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Step by Step Instructions on How To Wire a Bathroom and Hall Lighting

January 15, 2008

Hello,

I need some help for the following.

From Electrical Panel – 15 amp breaker
14/2 from breaker to bath light box #1
from bath light box #1 to bath light box #2 with 14/2
from bath light box #1 to bath double gang box with 14/3

from bath double gang box to bath exhaust fan with 14/2
from bath double gang box to hall light box #1 with 14/2
from hall light box #1 to with 14/2
from hall 3 way switch #1 to hall 3 way switch #2 with 14/3

in bath Double gang box there are two single switches
switch #1 will control lights in both bath light box #1 and bath light box #2 switch #2 in bath double gang box will control the bath exhaust fan hall 3 way switch #1 and #2 will control light in hall light box #1

I attached a schematic.

Hopefully this is wired ok. I already wired it. If not, please let me know what I missed and of course, how to make all of the connections.

By the way, the first room I wired per your instructions worked perfectly. I will have another room after I get this bathroom and hall complete.

Thanks,
Ryan

Bathroom and Hall Lighting Diagram

Yes Ryan, everything is wired correct. Good job!

So, let’s start terminating the wires in the hall light 3-way switch # 2 box.
1. Connect the bare copper wire to the ground screw on the 3-way switch.
2. Identify the white wire as a “hot” (use a black permanent marker or wrap it with black electrical tape” and connect it to the odd colored screw on the 3-way switch.
3. Connect the black wire to either one of the brass colored screws on the 3-way switch.
4. Connect the red wire to the other brass colored screw on the 3-way switch.
5. Install the 3-way switch. 6. Install the switch cover plate.

Now let’s go to the hall light 3-way switch # 1 box.
1. Connect all of the bare copper wires together and leave a 6 inch pigtail to connect to the ground screw on the 3-way switch. 2. Identify the white wires in both cables as a “hot” wire, connect them together, place a wire nut on them and fold these into the back of the switch box.
3. Connect the bare copper wire pigtail to the ground screw on the 3-way switch.
4. Connect the black wire in the 14/3 cable to either one of the brass colored screws on the 3-way switch.
5. Connect the red wire in the 14/3 cable to the other brass colored screw on the 3-way switch.
6. Connect the black wire in the 14/2 cable to the odd colored screw on the 3-way switch.
7. Install the 3-way switch.
8. Install the switch cover plate.

Next, let’s go to the hall light # 1 box.
1. Connect all of the bare copper wires and the ground on the light together.
2. Connect the white wire in the 14/2 cable coming from the bathroom double gang box to the white wire on the light.
3. Connect the black wire in the 14/2 cable coming from the hall light 3-way switch # 1 box to the black wire on the light.
4. Identify the white wire in the 14/2 cable coming from the hall light 3-way switch # 1 box, as a “hot” wire and connect it to the black wire in the 14/2 cable coming from the bathroom double gang box, place a wire nut on them and fold these into the back of the light box.
5. Install the light.

Now let’s go to the bathroom double gang box.
1. Connect all of the bare copper wires together and leave two – 6 inch pigtails to connect to the ground screws on each switch. 2. Connect all of the white wires together, place a wire nut on them and fold these into the back of the switch box.
3. Connect the black wire in the 14/3 cable coming from the bath light # 1 box to the black wire going to the hall light # 1 box and connect two
- six inch pigtails to this bundle. The pigtails will connect one to each switch to supply power to the switches.
4. Connect the ground pigtails, one to each switch.
5. Connect the power supply pigtails, one to each switch.
6. Connect the black wire in the 14/2 cable going to the exhaust fan to one of the switches.
7. Connect the red wire in the 14/3 cable going to the bath light # 1 box to the other switch.
8. Install the switches.
9. Install the switch cover plate.

Next, let’s go to the bath light # 1 box.
1. Connect all of the ground wires together.
2. Connect all of the white wires together.
3. Connect the black wire in the 14/2 cable coming from the panel to the black wire in the 14/3 cable going to the bath double gang box, place a wire nut on them and fold these into the back of the light box.
4. Connect the red wire in the 14/3 cable coming from the bath double gang box to the black wire in the 14/2 cable going to the bath light # 2 box and to the black wire on the light.
5. Install the light.

