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Bath vent fan electrical wiringinstallation, troubleshooting, repair:
How to wire a bathroom vent fan, how to install bathroom venting. How to make the proper electrical connections to wire a bathroom exhaust vent fan or a fan incorporating also a light and a heater. Bath vent fan wiring diagrams including bath vents with light or heater.
Broan & Nutone ventilation fan wiring instruction manuals.
This article series describes how to install bathroom ventilation systems, fans, ducts, terminations. We include bathroom venting code citations and the text also explains why bathroom vent fans are needed and describes good bath vent fan choices, necessary fan capacity, and good bath vent fan and vent-duct installation details.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
Bath Vent Fan Wiring Connections
Typically the bathroom vent fan motor is powered by the bathroom ceiling light fixture circuit; some installers, particularly in hotels or rental units, hard-wire the bath exhaust vent fan to force it on when the bathroom ceiling light is on - thus assuring that the vent fan is in fact used. If the bath vent fan is noisy this forced-on status can annoy everybody.
In the simplest case there will be just three fan wires to connect: black to black (the hot or live or power wire), white to white (the neutral wire), and ground to ground, typically a bare ground in the house wiring to a green ground wire in the fan housing wiring set.
The most general fan wiring instructions will state: "Hook up the bath vent fan wiring by removing the electrical junction box cover. Next connect the house wires to the fan wires: ground to ground, neutral white to neutral white, and hot black to hot black."
Do not just twist or tape wire ends together. Wire connections are made using a twist-on connector ("Wire nut").
[Click to enlarge any image]
If the bath exhaust fan includes a separate light the light may use the same power circuit as the fan but will require its own switching circuit. If the bath vent fan includes a separate electric heater, the heater will usually require its own separate circuit and control switch.
But when the fan includes also a light and perhaps an electric heater there are actually three circuits to complete, each with its own controlling switch.
Shown below, electrical wiring connections for a typical fan, light, & heater combination vent fan system, are adapted from installation instructions for the Delta Breez Model RAD80L installation manual cited below.
Watch out: if a bath vent fan, light, or heater are installed close to a tub or shower or where they can be reached by someone in those facilities GFCI protection is required for all of its electrical circuits. See GFCI PROTECTION, GFCI CODES
Watch out: Electrical wiring should be done by a licensed, qualified expert. If the fan is installed close to a tub or shower, such that it could be touched from those locations, it's electrical
circuit should be GFCI protected.
Never put electrical controls such as switches where they can be reached from a bathtub or bathroom shower.
Typical wiring instructions for a bathroom vent fan that includes both a light and a heater state the following - note that these adapted excerpts and are NOT complete installation instructions nor may they match your specific fan. Be sure to obtain the proper installation instructions for your fan brand and model:
Always disconnect the [electrical] power source before working on or near the unit. Make sure power is switched off at service panel before
Follow all local safety and electrical codes as well as NEC
(National Electrical Code) and OSHA (Occupational Safety
and Health Act).
All electrical connections must be made in accordance with local codes, ordinances, or national electrical code. If you are unfamiliar with methods of installing electrical wiring, secure the services of a qualified electrician.
Make sure that the electric service supply voltage is AC
120 V, 60 Hz. For supply connections, use wire rated for at least 90ºC.
See wiring diagram for wire size.
Provide a separate 20 Amp electrical circuit.
If your house wires do not match these colors [shown as labeled in the illustration], you must determine what each house wire represents before connecting and you may need to consult an electrical
contractor to determine this safely.
Using wire nuts (not included), connect house power wires to fan wires.
14 AWG (2.1 mm2
) is the smallest conductor that may be used for branch-circuit wiring. Each power wire (light, fan, heater) must have its own switch to operate independently.
Really? Elsewhere the instructions say to use a 20A Electrical circuit. Normally we'd use #12 AWG copper to wire a 20A circuit and #14AWG to wire a 15A circuit - Ed.
This unit must be properly grounded.
Do not bend or kink the power wires.
Protect from sharp
edges, oil, grease, hot surfaces, chemicals or other objects.
