 10:21 AM   #5
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


It's a wood frame house in Indiana, built around 1955.

The wire appears very old and wrapped in cloth or some type of thread.

It has the flexible metal conduit on the entire length of it basically.

I have wired up the light and I didn't see any neutrals, just two black wires.

Again, my goal is to wire up another switch and have a new exhaust fan on that switch.

The problem is, how do I hook up the neutral and ground?

I wonder how easy it would be to just wire up a new circuit. I have enough 14/2 romex for the job.

The circuit breaker box is in the basement.

Last edited by areaman; 01-01-2014 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:40 AM   #6
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Run a new power source to the new light and switch.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:35 PM   #7
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Wire from the breaker to the switch box. Replace single gang box with a 2 gang(for 2 switches). Run from 1 switch to the new fan and from the otber switch to the light. Disconnect and abandon old wiring.

The problem using #14 is you can nott have bath receptacles on a 15 amp circuit. I would use #12 on a 20 amp breaker and rewire the bath receptacle. Add GFCI also.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:18 PM   #8
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


We need a location. I Canada you can have bathroom on 15 amp circuits.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:48 PM   #9
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Quote:
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We need a location. I Canada you can have bathroom on 15 amp circuits.
Post #5 says he is in Indiana.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:21 PM   #10
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Also he wants to add a new switch to a new fan (thread title), not a receptacle.
14/2 and 15A are fine for this.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:43 PM   #11
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Also he wants to add a new switch to a new fan (thread title), not a receptacle.
14/2 and 15A are fine for this.
I realize the poster only asked about a fan and light. My suggestion was to bring the bath up to current code and add modern safety features.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:22 AM   #12
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Re-wiring sounds like a good idea. I'll just have to figure out how to run the new cable up to the attic.

Okay, so 12/2 needs to be used for re-wiring? That's fine with me.

I already put the two gang box in and had to use a jig saw to cut out the old single gang box and made a mess of the drywall.

The 2 gang box doesn't fit snugly ino the drywall--so that's going to be a whole other project in itself. I think I'm gonna half to cut out a large section of the drywall and put in a new one using drywall clips.

Thanks for the help.

I'll do my research on running new wiring from a currently unused circuit, but any tips you have would be great.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:31 AM   #13
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wiring new exhaust fan and switch from current switch--two black wires only at switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by areaman View Post
Re-wiring sounds like a good idea. I'll just have to figure out how to run the new cable up to the attic.

Okay, so 12/2 needs to be used for re-wiring? That's fine with me.

I already put the two gang box in and had to use a jig saw to cut out the old single gang box and made a mess of the drywall.

The 2 gang box doesn't fit snugly ino the drywall--so that's going to be a whole other project in itself. I think I'm gonna half to cut out a large section of the drywall and put in a new one using drywall clips.

Thanks for the help.

I'll do my research on running new wiring from a currently unused circuit, but any tips you have would be great.

#12 is only required if you are replacing the receptacle(s). But it is a good idea.

If you are cutting open the drywall, use a new work nail on box.

To get a wire from the basement to the attic, look for an opening around a chimney or the plumbing stack.

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