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We've got four bathrooms, all wired so that the light and the (extremely loud) fan are on the same switch. Each one appears to have two blacks wires (both connected to the switch, different screws on the same side) and two white wires (twisted and capped to one another). Is there a way to add a second switch to control the light and the fan separately without running new wiring?

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No, not without running new wire. The way you have it there is only one switch leg going up to the fan/light.

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  • Curses. Thanks - would this be a fairly routine job for an electrician, or is it something we should learn to live with? – John Taylor Jul 12 '14 at 17:18
  • The idea of turning on the fan when the bathroom is occupied isn't necessarily a bad one. You could just replace the fan with a quieter one. – iLikeDirt Jul 12 '14 at 17:22
  • No, you're right, it is more the volume that's the problem. I think the previous owner just used the cheapest possible fans. – John Taylor Jul 12 '14 at 17:35
  • In that case, it might be easier to replace the fan unit with a better one of the same size. – The Evil Greebo Jul 14 '14 at 10:26

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