How to Wire a Bathroom Fan and Light on Separate Switches

separate bathroom light and exhaust fan

Separating a bathroom fan and light switches is not impossible. But it is challenging for beginners who don’t have sufficient knowledge or experience. We have prepared this article to guide you through the process. So, keep reading the information till the end.

Many people don’t know how to wire a bathroom fan and light on separate switches. As a result, they often make mistakes in the process.

That is why one should always study in detail to avoid them. Let’s discuss everything about it.

What materials do you need for wiring a bathroom light and fan on different switches?

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It is crucial to collect all the products you need to begin this procedure.

They are as follows-

  • Cable: The most significant thing is a cable, and to keep the light and exhaust fan on separate switches, you have to buy a 12/3 one. You can get them at any store that provides electrical materials. Also, this type of cable has two colored wires and one white one.
  • A switch with two toggles: Your main objective is to fix two separate connections in one place. For this, you will need a switch having two toggles.
  • Fish tape: This product is necessary to purchase to keep the wires safe while you connect them. Some people don’t know about the same and make the mistake of not using it.
  • Wire nuts: They are also essential for keeping the cords together, and that is why you should purchase them before starting the process.
  • Electrical tape: You will also need electrical tape to join the cables and enhance the security of connections.

What are the steps involved in separating the connections of the bathroom light and exhaust fan?

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It doesn’t matter if you are doing it for the first time. The entire procedure is pretty straightforward to understand.

  • Close the power of the entire house: The first step is to turn off the power from the board. Sometimes, people forget the same and begin the method. You should avoid making this mistake as it is pretty risky. Also, don’t forget to check whether the electricity is still there after switching it off. You can do the same by turning on any light or electrical appliance.
  • Find the 12/2 cable and eliminate it: The next step is to find the cable already there in the circuit. You will find it on the bathroom switch, and it won’t be challenging to identify the same if you have some knowledge. You will also see two connections attached, including the light and fan.

Once you find this cable, you have to remove it and proceed to the next step.

  • Join the new cord to the housing: The new wire you have is the most significant part of the process. You have to join the 12/3 one to the bathroom housing one by hooking and crimping the ground cable. After that, you can set everything in position.
  • Attach all the hot wires: The 12/3 cable will have more than one wire, and one might be for the light and the other for the exhaust fan. After finding them out, you have to join all of them in the housing connection.
  • Don’t forget the neutral cord: As we mentioned earlier, the new cable has more than one wire. So, you will also get a neutral one. Sometimes, people don’t pay attention to it and leave it like that. It won’t help complete the process if you forget this step.

It should be joined with other neutrals already present in the electrical system. You can use wire nuts for joining them together as they will not create problems in the long run.

  • Put all the cords on the circuit board and secure them: In this step, you have to push back all the cables coming out back again. Once you do this, make sure to put a cover simultaneously to improve safety.
  • Adjoin the double-wall switch with the new cable: Do you know the most complicated step of this process? It is attaching the double-wall switch with the new cord. You might even have to call a professional if you fail to complete this step.

One thing that will make this task easier is using the rooftop if your house has one. You will get to know everything in detail there regarding the wiring.

  • Join the grounds: Now, you have to create a connection of all the grounds remaining. Otherwise, it won’t be easy to achieve the entire process if you forget this part.

There will be three grounds coming from the panel, a wall switch, and a new cable. After joining them together, you can put them back on the switch box.

  • Take the neutrals and join them at the switch box: The switch box is a significant part of this process, and you have to connect these neutrals and again put everything back.
  • Join the ground with the terminal: There is another thing that might create problems. If you do not attach the base with the switch, the procedure will be incomplete. You have to fasten the base cord with the terminal to develop a connection. Also, make sure to secure them by using nuts and a screwdriver.
  • Move on to the main terminal: After following the above steps, you must move on to the main switch. You have to develop a connection by joining the power cord to it.
  • Find the bronze terminals and fasten the cords: Two cables meant for light and the fan should be attached to the bronze terminals. You have to learn the same crimping method to complete it.
  • Use electrical tape to preserve the cords: After you have joined everything, you can use the tape to fix them properly.
  • Put the cover back on the switch: The last step is to cover the switch box as before and complete the process.

Read also: How To Cut Plastic Ceiling Light Panels Without Cracking It

The Bottom Line

Separating the restroom exhaust fan and light is a procedure that only a few people understand and are ready to do.

However, it is not as challenging as it looks to some people. You need to gain some knowledge regarding the steps, and that is it. If you do not want to do it yourself, consider hiring an electrician.