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Help How to Wire Bathroom "Fan Heater Light Night-light" unit, and questions

38759 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DCFear
Help How to Wire Bathroom "Fan Heater Light Night-light" unit, and questions


(First, please be patient with my questions. I have done some basic home wiring repair, and also I do this by the philosophy that with anything electrical, ask even the stupidist questions. Thanks!)

I purchased a Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm bathroom fan, I can't wait to have it hooked up. Now, I have it mounted in my cieling, and I have ran 12/2 wiring from the panel to my attic. My questions are about how to wire this unit up, performing this to code, etc.

To help you answer my questions, here is a link to the operating manual for the VHL2, which has a "Wiring Diagram" that unfortunatelly only goes as far as the unit itself.

First lets get this question out of the way. The manual says not to be used with solid state controls, ; may cause harmonic distortion and damage fan

Q: What is a solid state control? I have bought 2 electronic timers by Woods (see below), are these solid state, and will they shorten the life of my new expensive fan?

Q: Use on on a 20 ampere branch circuit - What does "branch circuit" mean? I have ran a single 12/2 from my panel for this project.

Q: Does 20 amp mean that I'll have to combine two 15 ampere spots on my panel with a 20ampere breaker?

CD500/CD600 Countdown Electronic Timers
CD500-30 minute settings
CD600-60 minute settings
• Simple push button activation
• Illuminated time indicator with 5-10-15-30 minute time ranges
• Silent operation
• Automatically turns off bathroom fans, lights, ventilators and more
• AC 120V/60Hz, 15A/1800W Resistive, 8.3A/1000W Tungsten,1/4 HP
Note: Wall plate not included. Resistive is the rating for appliances.

Q: For code, does the heater gang box need to be completely separate from the others? A contractor in HomeDepot mentioned this...

I really could use a ncie flow chart to describe exactly how to wire this unit, which I have not found from any forum yet!

1. a single 12/2 comes in

Q: Which box does the 12/2 first go into, the heater box or the triple box?

1. vanity light (has own circuit)
2. fan light
2a. fan night light
3. fan timer
4. heater timer (separate box)

Okay, sorry about the messy switches drawing, but my mind works in images, hence my desire for a wiring flow chart. Hopefully this post helps others as well...

Q: Does the 12/2 FIRST go into the heater gang box? And then get spliced with a Black wire going to the heater, and a black wire going to the triple gang box?

This all has to be on a dedicated circuit, so the vanity wiring remains completely separate on a different circuit, yet:

Q: is it against code to have 2 different circuit breaker wires in one gang box? (in the triple box) (the vanity circuit and the heater circuit)

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Awesome reply, thank you! I love this site already, I've been waiting for days for a decent reply on another site!

Q: Will it violate code if I have the heater timer switch in the same gang box, as the fan, light, and night light?

Q: Is plastic better than metal for the gang box? I will try go find one ASAP at HomeDepot.

Q: Again regarding code: Can I leave the 12/2 laying loose in my attic, or does it have to be fixed with those wire staples? (sorry, not sure what they're called)

Q: One more question, is it safe to put a sliding dimmer in the Bathroom for the vanity lights?

The VHL2 manual shows a picture of all 4 switches for this unit together in a double gang box ... so one would think Panasonic wouldn't suggest breaking code - right?

Thanks again! I hope that's it for the questions..
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Just an update, and to check that what I've done is okay.

12/2 into junction box.

- black wire pigtailed to two black wires:
  • 1st pigtailed black wire goes to light & night night combo switch.

  • 2nd pigtailed black wire goes to black leads on both fan timer and heater timer.

- white wire - pigtailed 4 times:
  • to the two white wires from two 12/3's going to device
  • also pigtailed to the white wires from the timers

Basically - all the whites are in contact with eachother...

The black wires on the timers are only 14 guage. I already asked, but just to make sure my i's are dotted (so to speak), once again:

Will 14 guage wiring in the timer - hinder the heater performance, which requires 12 guage wiring?

thanks again!

(And WOW, why do they make gang boxes so shallow, when the walls are typically thicker from drywall to drywall anyways!?! Let me guess - that's the way it's always been done. I could not find a PVC 4 gang receptacle (for greater depth), so I'm stuck trying to fit one 12/2 and two 12/3's along with 3 14/3 into one 4 gang metal box. )
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Both major hardware stores here in Canada, HomeDepot and Rona, both do not carry plastic boxes larger than 3 gang.

I'll hunt down a dedicated electrical supply store as PaliBob suggested - if I have trouble, but hopefully with immaculate attention to the placment of these wires, I'll give it a try first.

I'm guessing the safety risk is in the folding, pinching, and unravelling of the wire caps?

But yes, you did tell me so. ;)

By the way, is "code" different in Canada from the US?
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