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Old 08-12-2010, 10:31 PM   #1
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Confusing wall switch, neutral wire ?


Not to hijack this very informative thread, but I've been looking for wall mounted timer switches to control a bathroom fan.

Like the thread starter, I do not have a neutral wire in the box behind the existing switch (house built in 50s).

Being "new", I put a lot of time into finding a digital switch that is able to run 1HP motors at 110V without requiring a neutral line. In fact, there might only be the one company that does this (won't name them here unless asked because I don't want my first post to be mistaken for spam).

Anyway, while I wait for the switch in the mail, I've gotten around to reading up on neutral lines and why they are "required" for inductive loads like motors and I'm beginning to wonder how the heck this switch can work.

Am I buying something that is doomed to fail because of significant design compromises? I haven't installed the switch yet, but I'm starting to get concerned now that I read up some more...

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 08-12-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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Confusing wall switch, neutral wire ?


Your timer doesn't need a neutral, but the fan motor does. There is a neutral up there at the fun, they just didn't bring one down to the switchbox from what I gather.

Link to the timer.

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Old 08-12-2010, 11:01 PM   #3
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Confusing wall switch, neutral wire ?


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Originally Posted by Proby View Post
Your timer doesn't need a neutral, but the fan motor does. There is a neutral up there at the fun, they just didn't bring one down to the switchbox from what I gather.

Link to the timer.
http://www.aartech.ca/ei600wc-interm...me-switch.html

Also has a link to the specs pdf that shows the "Single switch" setup I envision.

Anyway, what was concerning me is that pretty much *all* digital switches except the ones made by this company seem to need that neutral wire.

The basement bathroom this switch is going into would be potentially expensive to rewire (ripping drywall), but I have another bathroom where I want to put a timer switch and in that case the ceiling fan is just going into the attic, so I bet rewiring that one wouldnt be so hard (the existing switch loop probably just drops down into the wall where the switch is - about 5 feet from the fan).

The switch above is functionally near-perfect for my application because its going into a combination bathroom/laundry room in the basement so having the ability to just run the fan for 5 minutes every 2 hours (for example) is great.

For upstairs I will just want a "delayed off" timer and I'd like to avoid the wind-up timer ones for vanity.

Last edited by TomK1; 08-12-2010 at 11:03 PM. Reason: worse grammar than usual
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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Confusing wall switch, neutral wire ?


That timers looks like it should work fine, it's got a battery to power it.

The bathroom upstairs might be wired differently, it might be a typical "feed thru" design instead of the switch loop you have in the basement. If not, like you said, it won't be too much of a problem to run a new cable down to the box.
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:32 PM   #5
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Confusing wall switch, neutral wire ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TomK1 View Post
http://www.aartech.ca/ei600wc-interm...me-switch.html

Also has a link to the specs pdf that shows the "Single switch" setup I envision.

Anyway, what was concerning me is that pretty much *all* digital switches except the ones made by this company seem to need that neutral wire.

The basement bathroom this switch is going into would be potentially expensive to rewire (ripping drywall), but I have another bathroom where I want to put a timer switch and in that case the ceiling fan is just going into the attic, so I bet rewiring that one wouldnt be so hard (the existing switch loop probably just drops down into the wall where the switch is - about 5 feet from the fan).

The switch above is functionally near-perfect for my application because its going into a combination bathroom/laundry room in the basement so having the ability to just run the fan for 5 minutes every 2 hours (for example) is great.

For upstairs I will just want a "delayed off" timer and I'd like to avoid the wind-up timer ones for vanity.
No Neutral wired needed also," http://www.aartech.ca/ltt60-1lw-levi...own-timer.html "
I just found out that the Timer above will not work CFL or LED lights. Is there a timer for a bathroom with countdown 10,20,30 60 min. with NO neutral wire needed?
Thanks for any info.? Any should I post this somewhere else.?
Kevin.

Last edited by kevkwas; 10-05-2011 at 12:38 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
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Confusing wall switch, neutral wire ?


Most electronic timers need the neutral to run the electronics of the timer. The timer you are using has a battery for the electronics. All the timer does is open and close the switch loop to the fan.

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