New Bathroom Fan Timer Switch

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by draven8795, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. draven8795

    draven8795 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    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.
  2. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    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.
  3. draven8795

    draven8795 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    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.
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    how many times has this been tried???????????????

    if the two wire cable has staples I do not think this will be possible
  5. draven8795

    draven8795 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    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.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  7. draven8795

    draven8795 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    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.
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This has already been answered here

  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    That seems like a lot of extra work just so you don't have to flip a switch when leaving the room
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,510
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    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.
  13. draven8795

    draven8795 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I thought what they were refering to was how to wire up the actual switch not the new 14/3 line

    My house, My switch, my time.

    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.
  14. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express last night
  15. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,339
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    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?
  16. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Focus :rolleyes: :D

    Think of the circuit. Follow the circuit.

    The power come into the fan on the black wire.
    It travels to the switch on the black wire.
    It comes back from the switch on the red wire.
    it goes to the fan recep on the black wire.
    When the fan is plugged it, it travels thru the motor and out the white, thru the recep into the jb and back to the panel.



    I'm old. I know stuff.
  17. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    What I love so much about these DIY sites is that someone who can't grasp the idea of a simple single pole switch but yet we are going to tell that person how to be messing with enough energy to kill theirself.

    After the second post the only advice this person should be getting is------Hire an electrician before you do some damage
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