Now wire up the exhaust fan and bath light # 2; connecting the wires together color for color (ground to ground, white to white and black to black) at each location. Finally, go connect the wires in your panel, turn on and test. Remember to use extreme caution when working in your panel and turn off the power to the panel before working in it; if possible.

I hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please post your questions in the comments section of this post.

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Comments

6 Responses to “Step by Step Instructions on How To Wire a Bathroom and Hall Lighting”

  1. Cheri Robinson on January 29th, 2008 4:16 pm

    Certian parts of my outlets keep tripping everytime something is used. Can I change some of the Fuses in the Breaker box to give that certian area more power? Of course it would equal the same outage as it now has.

  2. cbrdude on January 30th, 2008 6:08 pm

    Hi, You did the wiring right and it definitely worked but they screws on the switches are named for a reason, the “odd“ terminal you say is the common screw, and this is always the power going in and coming out the other one. The white is not the hot wire as you say unless it is DC voltage. The white wire in AC is always the neutral wire, and the BLACK wire is the hot wire and that is the wire that you are switching. You switch the hot.

  3. Wayne Gilchrist on February 1st, 2008 5:28 pm

    Hi Cheri,

    I’m sorry, but you cannot increase the breaker or fuse size. These are sized according to the load being served and your existing wire size. If you increase your breaker or fuse size, then you will create a fire hazard as the wires could potentially burn before the breaker trips or the fuse blows.

    What is happening? Are the circuits being overloaded? Perhaps you need to install a couple of dedicated circuits.

  4. Wayne Gilchrist on February 1st, 2008 6:21 pm

    cbrdude,

    You are correct. The odd colored screw is the common terminal. However, I have found it best to explain my tutorials in simple terms. If I tell a DIYer to connect the power in or power out wire to the common terminal, they won’t understand and this will require follow up instructions. However, referring to this terminal as the odd colored screw is very easy to understand when looking at a 3-way switch.

    I agree with you that white is a common color code for the positive wire in DC voltage.

    However, you are wrong about the white wire when used in residential switching. As I stated above, the wire being switched is the hot wire and not the neutral. I also stated above, that when wiring switches in a residential application is the ONLY time the white wire can be used as a hot wire. However, it must be identified as a hot wire.

    This is due to the minimum color choices you have when using NM cable. When installing a “switch loop” you only need 2 wires and a ground. The NEC permits you to use a 2 conductor NM cable with ground, where your color choices are black and white. When using the white wire as a hot, it is required to be the supply wire or power in and it must be identified as a hot wire. To do this either wrap black electrical tape around the wire or use a black permanent marker. You need to do this to both ends of the wire and to approximately 6 inches of each wire end.

    I have a challenge question for you that my help you understand this a little more and will hopefully familiarize you with the NEC. What is the NEC section that permits you to use the white wire as a hot wire in residential switching?

  5. george garcia on June 11th, 2011 2:32 am

    I have a white and black wire coming from the wall. I installed a light fixture that has 3 white wires and 3 black wires. I attached the 3 white wires together from the light fixture. I then attached the 3 black wires from the light fixture together. I then attached these 2 groups of whites and blacks to the 2 wires comes from the wall. I went black to black and white to white. I forgot to attach the ground wire, but I did manage to get one of the lights to work. What did I do wrong? I am a novice at this, please help.
    Thanks,
    George Garcia

  6. Don Silva on April 3rd, 2012 6:41 am

    Trying to wire in a fan/light combo in the bath. The wiring is as follows,up in attic I have a black and white wire,on fan light unit I have 2 whites a blue and a black,Do I tie the whites together and hook up to the neutral on switch,and the blue and black tie together and attach to black,and on the switch attach to 1 hot terminal and run a pigtail to the other hot on the switch,the switch is a 2 toggle switch.

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