How to Wire a Bathroom Heat Lamp. In the wintertime, the bathroom can become a very chilly place and there's nothing that can take the chill out of the air as you step out of the steaming shower. Well, nothing but a heat lamp, that is!
Heat lamps have been used for years in bathrooms to help make them more comfortable. But, while they effectively heat up the room, you cannot simply replace the bulb in your current bathroom fixture with a heat lamp. You need to install a properly-rated fixture which is made specifically for the heat lamp. Here is how to wire a bathroom heat lamp.
If you already have a bathroom ceiling light that you are planning to replace with a heat lamp, the first thing you will have to do is remove the existing fixture.
Make sure you turn the breaker supplying the power to the light OFF. Do not rely on simply flipping off the switch, as it is too easy for someone to walk by and accidentally flip it back on.
Remove the fixture cover and bulb. Then proceed in removing the fixture. Depending on the type of fixture, there may be "wings" on the sides that need to be loosened before you can remove it.
With the fixture hanging from the ceiling, take the cover off of the junction box and test the wires with the voltage tester to make sure the power is OFF.
Separate the wires, loosen the lock nut and remove the wires from the fixture.
On the new heat lamp fixture, open up the junction box. Use the screwdriver to pop one of the "knockouts" open on the junction box.
Slide the wires through the "knockout" hole and secure them with the locknut. Check the wires to ensure they are in good shape. If they look damaged or worn, cut the exposed section of wire off and strip a new length of wire (approximately 3/4 inches).
Take the ground wire (the green or bare copper wire) from your feed and loop it and secure it under the green ground screw found inside the junction box.
Next, connect the white feed wire to the white wire in the junction box and secure it with a wire nut. Wrap the wire nut and wires with electrical tape.
Next, you should notice on the side of the junction box what looks like a black rod (or it may be blue). This is called a thermocouple. There should be two wires coming from the thermocouple (in most cases, they are a blue and a red wire).
The blue wire gets connected to the black feed wire. Secure it with a wire nut and tape it like you did with the white wires.
The red wire gets connected to the black fixture wire. Secure these wires with the wire nut and tape as well.
Neatly tuck all of the wires back into the junction box and replace the cover.
Follow the heat lamp's directions for installing it in the ceiling, as each light may carry different requirements.
If the heat lamp fixture is significantly larger than the old ceiling light, then you may have to cut some drywall away with the drywall saw to make it fit.
Now that the heat lamp is installed in the ceiling, you will want to replace the single pole switch that controls the light with an electric wall timer.
Take the switch cover off and remove the two screws securing it to the wall box. Gently pull the switch out.
Double check that the voltage is still OFF using the tester. Then, remove the wires from the switch.
With the wire strippers, cut the ends off of the wires and then strip 3/4 inches of insulation off the wires for a fresh connection.
The timer should have two wire leads coming off of it. Connect one lead to one of the wires in the wall box and the other lead to the other wire (since it is a switch, specific wiring is not required). Wire nut each pair together and use the electrical tape as earlier directed.
Since the electrical timer is much larger than a regular switch, you may need to make some room in the box by organizing the wires inside.
Make sure that the timer sits evenly inside the wall box and use the two included longer screws to secure it to the box.
Now, just replace the switch plate and install the timer's dial and install the heat lamp in the fixture.
Turn the power back ON and turn the dial on the timer. You should be rewarded with glorious warmth and an end to your chilly after-shower moments.