Switch Wiring for a Bath Exhaust Fan
How to Wire a Single Switch for a Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Understanding Switch Wiring for a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Exhaust Fan Switch
Electrical Question: How can I wire a single switch for a bathroom exhaust fan?
- I just removed a recessed light from above my shower. It had three sets of wires connected. One coming from breaker, one to switch and I am not sure where the other goes. The wires were all live when I had them apart.
- I put in a Light and Vent Exhaust Fan Combo. I couldn’t fit all the wires back in so I tried a junction.
- I connected the original three wires to a new wire. I then ran the new wire to the fan. It was working until I turned off the switch in the bathroom. It sparked and threw the breaker.
- Now the Breaker trips every time I try to reset it. Do I possibly have too much connected?
- All I added was the new wire so that I didn’t have to connect them all to the vent fan like they were with the recessed light. The home was built in 1985.
This electrical wiring question came from: James, a Homeowner from California.
Additional Comments: Very Helpful
Thanks for your Electrical Wiring Question James.
Wiring a Switch for a Bath Exhaust Fan
Application: Wiring a Switch for an Exhaust Fan.
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 switch wiring.
Precaution: The exhaust fan circuit should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged with a Note before working with the wiring and installing the switch.
Understanding Switch Wiring for a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
James, if you have connected all of the three cable wires color to color, then you have created a dead short at the wall switch for the exhaust fan.
- From what you have described, this may be the wiring designations for the cables:
- Cable for Power In – from the circuit breaker.
- Cable for Power Out – to provide power to other devices on the circuit.
- Cable for Switch Control – to the wall switch.
How to Wire a Single Switch for a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
- The key here is to identify the cable that is used for the wall switch, which will basically be a loop from the source power to the switch and then back up to the bath exhaust fan.
- When a 2-wire cable is used for a switch, the white wire is marked with black electrical tape to indicate that it is not being used as a neutral wire. So this cable is the loop from the source of power, to the switch, then through the switch, then back up where it will be connected to the black wire of the exhaust fan.
- The white neutral wires of the bath exhaust fan are connected to the white neutral wires of the power source cables.
More about Wiring a Switch for an Exhaust Fan
- How to Install Bathroom Electrical Wiring
How to Install and Wire a Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Pictures and Step-By-Step Instructions to Guide You.
How to Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
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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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