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Old 01-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #1
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Help wiring new bathroom fan/light/heater


So I have to say that I am somewhat of a novice when it comes to electrical work though I can do simple things like hooking up outlets but my project right now is pretty complicated and I'm not sure how to wire it correctly.

I am replacing an old fan/light in the bathroom with a fan/light/heater combo unit. I would like to set it up so that they each operate independent from each other as the old unit had only one switch that ran both the light and fan.

My first thought was that I could just swap out the old unit with the new one and maybe run a couple extra wires but that doesn't seem to be the case. First, I think I'm supposed to run a independent wire from the fuse box to the fan so that it is on it's own circuit. The problem with this is that the breaker is in the basement and the fan is in the attic so I'm not exactly sure how I'd get up there. Also, I realized that I have no idea how to wire this so it works how I want it to (3 separate switches).

I would greatly appreciate any help guide me through this process and keep in mind that I'm not very experienced with this type of stuff.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:48 AM   #2
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That type of fan requires its' own 20A circuit(#12) to the fan, w/ 4 wire switch loop, hot + 3 switched returns, 4 if there is a night lite option.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:17 AM   #3
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It is possible that the 3 functions of this unit can have their individual pullchain switch for selective control, all powered from a single 20a feed. If you require control from a wall-mounted switch, a wire from the high side of each function of the unit must be run to the switch, which preferably is a multiposition type (or 3 separate switches if you like). The returns of the fan, light, and heater are tied to the common neutral. If the existing feed is a 12AWG line, you are OK. However, depending on the total current requirement of the three functions and what else is on that feed, a 14AWG may be adequate (say, for 1600 watts total or less).
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:46 PM   #4
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Well I am hoping to have each function be controlled by a separate wall switch. My biggest problem is that right now the fan isn't wired to it's own circuit. It runs on the same breaker as the rest of the bathroom and the bedroom next to it. I think I might just try to hook up the light and fan now and wait to hook up the heater until I figure out a way to run a new circuit to the fan. As I said before the breaker is in the basement so I'm not sure how I'm going to get a new wire up to the attic
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:47 PM   #5
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The secret to running wires is knowing wood frame construction. And most important is knowing how to do drywall.

If you can tear out drywall, run wires, then replace the drywall, then you can do all sorts of stuff!

Home improvement stores have books on wood frame construction I think?

But you might find a more detailed one at a used bookstore. Or go watch them build a house somewhere. See how the walls are put up and the wires run.

Then they should have a book on drywall at a home improvement store. For this you can build your own little wall in your back yard, then get a sheet of drywall and practice placing two sheets on it. Then tape the seam between the sheets. And apply the mud several times as directed in the book. Then sand.

Then practice cutting out a hole from the center of one stud to the center of another stud, then replacing the cut out portion with a new piece of drywall. Then tape and apply the mud.

Or you can add a bit of 2 x 4 onto which you can screw the replacement drywall.

The tools and materials for drywall are cheap as compared with other around the home projects. Just takes a bit of practice is all.

Then when you are ready, get a book on home wiring and then I would suggest running 2 new 20 amp circuits to your bathroom. One for the outlet(s) and one for the fan/heater/light.

How to drywall - google...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...&oq=&aqi=g-c10

If they don't have the books you want, here are tons of construction books for all skill levels...
http://www.buildersbook.com
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