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At the fan I have a plug in for the fan (1 black/1 white) and a plug in for the light/nightlight (2 blacks and 1 ground). At the switch plate I have 3 separate switches (fan, light, night light). I want to combine the light and fan into 1 switch and keep the nightlight separate. In the ceiling, 2 cables exist: One 2-wire (black/white) cable and One 3-wire (black(light)/white/red(fan)).

At the switch box many of the hot black wires are tied together and many of the neutral wires are also tied together. To affect my change should I wire the hot fan/light leads to the hot red and black ones from the switches below and then at the switch box combine the two blacks from the switch that I intend to remove and add those to the single switch?

I tried to upload photos and the site does not accept even the smallest one. There are 3 wires in the ceiling and 5 wires for the fan/light/nightlight. I have wired up the fan/light/nightlight based on 3 separate switches (I am not convinced that I am not experiencing a voltage drop - based on using a circuit tester), but each switch operates separately. If I try to go to a common switch for the light and fan (this is my goal) then all 3 (fan/light/nightlight) are energized at once ( I do not want to connect the new fan until I resolve this). All 3 switches have a black line in and out. At the 3 gang box, all the neutrals are tied together and all the black wires are tied together. Thoughts?

Thanks here is the link to photos: http://imgur.com/WEgPY3z and here is the link with all the photos http://imgur.com/a/vzfJJ

Success! I pulled the junction box switches and found there were 5 black wires tied together and 4 white ones tied together. I left the white ones alone and when I explored the 3 switches, I had the normal hot into the switch and switched hot leading up to the ceiling. One switch was wired the opposite way (switched hot in) and hot out - I cannot explain this. After I disconnected all the black wires, I found only 1 of the 5 was hot (one was for another circuit (not switched at the box)). To go to two switches, I eliminated one of the black wires and the middle switch. The nightlight was wired correctly (hot in; switched hot out), so I left it as is. For the combined fan/light switch, I used the last of the 4 black wires (hot) into the switch and then combined the fan/light wires out the other side of the switch, up to the ceiling and the fan unit. I also added the ground from the removed middle switch to the fan/light switch. At the fan, I left it wired as it had been in the photos I shared. Circuit testing verified that I could use the switches as intended and the correct response occurred at the fan.

  • Can you post photos of the insides of the fan and switch boxes? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 28 '17 at 0:17
  • Post your photos to imgur and post links here, then we can edit them into your question – ThreePhaseEel Feb 28 '17 at 23:19
  • Looking at the pics I am once again struck by how preposterously difficult it is to make an informative photo of the inside of a junction box. In spite of David's heroic efforts I still have no idea what's going on at the switch box. – A. I. Breveleri Mar 1 '17 at 1:57
  • Agree completely; I will unravel the connections inside the 3 gang box and my plan will be to combine black wire connections through one switch to operate the fan/light and then have the remaining/other circuit dedicated to the night light. I believe that the white/neutrals can all be tied together at the box and at the fan - I cannot completely separate them as I only have the one neutral for the light/nightlight. I guess at the fan, I can also combine the backs for the light and fan. Does this make sense? – David Mar 1 '17 at 14:59
  • Can you post the paragraph starting with "Success!" as a self-answer please? I'll upvote it if you do :) – ThreePhaseEel Mar 2 '17 at 4:14
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Success! I pulled the junction box switches and found there were 5 black wires tied together and 4 white ones tied together. I left the white ones alone and when I explored the 3 switches, I had the normal hot into the switch and switched hot leading up to the ceiling. One switch was wired the opposite way (switched hot in) and hot out - I cannot explain this. After I disconnected all the black wires, I found only 1 of the 5 was hot (one was for another circuit (not switched at the box)). To go to two switches, I eliminated one of the black wires and the middle switch. The nightlight was wired correctly (hot in; switched hot out), so I left it as is. For the combined fan/light switch, I used the last of the 4 black wires (hot) into the switch and then combined the fan/light wires out the other side of the switch, up to the ceiling and the fan unit. I also added the ground from the removed middle switch to the fan/light switch. At the fan, I left it wired as it had been in the photos I shared. Circuit testing verified that I could use the switches as intended and the correct response occurred at the fan.

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