Electrical Wiring in the Home/Need electricity in the attic

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Question
"I have a California townhouse built in 1974 that has no air conditioning and no insulation on the attic ceiling.  (There's batt insulation on the floor.)  In the summer the second floor gets HOT and I only have one small window on a wall around from the front of the townhouse where all of the rest of the windows are.  There's not much cross ventilation.  I'd like to consider mounting an attic fan but don't have outlets in the attic.  (The electrical lines in the attic either power a bathroom light/vent or run down the walls to outlets and switches.) What options are there for getting power to the attic?  Can I branch off of existing wiring to power an attic fan?  What if I would rather put in a whole house fan?  Should I have a new circuit installed in my panel on the first floor and then wire some junctions boxes in the attic?"

Answer
Hi.

Unless the fans call for their own circuit, which they usually don't, then you can tap off a general lighting circuit.  Although it is best to use common sense.  If there is already a lot on that circuit, then you should not connect the fan. A special circuit is good.

If the power goes to the switch first, then you can't tap off of a light or bath fan, because it gets power only when it is on. You can run the wire from an outlet through the wall.  Sometimes it is a little tricky.

A whole house fan only does any good when the outside temperature is lower than the inside temperature, usually after sundown.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle

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Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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