I bought a new light/ fan combo to replace and old one in a bathroom. This new fixture has those connectors that are plug and play, so to speak. You simply plug the appropriate color wire from the cable into the corresponding hole in the wiring harness for the fixture.

The catch is that I have a ground, two hots and one neutral (12-3?)and the harness has a spot for each of them plus an extra white (neutral) that of course my cable doesn't have. Seeing as my old fan/light was wired with the same house wire, should I cut the harness to splice together the two neutrals, or somehow branch/split the neutral and plug into the harness?

If branching/splitting is the recommended course of action, how do I do that?

  • 4
    Can you post a photo of the connections on your fan/light combo? Feb 7, 2017 at 3:49
  • 1
    What's the make and model of the fixture you're trying to install?
    – Tester101
    Feb 7, 2017 at 12:07
  • 2
    Probably you will take two short pieces of white #12 insert them into the terminal block and connect them to the white in the cable (3 whites in a single wire nut). But to be sure look into the box with the switches for this unit. Or just test the two hots at the unit with power and switches on. Are the two hots on the same circuit? Or are the two hots on different circuits? If they are on different circuits, are they on the same leg (0 volts hot to hot) or are they on different legs (240 V hot to hot)? Feb 7, 2017 at 15:24
  • Thanks everyone. I am not sure I can precisely answer your question Jim. There are two switches, one for the light, one for the fan. The vent/fan unit has two white quick connectors - but the housing wire that the original vent/fan ran on, only has one white. I am thinking it must be that the original vent/fan unit just attached both of its neutrals together and connected to the housing neutral The unit itself is a Utiitech Model #7113-01-L
    – Cirwdlake
    Feb 8, 2017 at 19:58

3 Answers 3


There are two neutrals on the fan light, because

  • The fan gets a hot and a neutral.
  • The light gets a hot and a neutral.

By giving you separate neutrals, it gives you the versatility of being able to put the fan and light on separate circuits, or other circumstance where you'd need separate neutrals.

In your case, and in most instances, both devices share a neutral - the two hots (red and black) are switched, the neutral is not.

You address this by just sticking two 6-inch wires (of the size you are using in that circuit; larger is allowed, smaller is not) in those connectors, then joining those two wires and your supply neutral with a wire nut (or splice connector if you're in Europe.) I would not alter the fixture.


My guess (sight unseen) is that two neutral sockets are provided because it's possible that two separate cables are used, as they would be with two separate switch boxes. Simply ignore one. It's probably not needed.


I would install a two lever switch and run another wire up.

That way you can control the fan and the light separately.

  • 1
    There are already two hots provided. This doesn't answer the question anyway.
    – isherwood
    Feb 7, 2017 at 18:37

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