Need help on wiring my new bathroom fan. Should have been more attentive when removing the old one. The new fan has three wires: white, black and green. In the ceiling are two sets of wires. The first, coming from the basement (I think) has three wires: Black, white and copper. The second (coming from the switch, I think) has two wires: white and black. Feel like an idiot for asking but how should I connect these wires? Thanks for any help you can give. Sophia

  • Were any of the existing wires connected to each other, but not to the fan? Sep 20, 2019 at 21:46
  • Can you post photos of the insides of both the light and switch boxes please? Sep 21, 2019 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


With the power off, connect the white wire from the "basement" to the white wire from the fan. Connect the black wire from the "basement" to the black wire from the fan. Turn on the power, if the fan runs then you've established the feed. Turn the power off and disconnect the black wires. Connect the basement black wire to the white wire going to the switch, wrap some black electrical tape around the white wire to show it is hot. Connect the black wire from the switch to the black wire from the fan. Connect the green wire from the fan to the copper wires from the other wires. Turn the power on and test the fan.

If in the first step the fan didn't turn on, turn off the power and disconnect the fan from the "basement" wires and hook them up to the "switch" wires. Turn on the power and the fan should run. Now you know that's the feed... continue the wiring as noted above.Good luck.

  • 1
    That would put the always-hot on the black wire and the switched-hot on the white. Code requires white to be always-hot where practicable. That makes it easier for people testing the wires to see the white is in use as a hot. Sep 20, 2019 at 21:50
  • @Harper Thanks for that. I edited my answer to show that.
    – JACK
    Sep 20, 2019 at 22:43
  • Thank you Jack and Harper you are true heroes. I now have a working fan in my bathroom!
    – Montana
    Sep 30, 2019 at 14:24

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