Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-07-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

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?)

Nate8727 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 03:57 PM   #2
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,158
Rewards Points: 72
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


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.

gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 04:00 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


Does the fan plug in inside the unit. Sometimes the outlet can have a loose connection
IH8plaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,158
Rewards Points: 72
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8plaster View Post
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.
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 05:04 PM   #5
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,670
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


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.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
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 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 06:42 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8plaster View Post
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 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


Quote:
Originally Posted by electures View Post
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.
Nate8727 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 08:18 PM   #9
Electrician
 
SD515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Near Jackson Michigan Area
Posts: 1,450
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


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?
__________________
Kyle

Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should
SD515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 03:44 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


Quote:
Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
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?
Nate8727 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 03:47 PM   #11
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,158
Rewards Points: 72
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


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.
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
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 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 04:33 PM   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 0
Default

PITA Bathroom Fan


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.

Nate8727 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HRV With Bathroom Stale Air Pickup??? 1BadBoy Building & Construction 10 06-17-2011 02:17 PM
Wondering if it makes economic sence to replace a bathroom exhaust fan ChrisJJ HVAC 0 06-14-2011 10:36 AM
1886 Eastlake - add upstairs bathroom or expand downstairs bath?? TOTALN00B Plumbing 1 05-14-2011 09:54 PM
How to select appropriate Bathroom Lighting crescentharbor1 Kitchen & Bath Remodeling 1 02-28-2011 09:47 PM
Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help. trailblazer1229 Electrical 15 02-16-2010 09:29 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.