Do not install over a tub or mount in a shower stall
Locate unit above (GFCI-protected circuit required) or within 5 feet of the shower head.
Installation work must be carried out by a qualified person(s) in accordance with all local and safety codes including the rules for fire-rated construction. For use in non-fire rated installations only.
Prior to service or cleaning this unit, shut off power supply at the panel and lock to prevent the power from being
turned on. If the panel cannot be locked, clearly mark the
panel with a warning tag to prevent the power from being
Do not install in a ceiling with insulation greater than R40. (This is required for installations in Canada only.)
Never place a switch where it can be reached from a tub or shower.
Do not install less than 8 ft. (2.4m) from the floor.
Check area above installation location to be sure that wiring can run to the planned location and that duct work can be run. Make sure the area is sufficient for proper ventilation.
Use this unit in the manner intended by the manufacturer. If you have any questions, please call the manufacturer.
Remove the fan junction box cover a . Using wire
nuts (not supplied), connect house wires to fan wires b as shown in the wiring diagram on page 10. Wire connections are as follows: black to live
switch wire, white to neutral, green to ground.
Reattach fan junction box cover c .
Check the plug from the fan into the receptacle marked “Vent”
Plug the Light Connector into the receptacle marked “Light”
Manufacturer sources for free bath vent fan installation instruction manuals:
Nutone Ventilation Fan Model 8814R, Installation Instructions [PDF], NuTone, Broan-NuTone LLC, Hartford Wisconsin, website www.nutone.com, Tel: 888-336-3948, retrieved 2016/09/12, original source: http://www.nutone.com/common/productDigitalAssethandler.ashx?id=3e62f835-62e2-4e38-8f6e-689ae2e51652 These instructions are in English, French, Spanish
Nutone Ventilation Fans (product selection brochure with general installation suggestions) [PDF] Broan-NuTone LLC, 926 W. State Street
Hartford, WI 53027 888-336-3948
In Canada call 877-896-1119, retrieved 2016/09/12, original source: http://www.nutone.com/docs/catalogs/bath-ventilation-fans-heating-products.pdf
Question: electrical wiring connections for the bath vent fan?
(May 23, 2016) Cherie carmona said:
I am attempting to install our bathroom fan, after removing old one discovered, there are other wire connections that are all together, for other power sources, one for fan, one power source for other room, and another, do I just hook them all back together?
Cherie with apologies because we'd prefer to be helpful, I simply can't risk your life, the lives of others, and the risk of burning down the building by guessing at what wires are present and how they should be connected. I just have so little information that speculating sounds dangerous.
In some jurisdictions homeowners are permitted to do their own wiring but still require an electrical inspection; what does your local building department say? I know it's costly to hire an electrician to do one trivial hookup; perhaps there is other electrical work that can be combined?
Watch out: certainly DO NOT just twist a bunch of wires together: in the best case you'll trip a breaker or blow a fuse; in a worse case somebody could be shocked or killed or you could start a fire.
Typically a hot wire brings power to the fan, there may be other powered wires that are switched that bring current to a light or to a heater or to all three. It's true that neutral wires may be connected in common.
Find the fan's wiring instructions by noting its brand and model and then asking the manufacturer for an installation guide. Usually those are free and can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. Wiring details may also be on a sticker in the fan appliance itself.
Question: bath vent fans not working even though wired-up
(June 2, 2016) Mark said:
At work, each bathroom has an industrial exhaust fan - 4 in total that don't work. I know this sounds crazy, but they appear wired. The only thing I can access is a small 1.5 inch by 2 inch single screw metal cover.
When removed, I can see a Yellow/Green wire - ground, going from a green screw, to a pigtail containing 2 more wires - common and neutral - I assume - Black and White. Since it's only a single-speed fan, there are only 3 wires total - unlike the blower motors used in HVAC. Oh, I forgot to mention that this exhaust fan is looks like a blower motor out of an HVAC system, but about 1/2 the size.
Anyway, I can see that from one pigtail connection, one end goes to the motor of course, and the other, the green/yellow goes to that green ground screw, but I cannot tell where the black and white go (somewhere up to the top of the assembly. Here's the strange part - there aren't any wires going out of the unit - nor do I see a place for them to exit.
