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Thread: Exhaust Fan Replacement Timer

  1. #1

    Default Exhaust Fan Replacement Timer

    Hi, I'm replacing a conventional switch in the bathroom which controlled the exhaust fan. I am placing a timer instead. Upon opening the switch box, I noticed that I only have 1 - black, 1 - white, 1 - bare ground. Therefore, I assume the source is at the fixture.

    Exhaust fan is 13 Amps, therefore I figured I needed a 20A Timer (requires white neutral connection). Now, my question is, if the source is at the fixture (fan), would it be safe to use a 5A Timer (which doesnt require a white neutral connection)? If not, how do I connect the timer without access to the extra wire.

    Hope this makes sense, I am new at this.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Is this a residential exhust fan? Also if this fan actually draws 13 amps, this will definitely be a problem with a 5 amp switch....
    Last edited by Chris75; 08-24-2007 at 07:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75
    Is this a residential exhaust fan?
    I see the sheet rock pulling off the walls and the commode lid standing straight up every time the fan is turned on.

  4. #4
    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    A bathroom fan that is rated at 13 Amps probably has a heater too.

    Why not use a spring-wound timer?

  5. #5
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrapnel
    Hi, I'm replacing a conventional switch in the bathroom which controlled the exhaust fan. I am placing a timer instead. Upon opening the switch box, I noticed that I only have 1 - black, 1 - white, 1 - bare ground. Therefore, I assume the source is at the fixture.
    If those black and white wires were/are connected to the switch, I would guess the black is hot and that the white carries power from the switch to the fan motor already connected to a common (white) on the other side of its windings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shrapnel
    Exhaust fan is 13 Amps ...
    As others have already suggested, that is very unlikely ... and here is a nice timer to consider once you get the amperage issue sorted out:

    http://www.wattstopper.com/products/details.html?id=105

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default timer

    If the timer has a separate neutral, it must be electronic, so unless you can extend a neutral to the timer you cannot use it. Why not use a mechanical timer that has a knob that turns to the amount of time desired with a maximum of say, 30 minutes?

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    If the timer has a separate neutral, it must be electronic, so unless you can extend a neutral to the timer you cannot use it. Why not use a mechanical timer that has a knob that turns to the amount of time desired with a maximum of say, 30 minutes?

    I'm with Furd and hj on this. Any good hardware, or big box, store will have a variety of spring wound timers, with different max. durations (some up to several hours).

  8. #8
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    If the timer has a separate neutral, it must be electronic, so unless you can extend a neutral to the timer you cannot use it.
    Ah, yes, I missed that.

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