new here and I tried the search but can’t seem to find an answer to what I’ve got.

In my bathroom, I have 2 switches. enter image description here

When top switch is on, bottom off, the vanity light and the exhaust fan light both come on.

When top switch is on, bottom on, both lights and the exhaust fan are on.

When top switch is off, bottom on, everything is off.

I’m in the process of relocating the switch to a more convenient (slightly lower) position and I would like to be able to turn the fan on when the lights are off. I was planning to install 2 side by side switches for the relocation. Is this possible with what I’ve got, or would it be a big ordeal to set up that way?

Thank you in advance for the help, I will try to figure out how to post photos!

enter image description here

1: https://i.stack.imgur.com/lXwCF.jpg![enter image description here](https://i.stack.imgur.com/mPLKL.jpg)enter image description here

  • What do the fan and lights do when both of the switches are OFF? Aug 16, 2020 at 23:13
  • What we need to see is if there two separate cables leaving the switch to feed the vanity and fan. It would be helpful to remove the switches and fold them to the sides so we can see the wires. Aug 17, 2020 at 0:30
  • When both switches are off, everything is off. This is the same as when the top switch is off, regardless of what position the bottom switch is in. Sorry, should have clarified that initially
    – Dawglb44
    Aug 17, 2020 at 2:12
  • 1
    There are only 2 sets of wires in the box. Botha sets have a black, white and ground. The set leaving the bottom has white sheathing, same as the vanity light and fan/light. I’m guessing this means one cable feeds them both?
    – Dawglb44
    Aug 17, 2020 at 2:17
  • 1
    Do you have some way of testing for power on the wires coming into the box? Aug 17, 2020 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


It looks like you have a switch leg but they should have used x3 with ground cable. The black mark on the white cable I would guess is your hot the black is the switched hot that is working. I normally would have the 2nd switch on the red wire with the 14-3 or 12-3 wire from the fixture. with the white marked black always hot jumped to both switches With the extra cable this may violate code depending on how it is wired. We would need a photo of the wiring connections at the fixture or box where this is fed from. If the 2nd cable is connected as a switch leg white always hot then the black to the fan it would be ok. On an older home that did not require a neutral in the box.

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