There also isn't your typical 'notch/bump" in that little cover to allow the ground to come out of there either. Is it possible that they installed these things and NEVER hooked them up? Or, it is possible the power feed comes in and exits through the 12" commercial insulation style exhaust pipe that is taped to the top of the unit?
This one has me scratching my head, but since none of them work when you turn the light on (only 1 switch in each bathroom), I assume the expensive units were installed 10+ years ago and never hooked up. There isn't a SPECK of dust in the fan/motor blade/housing.
Sounds like mis-wiring as well as sounding like a need for someone experienced to test for live voltage and trace the circuits and switches involved.
Continue reading at BATHROOM VENTILATION CODES SPECS - home, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
"Panasonic® Ventilating Fan Installation Instructions, FV-05VQ3, FV-08VQ3, FV11VQ3, FV-15VQ3", X120-4-8189Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co., Div. of Panasonic Corp. of North America, One Panasonic Way, Seacaucus NJ 07094 & Panasonic Canada, Inc., 5770 Ambler Dr., Imssissauga, ON L4W 2T3, Website: www.panasonic.com, retrieved 4/7/14
"Brink Renovent HR Installation and Operation Manual", Brink Climate Systems, P.O. box 11
NL-7950 AA Staphorst
+31 522 46 99 44
www.brinkclimatesystems.nl retrieved 4/7/14 This is the installation guide for medium & large Brink Renovent HR systems.
"Installation Instruction, Heat Recovery Unit, Renovent Small", Brink Climate Systems, P.O. box 11
NL-7950 AA Staphorst
+31 522 46 99 44
www.brinkclimatesystems.nl retrieved 4/7/14 This is the installation guide for the small Brink Renovent HR system. [copy on file]
"About the House - Bathroom Vents", Henri deMarne, New England Builder, November 1985
"Bathroom Vent Fan Beats Open Window", James Dulley, Poughkeepsie Journal, 11/4/1987 p. 12D.
Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: email@example.com
Eric Galow, Galow Homes, Lagrangeville, NY. Mr. Galow can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 914-474-6613. Mr. Galow specializes in residential construction including both new homes and repairs, renovations, and additions.
References for Bathroom Vent Fan Installation
Fantech Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual, PB Series Premium Bath Fans. These fan models use a remote fan motor and
are available in 4" duct and 6" duct models. Web search 7/26/11 - original source http://fantech.net/docs-resi/412889-pb-install.pdf
Fantech in the United States
10048 Industrial Blvd.,
Lenexa, KS 66215
Phone: 800.747.1762; 913.752.6000
Fax: 800.487.9915; 913.752.6466
Fantech in Canada
50 Kanalflakt Way,
Bouctouche, NB E4S 3M5
Phone: 800.565.3548; 506.743.9500
Fax: 877.747.8116; 506.743.9600
Nutone Bathroom Exhaust Fan/Light Combination Installation Instructions, Model 8663RP, 8673RP, 8664RP suitable for use
in shower or tub enclosure when used with GFCI protected branch circuit. Suitable for use in insulated ceilings.
Nutone, 4820 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227, web search 07/27/2011, original source:
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
"Energy Savers: Whole-House Supply Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Whole-House_Supply_Vent.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11880?print
"Energy Savers: Whole-House Exhaust Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Whole-House_Exhaust.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11870
"Energy Savers: Ventilation [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Ventilation.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Savers: Natural Ventilation [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Natural_Ventilation.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Savers: Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Energy_Recovery_Venting.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11900
"Energy Savers: Detecting Air Leaks [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Detect_Air_Leaks.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Savers: Air Sealing [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Air_Sealing_1.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
Fiberglass: Indoor Air Quality Investigations: Health Concerns About Airborne Fiberglass: Fiberglass in Indoor Air from HVAC ducts, and Building Insulation
Humidity: What indoor humidity should we maintain in order to avoid a mold problem?
"Weather-Resistive Barriers [copy on file as /interiors/Weather_Resistant_Barriers_DOE.pdf ] - ", how to select and install housewrap and other types of weather resistive barriers, U.S. DOE
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