Wiring Exhaust Fan


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Old 11-04-16, 09:03 PM
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Unhappy Wiring Exhaust Fan

Hi all -

I'm replacing an exhaust fan/light in a bathroom extension with no attic (roof immediately above). I bought a Panasonic retrofit fan (WhisperFitEZ) and everything is good on the mechanical side. However I realized after expanding the hole and removing the old fan that the new junction box is on the opposite side from the old one, so the existing wiring will not reach.

To add a minor complication, we have a second light directly over the shower (about 3' away) which connected in the old fan's JB. The 14/2 for light 2 is just fished across the ceiling, so I could pretty easily run new, longer cable there, but I don't think I can replace the 14/3 cable from the switch without opening the wall.

What are my options for compliance here? Do I have to put a new JB with cover plate on the ceiling? The fan's JB is external to the housing, so you have to remove the fan to access those splices; does that mean that another splice in a box hidden in the ceiling next to the fan would be considered equally "accessible"?

Thanks,
-Mark
 
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Old 11-05-16, 04:56 AM
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No junction box can be "hidden" in the ceiling. It must remain exposed. Can the unit not be rotated to where the jbox is closer to the wiring? Will that hamper the exhaust hose? Tyco makes a splice kit that can be embedded in a closed area. It is code compliant, but some don't like them. I have used them under modular homes to tie the two halves together, but never in a wall. It may help with your problem. Tyco Electronics Romex Splice Kit 2 Wire, 1/Clam-CPGI-1116377-2 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 11-05-16, 05:43 AM
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Thanks Larry - I'd seen references to those in other forums but the links were always dead (and never to a retailer). Not cheap but cheapest in terms of my time and finished appearance.

I'm curious, is there an electrical/mechanical difference between a box I would install through the same hole and the one that's built into the fan, or is it just considered differently by code? In this case my illegal box would actually require 2 fewer screws to access than the one in the fan, which will have the same type of wire nut connections.
 
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Old 11-05-16, 06:11 AM
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(And of course the 3-wire version is available in "limited quantities" in a store 30 miles away...aka you're going to drive 40 minutes one way and not be able to find it...)
 
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Old 11-05-16, 06:23 AM
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Oh, and the exhaust outlet is about 3' from the exterior wall, so rotating the unit is not an option...
 
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Old 11-05-16, 06:29 AM
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I would say a junction box in the ceiling is fine. It's not hidden IMO.

The fixture junction box is accessible by removing the light fixture, that means your new junction box is also accessible.
 
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Old 11-05-16, 10:16 AM
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Thanks. Glad to hear that my uneducated opinion is at least not totally crazy. If I can't get my hands on a three-wire splice I'll go that route. I need to get a pro over here sometime soon to install some outdoor receptacles so I'll have him check it out as well.
 
 

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