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Switching a Bathroom Fan and Light Separately


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire Your Bathroom so the Lights and Fan are on Separate Switches – The key factor is to understand where the power source enters the circuit – The power source will either enter at the switch box or up at the light fixture or the exhaust fan.


Electrical Wiring for a Bathroom Light and Exhaust Fan

I have a two switches and I’m trying to setup up the bathroom so the lights and fan don’t have to be on at the same time.

  • There is an orange and white wire coming from one side which I believe is for the light and then a black and white Romex from where the old fan used to be.
  • Basically I want to turn it into a a separate feed.
  • Do you have any advice for me?

Thank for your time.

This electrical wiring question came from: Kyle, a Handyman from Minnesota
Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Kyle.

How to Wire Your Bathroom so the Lights and Fan are on Separate Switches

  • The electrical wiring forĀ  separate switching of the bathroom exhaust fan and the light fixture will require identifying the existing circuit and existing switch wiring.
  • The key factor is to understand where the power source enters the circuit.
  • The power source will either enter at the switch box or up at the light fixture or the exhaust fan.
  • A separate cable will need to be installed from the wall switch box to the junction location where the wiring is located for the exhaust fan and the light.
  • The wiring will need to be reconfiguration to allow routing the power through the new switch and then to the device to be switched separately.
  • Identifying the existing wiring is essential in order for the details to be clarified.

The Following will assist you with your Bathroom Switches

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One Response to “Switching a Bathroom Fan and Light Separately”
  1. John says:

    I am replacing a broken exhaust fan and light combo in a bathroom. The fan and light were controlled by separate switches and I want to keep it that way. At the fixture, there is a 2 wire Romex and a 3 wire Romex. I am assuming that this means that the switches are at the end of the run. On the new fixture, the wiring from the fan has a white and black wire, and the same for the wiring to the light. How do I connect this construct? Thank you


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