exhaust fan wiring to two switches

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  #1  
Old 05-02-17, 06:58 AM
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exhaust fan wiring to two switches

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Hi all!

I took out a old bathroom exhaust fan and have the new one installed and ready to be wired. The old one was controlled with the same two separate wall switches, one for fan and one for light, with same existing wiring. The only thing changing is the exhaust fan.

As you can see from my crude pic there is 3 wall switches.
switch 1 When I flip this it turns on the vanity light which works fine. It also makes the black (hot) wire on B live.
Switch 2 When I flip this it makes the black (hot) wire on C live.

The first two wires on the fan are tagged "light". The other bottom three are tagged "power". Based on the pic how should I be wiring the new exhaust fan to those two cables?
 

Last edited by jaybot; 05-02-17 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 05-02-17, 04:11 PM
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The red/white pair on the exhaust fan will connect to the cable from switch 3: red to black, white to white. The black/white/green trio on the exhaust fan will connect to the cable from switch 2: black to black, white to white, green to copper wire. The copper wire on the cable from switch 2 will also connect to exhaust fan green wire.
From your description, the vanity light must be on for the exhaust fan to turn on and additionally the exhaust fan switch must be on for the exhaust fan light to turn on. Also the vanity light switch will turn everything off if they were on. If you are satisfied, forget the following.
Usually each switch gets its own power so it can work independently. All you need to do is move the wire powering switch 2 to the input side of switch 1 and the wire powering switch 3 to the input side of switch 2.
 
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Old 05-02-17, 06:45 PM
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OK so thats the way I had the fan wired before I undid it. Good to know I had it correct. Thanks for that!

When I had it wired that way switch 1 turned on the vanity light AND the fan. Switch 2 turned on the fan light. Switch 3 did nothing. I want them to all be separately powered so something must not be right at the switch level. Ill have to take them out and review them now. I believe all three are just single pole switches from home depot. Two screws on one side with some back stabs. Do single pole switches have a input and output?
 
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Old 05-02-17, 08:41 PM
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When you wire three switches...... the hot wire should be spliced with three short tails of wire.
In this manner there would be one hot wire on each switch.

What was done in your case was the hot wire was run to switch 1. Then a piece of wire was more than likely stuck in the back of the switch to power the other two switches or at least the center switch.

That loop or jumper from switch 1 to switch 2 is connected to the wrong terminal at switch 1.
 
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Old 05-20-17, 04:37 PM
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I was finally going to wire in the fan today and I did some more testing and realize something that probably changes this.

Switch 1 When I flip this it turns on the vanity light which works fine. It also makes the black (hot) wire on B live.
Switch 2 When I flip this it makes the black (hot) wire on C live.
Switch 3 When I flip this it makes the white wire on C live.

Each switch is independent of each other in the way that if i have 1 and 2 off but 3 on it still makes the white on C live. If I have 1 and 3 off and 2 on the black on C is live.
 
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Old 05-20-17, 05:18 PM
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If you used a non contact tester your readings are meaningless.
 
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Old 05-20-17, 05:49 PM
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No, I only use contact testers.
 
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Old 05-20-17, 08:54 PM
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It was wired wrong to begin with as Pete explained in his post. Did you pigtail the power in black to all the switches? Are you sure you used the correct 2-conductor cable as power in?

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Last edited by ray2047; 05-20-17 at 09:22 PM.
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