Panasonic Bath Fan Wiring

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by dmwesq, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. dmwesq

    dmwesq New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    New York
    I have a new Panasonic Whisper Green fan, model FV-08VKSL4 (an interesting side note when you call Panasonic they only have instructions for SL3). I wasn't expecting the wiring to be as complicated as it seems, but I am a little stumped. I was hoping to be able to put this fan in without adding any additional wall switches, as my room already has a triple rocker wall switch, each with a single rocker, and 2 electrical outlets. The existing switches control one high hat each (that takes two of the switches) and the third handles the existing fan and light which turn on/off together.

    The new fan, if I understand Panasonic, requires up to four separate switches, one of which can't have AC power to it. The fan is a variable speed one, so the non-ac wiring (two red wires) control the switch from low speed to high speed. The first power is for the fan itself, and the other two are for the fan light and the night light.

    I can only find a triple rocker switch,and among them I would need one with separate hot and neutral for each rocker (I believe). That leaves me with several options, unless I am missing something. Option one is to add another wall switch somewhere for the night light and use a triple rocker for the remaining fan controls (again not a favored option because it means adding another switch in the room). Option 2 is to take the two high hats and put them into a double rocker? This then would free up the other two switches to accomplish the fan wiring needed? Does this sound like the way to go? Option 3 is to wire the night light and fan light together but that would mean the night light is always on unless the fan light is itself turned on.

    Thoughts appreciated.

    IMAG0114.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    The fan has its own lights, designed to work from two separate power switches, along with a power switch for the fan power, and the low-voltage switch you mentioned. The reason the fan has that two-switch arrangement, is that it is capable of constant low-volume operation, set by a dial on the side of the unit. The low-voltage switch is for high-speed operation, which is what you're looking for, it seems.

    It seems you could skip the low-voltage switch, and use a jumper wire connecting those conductors. That leaves the fan set for full flow, whenever you apply power to it. How you deal with the lights, would be up to you, and whether you want the night light.

    FV08VKSL4 Manual
  3. dmwesq

    dmwesq New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks, but that didn't really answer my question. I want all the functions of the fan - the question is simply how to wire it if possible into an existing 3 gang setup, replacing the existing single rockers with dual or triple rockers where necessary, and allowing for the fact that the low-voltage switch needs to be wired without connecting to the 120 source.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    If you want all the fan functions, including the lights, then you need four separate switches for the fan alone. If you have a 3-gang box, then no worries. (I was picturing the classic bathroom triple-switch in a one-gang box)

    Your only requirement is that the switch for the low-voltage fan control has to not share any conductor with any other switch. In the case of a double-switch device, a break-away tab is removed, so that both sides of each switch are electrically separated. If you wind up using a completely separate switch just for the low-voltage fan control, it still has to be grounded.
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This fan has two black wires with white tags on them. What do these tags say?

    The two red wires control the speed of the fan and will need a compatible speed control switch be it a manual or automatic speed control. If this control is included in the three gain box then the conductor must be rated at the same voltage as the switch conductors controlling the lights.

    Take power to the light and install a three conductor with ground cable from the fan to the switch for the lights and a two conductor with ground for the speed control. Connect black from power to black from fan and the white in the three conductor cable. Reidentify the white wire as this is the power to supply the two switches for the lights via the black and red wires.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    I linked the manual. The red wires are low-voltage control wires. They allow the fan to run at full speed, assuming the fan is already powered. No speed control, just an on-off switch for the red wires. The black and white wires with the reds are the power for the fan, which will run at a selectable low speed as long as there is power. The two labeled black wires are for the fan lights, regular and night-light.

    I suppose the two neutral wires allow the fan and the lights to be on separate circuits, should that ever be desired.
  7. Stuff

    Stuff Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The two neutral wires are there because almost no one has 14/4 or 12/4 cable and instead runs two separate cables back to the switch box. In that scenario each cable has its own neutral. You can/should tie the neutrals together at the switch end but keep them separate at the fan end.
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I was being factious

    This can be a single pole switch if that is what one desires

    Be sure to mark the white wire in the two conductor cable also
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