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Thread: New Bathroom Fan Timer Switch

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    DIY Member draven8795's Avatar
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    Default New Bathroom Fan Timer Switch

    So I bought a bathroom fan timer switch that requires a neutral and I only have a black and a white (hot) and a ground as its the end of the line. Power line goes to the fan then the switch. I'd like to try and use this switch. Is there a proper way to pull new line to gain the neutral I need? Thanks for the suggestions.

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    The proper way would be to replace the 2 wire switch loop from the fan (or a jbox near the fan) to the switch with a 3 wire and wire the black hot, red switch leg and white neutral.

    You can also get a 2 wire timer.

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    DIY Member draven8795's Avatar
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    Could you provide the wiring diagram for that?

    I thought about the two wire switch but it wouldn't match the other switches I have in my house for lighting.

    The fans got its own junction box so I can just tape the new line to the 2 wire line and pull it through.

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draven8795 View Post
    The fans got its own junction box so I can just tape the new line to the 2 wire line and pull it through.
    how many times has this been tried???????????????

    if the two wire cable has staples I do not think this will be possible

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    DIY Member draven8795's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    how many times has this been tried???????????????

    if the two wire cable has staples I do not think this will be possible
    Well which are you refering to - running a 14-3 line to a 14-2 line or pulling the cable? I have no clue thats why i'm asking the questions on the forum.

    True I might not be able to pull it through as easily as i thought doesn't mean I cant just fish the new line in and disgard the old one. Or just yank it out.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Basically, you need a 14/3 new cable from the fan's box to the switch location...how you get it there is the issue. It's unlikely you can use the old one to pull the new one in if it was installed with the proper clamps or staples.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member draven8795's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Basically, you need a 14/3 new cable from the fan's box to the switch location...how you get it there is the issue. It's unlikely you can use the old one to pull the new one in if it was installed with the proper clamps or staples.
    Yea I understand that. I'm remodeling the bathroom at some point soon (but not to soon) I can just bypass the current line and use fish tape to pull the new one and when I remodel I can remove the old one and fasten the new one properly. I just need a little more help on what to connect on the 14-3 to the 14-2 wire.

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draven8795 View Post
    Yea I understand that. I'm remodeling the bathroom at some point soon (but not to soon) I can just bypass the current line and use fish tape to pull the new one and when I remodel I can remove the old one and fasten the new one properly. I just need a little more help on what to connect on the 14-3 to the 14-2 wire.
    This has already been answered here

    Quote Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
    The proper way would be to replace the 2 wire switch loop from the fan (or a jbox near the fan) to the switch with a 3 wire and wire the black hot, red switch leg and white neutral.

    You can also get a 2 wire timer.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    At the fan, hot black to black of 14/3. White to white. Red to black of fan. At the switch, white to white, black to one side of the switch and red to the other. Essentially, you are running the neutral to the new switch, and substituting the black and red for the black and white of the old cable.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    That seems like a lot of extra work just so you don't have to flip a switch when leaving the room

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default timer

    Get a mechanical timer with a knob to turn for the time desired and then wire it in place of the current switch.

  12. #12

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    I am a big fan of the exhaust fan timers. Sometime you want to let the thing run for a while after.....well...after you are done. The ones I use have the 5,10,15,20 minute settings.

    Take apart the jbox on the fan and see what you have in there. They are generally really small so there may be another jbox in the mix.

    Post the results and we can guide you through it.

    IF the 120V hot power is in the fan jbox, simply replace the two wire cable leading to the switch with a 3 wire cable.

    In the fan Jbox, wire the black to black, whites to whites, and red to the ex fan (the black lead going to the receptacle)


    TURN OFF THE POWER. The fan MAY have energized conductors in it even though the switch is off.

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    DIY Member draven8795's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    This has already been answered here
    I thought what they were refering to was how to wire up the actual switch not the new 14/3 line

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    That seems like a lot of extra work just so you don't have to flip a switch when leaving the room
    My house, My switch, my time.

    Quote Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
    I am a big fan of the exhaust fan timers. Sometime you want to let the thing run for a while after.....well...after you are done. The ones I use have the 5,10,15,20 minute settings.

    Take apart the jbox on the fan and see what you have in there. They are generally really small so there may be another jbox in the mix.

    Post the results and we can guide you through it.

    IF the 120V hot power is in the fan jbox, simply replace the two wire cable leading to the switch with a 3 wire cable.

    In the fan Jbox, wire the black to black, whites to whites, and red to the ex fan (the black lead going to the receptacle)


    TURN OFF THE POWER. The fan MAY have energized conductors in it even though the switch is off.
    Thanks for the response thats the response I was looking for. I put the new fan in (replaced old one) so I know the wire going to the fan is hot. What does the red wire hook to in the fan jbox then? I got a timer with 10, 20, 30, 60.

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast1 View Post
    may i ask where did you guys learn all these info? just by reading?
    We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express last night

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    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast1 View Post
    may i ask where did you guys learn all these info? just by reading?
    I went to school and was taught by the guys that went to school before me.
    And on the job training plus 20 yrs of doing this type of work.
    Whats your excuse?

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