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  • Bathroom exhaust with nightlight

    i bought a new panasonic bathroom exhaust and it has a flourescent light, an incandescent nightlight and the exhaust.

    there are 3 pair of black, white, and ground wires. the instructions don't mention the correct hookup for the nightlight, so i hooked all 3 pair up, but now the nightlight comes on with the light and fan and turns off when i turn the fan and light off.

    i'm thinking i need another switch? any insight pleeeeaaaaseeee

  • #2
    I would think that the night light would need constant power which will be difficult if the power comes to the light switch box and not to the light housing in the ceiling. Is it controlled by a photocell to turn on when it is dark ?

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    • #3
      u need two pieces of 14/2 for switch legs and 3 switches to make this light work one piece of 14/2 both the whtie and black would connect to one of the three blacks in your fan say the night light and the light the secone 14/2 the black in it would hook to the black from the fan and the white would hook to all 3 whites in the fan this is assuming that it is hot in your switch if you only have a single gang box a stack rocker switch can be bought that will let you have all three switches in a single gang box

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      • #4
        I think it would be good to mark that white that you have designated as a hot with some black tape at each end to let someone know in the future that this is a hot leg and not a neutral.
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        • #5
          yep bob u caught me i realized i forgot to mention that after i posted u caught me lol good job and it does need to be marked

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          • #6
            ...and, 14/2 only if the circuit is wired with #14. If the circuit is wired with #12 then us #12 wire.

            Some of us don't use #14 except for the smoke detector circuit.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sparkync1
              u need two pieces of 14/2 for switch legs and 3 switches to make this light work one piece of 14/2 both the whtie and black would connect to one of the three blacks in your fan say the night light and the light the secone 14/2 the black in it would hook to the black from the fan and the white would hook to all 3 whites in the fan...
              That would physically work, but it has drawbacks. That method would produce an EMF which could interfere with some electronics, and some would claim that EMF also provokes leukemia in children. I say "some would claim" because there have been studies from both camps with conflicting results.

              A better solution would be a 14-3 and a 14-2. The 14-2 would provide power and a neutral for the nightlight, and the 14-3 would provide two switchlegs and a neutral for the regular light and fan.

              Essentially, whatever current the hot conductor is carried should be equal to the neutral in the same cable.

              If using ferrous wiring methods, the method NC1 described would actually be illegal, 300.3(B). We get away with it in residential only because we work with non-metallic boxes and cable sheathing.

              Originally posted by wbrooks
              I would think that the night light would need constant power which will be difficult if the power comes to the light switch box and not to the light housing in the ceiling. Is it controlled by a photocell to turn on when it is dark ?
              I would install two switches for the regular light and the bathfan, and have the nightlight on a button photoeye as wbrooks suggested. That would conserve the life of the nightlight, and also be pretty darned cool.

              The catch is, the photoeye would need to be somewhere where it won't be subjected to the light it's controlling. It would be best to be outside, in a soffit or something along those lines. That might get difficult in a hurry.

              An easier solution might be a timer switch, such as this one from Intermatic. It can be set for dusk/dawn operation easily. Install a three-gang box, and install it there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BigThom
                ...and, 14/2 only if the circuit is wired with #14. If the circuit is wired with #12 then us #12 wire.

                Some of us don't use #14 except for the smoke detector circuit.
                yes thom i would sure hope that would go without saying that you would use the same gauge wire that you are dealing with and we can argue all day about using 14 or 12 wire in a house for your basic circuits in a house not including those that must be on 12 wire anything over 14 is just a waste of money in my opinion but hey everybody has one of those pluse if you are using 14 for the smoke detectors you better be using it for at least one of your bedroom circuits as well because the bedrooms must be on an arc fault circuit and the smokes must be fed from one of those circuits it has to be on a known lighting circuit not on a circuit by itself

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sparkync1
                  if you are using 14 for the smoke detectors you better be using it for at least one of your bedroom circuits as well because the bedrooms must be on an arc fault circuit and the smokes must be fed from one of those circuits it has to be on a known lighting circuit not on a circuit by itself
                  That may well be by local ordinance in your area, but it is not in the NEC (or NFPA 72, if I recall).

                  As long as the smokes are on an AFCI (even dedicated for the smokes), then they comply with 210.12.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rocky Mountain Sparky
                    That may well be by local ordinance in your area, but it is not in the NEC (or NFPA 72, if I recall).

                    As long as the smokes are on an AFCI (even dedicated for the smokes), then they comply with 210.12.
                    and as far as sharing the neutrals its the same circuit i see where there can be an issue if its two seperate hots trying to share one neutral

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sparkync1
                      and as far as sharing the neutrals its the same circuit i see where there can be an issue if its two seperate hots trying to share one neutral
                      It would not trip an AFCI (or even a GFCI) to use two 14-2's in the way you suggested, but it would still create some EMF.

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                      • #12
                        Interesting interpretation of AFCI requirements. My jurisdiction interprets the AFCI requirement to apply to receptacles in a bedroom but not lighting (that would be dedicated ceiling lighting) nor smoke detectors.

                        The point of AFCI, as I recall, is to protect from arcing in cords. Certainly that would not apply to ceiling lights and smoke detectors.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BigThom
                          Interesting interpretation of AFCI requirements. My jurisdiction interprets the AFCI requirement to apply to receptacles in a bedroom but not lighting (that would be dedicated ceiling lighting) nor smoke detectors.
                          I believe if you are still under the 1999 NEC, that would be correct.

                          The point of AFCI, as I recall, is to protect from arcing in cords.
                          As I hear it, it was what was originally pitched to the NFPA by the manufacturers, and what was originally promised; but the existing branch/feeder AFCI's do not provide substantive protection against arcing faults in cords.

                          The new combination type, due out prior to 2008, are supposed to do just that. I guess we'll see...

                          Certainly that would not apply to ceiling lights and smoke detectors.
                          Under the 2002 and 2005 NEC, all bedroom outlets (not just receptacles) are required to be on an AFCI-protected circuit. Essentially, bedrooms were an "easily definable space" to try out the new technology. Why we were used as the manufacturers' guinea pigs, I have no idea.

                          They are billed as able to detect arcing faults in circuit wiring, but that remains to be seen.

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