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?

  • Is it possible you can use the existing wire to pull more wires with the desired number of conductors? Dec 4, 2020 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, 2020 at 13:29

1 Answer 1



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.

  • 1
    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. Dec 4, 2020 at 4:13
  • 3
    That solution means the light and fan would always be on or off together (I want it to be clear to the OP). Dec 4, 2020 at 5:21
  • 1
    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Actually, what I meant was running another bundle of Romex (another set of b/w/copper).
    – aghast
    Dec 5, 2020 at 4:24
  • Good. I suggest clarifying the answer as some people new to wiring may not realize that. Dec 5, 2020 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).... Dec 7, 2020 at 2:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.