How to Wire a Bathroom Fan and Light on Separate Switches?

How to Wire a Bathroom Fan and Light on Separate SwitchesRight now, it’s tremendously important that we think about ways to conserve electricity more than ever. Not just for the good health of your wallet but also to be a little responsible towards our dear planet. If you have ever noticed, we are already doing a lot of unnecessary things regularly that is causing wastage of electricity.

And one fine example must be having a bathroom fan and light working together with one single switch. The fan is going to be essential when you are having a shower. But when you simply brush your teeth, it’s not necessary to keep on. But that becomes impossible to implement if you’ve got the same switch for both fan and light.

In such a scenario, the best thing you can do is learn how to wire a bathroom fan and light on separate switches. That’s exactly what we are going to talk about today…

Here’s How to Wire a Bathroom Fan and Light on Separate Switches

Usually, most ventilation fans are suitable for installing more or less centered on the ceiling. And that spot is also where light works best from. And because of this concept, manufacturers are bringing bathroom exhaust fans with light fixtures to have both on the same spot without any problem. Wiring the fan and light to two sperate switches is what we are aiming to do.

But First Know About the Circuit Requirements & National Electrical Code Guidance!

The lighting circuit is basically what powers bathroom fans. It comes with a run on function that gets a yes signal by the light switch. Some models come with an isolation switch for the safe cleaning of fan. While a few advanced models come with a timer that lets the light work for a predetermined time.

Now due to the inevitable proximity of water, there are some certain codes or requirements for bathroom circuits that you need to follow. These are determined by the national electrical code. Usually, the compulsory requirement is installing protection on circuits used in bathroom. There should also be wall receptacles close to the basin. The minimum distance from basin’s edge is 3 feet. The light switch-controlled outlet should be present in bathroom. You need to follow safety requirements as much as possible while manipulating any electrical element.

Make sure you install a ground fault circuit interrupter to have the least chance of any electrocution. You should also get splash proof switches for installing since these will not cause trouble even if touched by damp hands.

Also make sure to keep circuits separate for a better safety environment inside your bathroom. Because when one circuit comes across some fault, most likely it will interfere with the other. And that won’t happen if you place them separately. And the final safety advice is never involving in an electrical matter if you are doubtful with handling it. Call an electrician to handle it and keep things safe.

Get These Things:

  1. Screwdriver
  2. A wire stripper
  3. Screw-on wire caps
  4. Drywall saw
  5. Electrical cable
  6. Electrical box for remodeling
  7. 2 switches
  8. Utility knife
  9. Pliers.

Cutting a Hole & Identifying Wire

You need to cut a hole for placing the electrical box that will hold switch in drywall. The spot usually is near door. Go for any convenient location, however. Use a drywall saw to make the hole. Then you want to use the remodeling box. There’s no need to attach it with stud. Because in most case, it directly anchors with the drywall.

Then you need to figure out the cable that’s between fan, light and switch, pull it carefully. Have a look at the wires of fan. It should have two pairs of wires including black and white. In case there are no such separate color pairs of wires, you can’t proceed with this process anymore.

Wiring for Fan & Light

You need to pull three-conductor cables. It must be with bare, black, and white wire. Or go for a 2-conductor cable that does not include a red wire. Then you need to attach the fan and light to the cable. In case of having only one hot wire, simply twist it with black cable from switch. You can use pliers to twist them together properly.

In the 3-conductor cable, you’ll need to use red wire. This is for putting the fan and light on different switches. The hot wire of fan will go into switch’s black wire. Similarly, you need to take the light’s hot wire for switch’s red wire. Sometimes a unit may have different colors used for wires. In that case, you need to follow the instructions given on installation manual.

Finally, twist all white-colored wires together. Do the same for all bare wires. Use a screw-on wire connector for capping each wire set.

Wiring for Switch.

Need to work on feeding a circuit cable inside the switch box next. Using a utility knife, carefully strip all the cables in box. You should expose the end of all wires using a wire stripper next. Now you need to connect the hot circuit wire to switch’s top brass terminal part.

You should use short length black wire here. So that both are hot once connected with circuit wire. Now onto the switch’s bottom terminal, simply attach the hot wire from fan. Connect both hot wires the same way.

You want to bring all white wires inside the box together next. Using a plier, twist them clockwise and screw them nicely with a wire connector. You want to twist the ground wires together as well. You’ll find a green ground terminal on switch, here simply connect one end of the wire here.

Using a screwdriver fix the switch to box. Then screw down the cover plate as well. And you are done with the wiring session.

Keep in Mind:

Make sure the power to circuit is turned off properly. Always test the wires of circuit cable using a voltage tester. Before you do any wiring at all, make sure you test and ensure power is off. You need to keep turning the breakers off. Do so until reading show 0 or the light stays off.

Wrap Up

Now you know how to wire a bathroom fan and light on separate switches. The process is pretty simple and straightforward for those who have done such wiring tasks before. But for someone who has never known anything about connecting wires, it will seem pretty tiresome. In that case, don’t hesitate to call an expert for help. Same goes for those who aren’t sure about doing things safely. It’s better to spend a few extra bucks than taking a chance with your overall safety.