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Old 01-12-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


Hello, I have a central exhaust system - a fantech inline fan for two bathrooms, with a timer in each bathroom. Recently the relay (located in the basement) has started buzzing quite loudly when a timer turns the fan off. The buzzing stops when I turn the whole system off and then back on again. I don't know what the problem is? Anyone have any ideas?

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Old 01-12-2010, 05:57 PM   #2
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


Just one timer causes this and not the other timer?

If yes, replace the timer. Or clean the switch contacts in the timer if you can.

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:39 AM   #3
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


Hi Billy Bob, nope it can happen with either timer.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:39 PM   #4
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


In that case I would try replacing the relay.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:47 PM   #5
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


The relay was replaced about a month ago for the same reason. Now I'm thinking its systematic somehow, but strange how after years of no problem, all of a sudden I go thru 2 relays? At least this one it doesn't happen often, but it still does. Any ideas what would cause this?
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


Did the new relay start buzzing right away?

Or did it work for awhile, then start buzzing?

Possible problems...

There could be dirty contacts on the timers which are not allowing enough electricity through to the relay. You could test this theory by temporarily replacing a timer with a new regular switch.

There could be a poor electrical connection along the way somewhere. Check all electrical connections all the way from the panel to the relay. Again this would not allow enough electricity through to the relay for it to function normally. You could rig up power to the relay directly from another circuit to test this theory. See if this stops the buzzing.

The relay might be in an enclosed box. Relays which are on for a long period can get to be quite hot. I suppose heat build-up could damage the relay. Add vents to enclosure.

There could be small "bugs" crawling around and getting in-between electrical contacts at the timers or relay. If there are vent holes, place plastic screen over them so bugs can't crawl in.

The relay if replaced with the same exact kind could be defective. Try a different brand.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


The new relay didn't start buzzing until a few days ago, and its only done it twice. Its a different brand than the one that was replaced, and its not in an enclosed junction box, and the temperature of it is room temp.

The timers are Leviton 6560M's. I did my research thinking that these could be the culprit, but because it's an inline fan with a relay, there is no neutral, nor does the timer act as a motor control. I think I've eliminated the switches as a cause, but I'll check the timers again, but they looked ok when I started troubleshooting.

I am curious about the electricity flow... not enough electricity might cause it to buzz? I was thinking that perhaps it was because there was too much going thru the relay? Didn't consider that part. What other reasons would cause a relay to buzz?
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:00 PM   #8
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Central Exhaust Relay buzzing


A relay is just an electrically operated magnet and switch. Electricity on, it pulls a lever toward it and the lever turns on a switch.

There is a certain amount of electricity which will cause the lever to move toward the electro magnet.

With electricity somewhere in-between off and totally on, the electro magnet is not quite strong enough to make the lever pull all the way and hold it there. It rattles or buzzes.

A relay...


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