I’m adding a new exhaust fan to my bathroom where there was not one before. I added a double gang box for a second single-pole switch to operate the fan. The existing light switch had the following: a red and white wire coming into box, the red was hot and was connected to switch for light; a black and white coming into box, the black was not hot and was connected to other screw on light switch.

What I did was add pigtails to the “hot” red wire, and connected them to each respective switch; the light and the new fan. I connected all the whites together and the grounds together. I’ve provided a picture below. All appears to work well, but because I am not professional, I always like feedback for piece of mind. Thanks!

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    I don't like to criticize a new contributor but in that photograph one wire-nut is directly in front of the other and I have to guess that the partially blocked one has the three white wires. The pic would be greatly improved by pulling the front wire-nut as far to the right as it will go. - Also, all the cables seem to come in at the left side of the box, and they would be much more visible if the pic was looking in from the right side instead of the left. – A. I. Breveleri Sep 20 '20 at 5:19
  • Otter, please take the tour, then follow up with your post. – isherwood Feb 17 at 14:18

If I make some reasonable assumptions, this looks fine.

I assume that the cable entering at the left near the bottom, with the red and white wires, supplies the power. If you are in the USA, the picture makes me want to ask, where did you get a cable with red and white wires. So I have to assume that either it's a conduit, or it's 14/3 NMS with the black wire clipped short.

If it is a wire clipped short, you should deal with that. If you have the slack, pull the cable further into the box and cap the unused wire. If you can't do that, find the other end of the cable and make sure it is disconnected, then stuff a note about it into each junction box. This is not ideal but at least you will not have made things worse.

Then I assume the cable just below that, and the cable entering at the upper left, must run to the existing light and the new fan. For the purposes of your question it doesn't matter which is which. The circuit appears to be correctly wired.

Your use of pigtails and side-screw terminals also seems to follow best practice.

  • Thank you! Much appreciated. FYI, just a red and white in conduit. Old house, past practices I imagine. – Otter Sep 20 '20 at 17:05

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