How to Wire a Bath Exhaust Fan and Light
Installing and Wiring a Bath Exhaust Fan and Light: Power Sources for a Bath Exhaust Fan and Light, Power From a GFCI Outlet, Junction Box Wiring.
Installing and Wiring a Bath Exhaust Fan and Light
Electrical Question: After my bathroom addition was rough wired and before the insulation was done I decided to add a ceiling fan and light to be controlled with separate switches in place of a simple light fixture.
- Removing Existing Wiring
I removed the 2 wire with ground from the switch to fixture and replaced it with a 3 wire with a ground wire.
- Junction Box Wiring for the Switch
The box these wires came out of had a 3 wire w/ground coming in from the other switch that was also to control the light via a 3 way switch.
- Checking the Power Source
When it came time to finish wire I realized I had no constant power into this box making it impossible to control the fan separate from the light so I tapped into the outlet circuit that was right under the switch box to supply a constant power source for the bath exhaust fan.
- GFCI Outlet Circuit
The problem is that the circuit is GFCI protected because it supplies power to outlets near the sink. Now when I energize the fan it trips the GFCI outlet.
What can I do?
This home electrical repairs question came from: Mike, from Darke County , Ohio.
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Mike.
Application: Wiring a Bath Exhaust Fan.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the bathroom remodel project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the installation of new construction materials should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged.
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.
Wiring a Bath Exhaust Fan and Light
- Power Sources for a Bath Exhaust Fan and Light
The scenario described in this question prevents using the existing light switch wiring because the 3-way switch wiring does not provide the necessary neutral with the light circuit power source.
- Power From a GFCI Outlet
Using the GFCI outlet circuit as the power source will work for the bathroom exhaust fan but make sure you are using the GFCI circuit power source only and not intermixing with any wiring from the existing light circuit wiring.
- Wiring into a GFCI
Tapping into the GFCI outlet circuit should be done inside the GFCI outlet box, this way you would have the option to connect to the LINE or the LOAD side of the GFCI to provide GFCI protected or non GFCI protection, depending on the location of the bath exhaust fan in relationship to the tub or shower.
More about Wiring Bath Exhaust Fans
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Testers to Help Solve Electrical Problems
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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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