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sweaty 07-18-2011 05:14 AM

No Power From Breaker
My radon fan stopped. It is powered from a subpanel in the garage.

I removed the cover of the subpanel. Using a pen-type non-contact voltage detector, I detect no power from that breaker. I do detect power from known powered circuits. The wire is fastened securely. Do breakers just go bad? This is a Square D QO.

oh'mike 07-18-2011 05:23 AM

I never trust the non contact testers----

Yes breakers can go bad---turn it off and back on several times.

Radon pumps are usually on a gfci breaker or outlet---see if the breaker has a push button.

sweaty 07-18-2011 05:47 AM

Turning the beaker off and on did not work. There is no GFCI. Should there be? Is it code?

oh'mike 07-18-2011 06:19 AM

Gfci is standard practice in Illinois----I'm not a licensed electrician so I don't know code in Va.

You say this is a sub panel? There will be an electrician along shortly.----Mike----

mpoulton 07-18-2011 07:39 AM

GFCI may or may not be required depending on where and how it's installed. Regardless, that's not part of your problem at the moment. Try removing and reinstalling the breaker a time or two - it might not be making contact with the bus (though this is unlikely). Is there an identical breaker in the panel that you can swap with this one? The radon fan should then work with the replacement breaker, and the other breaker's circuit should stop working. In that case, just get a new breaker. If you get some other result... then there's weirdness.

brric 07-18-2011 08:09 AM

Is there a service switch nearby the unit?

sweaty 07-18-2011 01:08 PM

There is no switch near the unit. The fan is in my garage attic and the wire seems to go down right to the panel.

I will switch breakers and see if that does it.

sweaty 07-19-2011 01:52 PM

I switched breakers and there is still no power to the radon fan. Any other ideas?

a7ecorsair 07-19-2011 04:16 PM

How is the fan connected to the power source? Is it directly wired? If it were working, would it run continuously or is there some automatic switch that starts and stops it?
You need a volt meter so you can actually check for power at the point where the fan is connected to you electrical system.
Maybe the fan is bad...

thorguy57 07-19-2011 11:16 PM

Do you have a main breaker on your sub panel? If so are you sure the one whole side doesnt have power? you could have lost a whole leg.

sweaty 07-20-2011 03:58 AM

The leg works. I'll trace the wire and see if squirrels chewed it. If not, I may have to get a new fan. There are a couple months left under the warranty.

bobelectric 07-20-2011 04:28 AM


Originally Posted by brric (Post 688536)
Is there a service switch nearby the unit?

Brilliant deduction! He said no power at breaker.

sweaty 08-02-2011 04:07 PM

It is working now. I did nothing else. I am very concerned about our radon fan installer. I had talked to him about this, but he was very difficult to deal with. He is quite competent, but really socially maladjusted.

When he first came to the house 5 years ago to give an estimate, I opened the door, he walked right in and started heading downstairs without introducing himself or saying a word about why he was there. After the job was completed, there was miscommunication about when to collect payment. He came into the house when we were not there and found our check to him in our kitchen. It kind of freaked us out. I am wondering if he came to the house to do the repair when we did not know it. The fan is accesible from the garage.

This may seem like we're paranoid, but he is REALLY odd.

gregzoll 08-02-2011 04:33 PM

What you should have done five years ago, is tell him that he was not welcome in your home and to please excuse himself out the door, so you could close it in his face. At this point, it may be too late, but if you have a written contractual agreement that this third party was going to maintain your system, I would sit down and review it. Your state's attorney can assist you if you have any questions regarding your authority in the contract, or agreement with the original party.

oh'mike 08-02-2011 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by sweaty (Post 698948)
I. He is quite competent, but really socially maladjusted.

:laughing::laughing::laughing:( Very tactfully put)

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