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Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Light Electrical Wiring

How to Wire a Switch for Bath Exhaust Fan and Light: I have a new bathroom exhaust fan heater light to install in place of an old one and wire the switches.

Switch Wiring for Bath Fan and Light
Electrical Question: I have a new bathroom exhaust fan heater light to install in place of an old one and wire the switches.

This electrical wiring question came from: James , a Homeowner from Laramie, Wyoming.

Additional Comments: I like the website. Lots of useful and helpful information for a guy with limited knowledge about these things 🙂

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question James.

How to Wire a Switch for Bath Exhaust Fan and Light


wiring a bath exhaust fan and light

Application: Wiring a Switch for a Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Light.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced, best installed by a licensed electrical contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the access to the wiring for the wall switch for the exhaust fan and if a larger switch box will be required.
Precaution: The combo bathroom exhaust fan circuit should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged with a Note before working with the wiring and installing the fan speed switch.
Notice: Modifying existing wiring or installing additional bathroom electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

How to Wire Switches for an Exhaust Fan


More about Wiring a Bath Exhaust Fan and Light

Bathroom Electrical Wiring

Wiring diagrams
Electrical Wiring Diagrams
Home electrical wiring diagrams are an important tool for completing your electrical projects. An electrical wiring diagram can be as simple as a diagram showing how to install a new switch in your hallway, or as complex as the complete electrical blueprint for your new home or home improvement project.

Wiring Diagram Directory
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Wiring Diagrams Directory

How to Install Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Bathroom Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

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NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Light Electrical Wiring”
  1. mike says:

    I have an existing bathroom fan{only}I took it out to clean but now i cant figure out how to wire it back up ..no ground on the power side just black and white same on the fan and wire going to the switch,when i put the 3 black wires together and then the white ones the fan always runs what am i missing? Thank you.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Mike,
      From what you have described, one set of black and white wires are most likely the wires used for switching. To fix this problem both sets of wires need to be identified as the incoming power, and the switched wires. The black wire of the incoming power is then connected to the other wires which will got down to the switch and back up. Connect the wiring accordingly. The white neutral of the power source connects directly to the white neutral wire of the bathroom fan. Keep in mind that the wires used for the switch just creates a loop where the switch is in the middle.
      I hope this helps,

  2. Pat Beck says:

    I have 2 switches to control my light and bathroom fan. The light is the red feed.
    The new fixture, fan/light combo, has a capacitor red from motor-cap; capacitor out is black to white at motor
    also from motor is a white to light & black to black light

    How do I connect my w/b/red from my switches?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Pat,
      Quite honestly I would look at the wiring diagram that came with the new unit. I rarely have seen a bathroom exhaust fan with a cap, and if so they are pre-wired or connected where the only leads left were the 120 volt line connections.

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