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-   -   PITA Bathroom Fan (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/pita-bathroom-fan-113263/)

Nate8727 08-07-2011 03:50 PM

PITA Bathroom Fan
 
Hello all,

I'm having issues with a bathroom fan in my finished basement. It works sometimes when you flick the switch, and then later on doesn't work at all.

I've replaced the switch, and the fan motor without any change. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

The switch gets 0 volts ac when off, and 120 volts ac when on (tested with multimeter), and it's the same whether it works or not.

The bathroom fan is the NuTone model with the light built in. The light never has any issues.

Any ideas? (Are the switches supposed to be grounded?)

gregzoll 08-07-2011 03:57 PM

Have you tried replacing the switch & checking connections on the junction box that is a part of the fan, if you can get to it. Post pictures if you have further questions about the appearance of the connections.

IH8plaster 08-07-2011 04:00 PM

Does the fan plug in inside the unit. Sometimes the outlet can have a loose connection

gregzoll 08-07-2011 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IH8plaster (Post 702448)
Does the fan plug in inside the unit. Sometimes the outlet can have a loose connection

Only way it could become loose, is constant plugging and unplugging, or overheating caused by a bad fan, especially if really old. Otherwise, I would start with the switch & connection points before looking at the fan.

electures 08-07-2011 05:04 PM

How old is the fan? Both of my bath fans are 25+ years old and are giving me probls starting. It may just be from age.

Nate8727 08-07-2011 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 702445)
Have you tried replacing the switch & checking connections on the junction box that is a part of the fan, if you can get to it. Post pictures if you have further questions about the appearance of the connections.

I replaced the switch and the motor without any difference. I checked the connections in the fan motor housing and they were all ok. I tightened the ground wire screw and it still didn't make a difference.

Nate8727 08-07-2011 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IH8plaster (Post 702448)
Does the fan plug in inside the unit. Sometimes the outlet can have a loose connection

Yes. I made sure it was the right one, because it only goes one way. The weird part about it is the light has the bigger prong on the plug, but the fan has both small prongs. I made sure it worked (when it does) so it was plugged in the right way.

Nate8727 08-07-2011 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electures (Post 702483)
How old is the fan? Both of my bath fans are 25+ years old and are giving me probls starting. It may just be from age.

The fan is the old one again because a new one didn't make a difference. It's the same age as the house which was built in 1997.

SD515 08-07-2011 08:18 PM

If you swap the ‘hot’ wires around at the fan junction, see if the problem continues with the fan or if it goes to the light. If the fan still has the problem, the culprit is probably the ‘socket’ it plugs into. If the light start having the problem, it’s most likely the wiring from the fan to the switch. How many switches & how many wires from the switch(es) to the fan?

Nate8727 08-08-2011 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SD515 (Post 702596)
If you swap the ‘hot’ wires around at the fan junction, see if the problem continues with the fan or if it goes to the light. If the fan still has the problem, the culprit is probably the ‘socket’ it plugs into. If the light start having the problem, it’s most likely the wiring from the fan to the switch. How many switches & how many wires from the switch(es) to the fan?

There's one switch for the light on the left, and one switch for the fan on the right. The one on the left has a black and white wire, and the one on the right has a red and black. There's a ground wire behind both switches but they're not connected. I'm going off of memory here, so if it doesn't sound right I could have the black and white mixed up.

Is a replacement socket for the fan available?

gregzoll 08-08-2011 03:47 PM

Most likely the light is a "switch leg". I am guessing they ran the hot to the junction box on the fan, then pulled 3 wire down to the junction box for the switches. Take some pictures and post both sides, if you can access the fan from the attic to show the wiring up there.

Nate8727 08-08-2011 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 703072)
Most likely the light is a "switch leg". I am guessing they ran the hot to the junction box on the fan, then pulled 3 wire down to the junction box for the switches. Take some pictures and post both sides, if you can access the fan from the attic to show the wiring up there.

This fan is in the basement bathroom (split level house), but I can still get inside it. It's a standard NuTone model with the plastic light cover in the middle of the vent on each side.

I'll get pics and post them.

Nate8727 08-08-2011 04:33 PM

Well it's working now for some reason. I took the fan out, and tested both the voltage on the switch and both sockets for the light and the fan. They both were 119.xx and fluctuating on 119. Normal. So I plugged the fan back in and it still didn't work. I took it out in the garage and cleaned it off, then tried it in an outlet and it worked. Weird.

We'll see if it dies again. If it happens again, I'll check the voltage and find the root of the issue.


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