I have a Nutone exhaust fan/light fixture in my bathroom. The fan and light are each controlled by their own 2 pole switch, one is inside the bathroom and one is outside. I want to replace the combination fixture with a light only fixture. I would like to replace the switches with 3 poles so the light can be controlled from inside or outside the bathroom. Is there a way to wire this using the existing 2 conductor Romex? All conductors currently come into the junction box in the ceiling.

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    Can you post a photo of the inside of the ceiling box? Also, are you providing some other means of ventilating the bathroom? Jul 10, 2017 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


Short answer is: No

You can't use single pole switches (what you referred to as 2 pole) to create a 3-way circuit. You need another wire that is not available with 2 wire cable.

You would have to replace the 2 wire cable with 3 wire.

However they do have "wireless" switches that convert a single pole switch to a 3-way setup with the wireless switch at the second location. You might check into that.

Good luck!

  • I think he can do this with some relay shenanigans up in the ceiling (single pole switches in the switch boxes on switch loops control SPDT relay coils, while the relay contacts switch the load in the manner of a 3 way switch) but I'd need some more details about what's up in his ceiling for that. Jul 11, 2017 at 22:14
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    @ThreePhaseEel I agree you or I could do that but probably not a project for a novice.
    – ArchonOSX
    Jul 12, 2017 at 10:55
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    Yeah -- my answer will have the definite caveat "if this looks too complicated for you, provide this answer to your nearest friendly electrician and have them do it for you" :) Jul 12, 2017 at 11:40

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