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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7652
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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I am adding an exhaust fan to a bathroom and ran the new

Customer Question

I am adding an exhaust fan to a bathroom and ran the new wire between the existing light switch and the fan. I've purchased a two switch light switch to control both the lights and fan separately.
I can not figure out the wiring to get the fan to work. The wire feeding the light switch actually comes from the lights (it does not feed into the light switch box then to the lights - the lights are wired first in the circuit and the switch seems to be the end of the circuit).
I can get the lights to work but still can't the right power to the fan. My switch has two black screws (and tan in between) and two gold screws.
Please help.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be assisting you. Please stand by while I review your question.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 11 months ago.

Give me the count and colors of all wires in the switch box.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The existing wire from the lights to the switch were the standard black, white and ground. I added a new 14-2 with the same black white and ground that will run from the switch to the new fan
Expert:  Mike G. replied 11 months ago.

You're short one wire. The cable from the light is a hot and switched hot- no neutral. Either replace the cable from the light with 3 wire cable or feed the fan from another source.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Does switched hot mean they converted a white into a black?When you say 3 wire cable, does that mean a cable with a red, black, and white?
If I do that, how do I then wire the switch for my needs?Secondly, if I go the other route and feed from the light to the fan, will I still be able to wire with a separate switch?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 11 months ago.
  1. The white is not being used for a neutral.
  2. If 3 wire installed the black and red are used for the switch and the white as a neutral. The connections at the light deyermines that.
  3. If you bring power to the fan, you can use the wires already installed for the switch