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I have one wire run into my bathroom ceiling and I want to replace an existing fan with a light/fan combo. I only have 2 weeks wires, one black and one white. My new light/fan combo requires 3 but it would be very difficult to run another wire. Can I splice my current hot wire into 2 and use one for the fan and one for the light?

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  • Is it possible you can use the existing wire to pull more wires with the desired number of conductors? – Steve Wellens Dec 4 '20 at 5:20
  • Do you want to control the light & fan at the same time (both on; both off) with one switch, or do you want to be able to control them individually (i.e.light on, fan off; both on; light off, fan on) with separate switches? – FreeMan Dec 4 '20 at 13:29
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Yes.

Or, probably a better solution, you can simply join the fan, power, and light wires all together in a single wire nut (3 nuts: black, white, green/bare copper). To be clear: this will result in your light and your fan always being on or off together.

However, if you can possibly run another set of wires (typically a set of 12/2 or 14/2 "Romex" - a black, a white, and a bare copper wire bundled into a plastic sheath) from the switch to the junction box for the fan/light, I would encourage you to do so. They sell duplex switches that will put two switches into a one-gang box, so you can separately control the lights and the fan.

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    You may want to clarify that with the exception of a retrofit ground wire (which is not the issue here), you can't run "another wire" unless the wires in conduit. If the wires are in a cable, adding another wire means replacing the cable. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Dec 4 '20 at 4:13
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    That solution means the light and fan would always be on or off together (I want it to be clear to the OP). – Steve Wellens Dec 4 '20 at 5:21
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Actually, what I meant was running another bundle of Romex (another set of b/w/copper). – aghast Dec 5 '20 at 4:24
  • Good. I suggest clarifying the answer as some people new to wiring may not realize that. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Dec 5 '20 at 23:15
  • Problem: some fans may not supply separate neutrals for the fan and lights, which makes running an additional /2 cable a Codevio due to looped/paralled neutrals or split paths (pick your poison).... – ThreePhaseEel Dec 7 '20 at 2:48

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