Switch Selection for a Bathroom Fan

Hello! I am simply looking for a recommendation for a switch to replace a standard on/off bathroom fan. I am not at this time looking to be concerned with humidity sensors, etc. - just on/off. I have many installed Linear light switches, etc. but am unclear as to what the right choice is for an in-wall switch to control the fan (not a light).


If it’s a typical small one speed bathroom fan you can use any on/off switch that matches the load specs; just don’t use a dimmer switch intended for lights.

If it’s a large ceiling fan or a variable speed fan, then you need to use one of the purpose – built fan switches: both Leviton and GE make these.

I use a regular GE/Jasco zWave switch to control my 110 CFM fan. I have an automation that when that fan is on, it raises my Heating setpoint from 68 to 70 degrees because the porcelin flooring can get very cold and I have a toe-kit heater underneath by vanity which warms it up a little.

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Excellent! Thank you for the reply. Could you please share a specific model?


The above listed is an on / off LIGHT switch, not fan switch.

Here is the GE FAN switch on Amazon

12730 is for ceiling fans. I believe the OP is talking about bathroom exhaust fans, which would go on a standard on/off switch like the 12722 posted above you.

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I use them for my bathroom exhaust fans.

You can use a fan-specific switch for small bathroom fans, and you definitely should if you want speed control, even low/high. But if it’s a small fan with only one speed and you just want on/off control, you can use any on/off switch that meets the load specs. It’s the variable speed control that’s the biggest reason for getting a fan – specific switch.

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Thanks all!

You have answered my question(s) and I will try the GE 12722. Part of my confusion is I have about 25 switches installed in the house from Linear - and I like them - but cannot find one that seems to be just a single on/off switch like the GE 12722 and I was hoping to remain consistent, etc.


Nortek is one of the largest Z wave manufacturers in the US, and they sell the same devices under many different brands, including two gig, linear, and go control. They all use the same model number, they just come in different boxes.

The on/off switch is the WS15Z. (I don’t know why this product description says black, it only comes in white)

Hm. Perhaps this is where my confusion comes in. That’s a three way switch that has three wires (plus ground). My fan implementation has only two wires on the existing switch. That is the same switch I have in many places within the house, on those switches that have the additional load wire.

The third wire is the neutral. Most zwave switches will require that to power the radio inside the switch so that it can hear the “on” command even when the switch appears to be off.

I’m not aware of any zwave switches that could control even a small exhaust fan that don’t need a neutral wire

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The exhaust fan switch should wire in identically to the other Linear switches you have. Those all have three wires (Line, Load, Neutral) plus ground, correct? This would be the same.

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The GE 12722 mentioned upthread also requires a neutral wire.

Where you may have gotten confused is that there are some much older GE switches that did not require a neutral wire. These were discontinued last year. They only worked with incandescent lights, and did not work with LEDs. Since most people want switches that can work with LEDs now, those models have been discontinued.

There is still a cooper switch made that doesn’t require a neutral, but again it’s only rated to work with incandescent bulbs, not motors of any kind.

I see why you are confused. The Amazon switch @JDRoberts pointed to is the right switch WS15Z-1 but the user manual link inside the description is for a remote switch model WT00Z-1.

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OK… I was successful! Thank you all! In my haste, I was trying to replace a single toggle on/off switch with just two wires going to it with a similar smart switch… I didn’t notice the load / white wire that was also coming from the romex in the back of the box… all is well. I used the switch referenced above: https://www.amazon.com/GoControl-WS15Z-1-Zwave-Mount-Switch/dp/B00E1OQN8Y


Just stumbled across this thread. I don’t know how it didn’t come to me sooner, but it seems like being able to turn on/off bathroom fans would be really cool.

  • Automatically turn it on if the bathroom light is on more then 15 minutes and the door is closed.
  • Automatically turn it off 15 minutes after the bathroom light is turned off.
  • Manually turn it on REMOTELY when someone else neglects to turn it on.