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Faucetguy 07-30-2012 05:41 PM

Switch to Attic Fan
Okay, this is a real stupid question. My attic fan is not running and probably has not been running in years. I think it was shut off many years ago. I didn't realize until today that this might be the reason my upstairs gets warm. I went up to the attic to check out the situation and to look for a switch but I didn't see one nor did I see a thermostat. Where would the switch or the thermostat. be?

gregzoll 07-30-2012 05:54 PM

The thermostat should be by the fan. Pictures do help in these cases.

hammerlane 07-30-2012 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by Faucetguy (Post 977840)
Okay, this is a real stupid question. ....Where would the switch or the thermostat be?

Thermostat is most likely integrated with the roof exhaust fan. If it is switch controlled, follow any wiring leaving the unit to maybe a switch???

I dont know

Faucetguy 07-30-2012 07:15 PM

The wiring goes from the fan into a box a couple of feet away and then goes out of the box all the down to what looks like a case for a light fixture with a bulb. I will try to take pictures. My electrician said that the thermostat is likely inside the box. Here is what he said

The small box nearest the fan is the thermostat. You'd have to crawl in the attic to it with a flashlight and screw driver. There will be a small hole about 3/8" in diameter on the cover with a white plastic knob inside of it. The knob has a slot that allows you to turn the dial with a screw driver. Turn it all the way to the left. If it doesn't come on turn it all the way to the right. If it still doesn't come on then the motor needs replacing. If the fan does come on turn the dal back til the arrow is close to 95 degrees.

andrew79 07-30-2012 07:18 PM

seems like sound advice, give it a shot, if it's an old home the fan may just have lived it's life.

Evstarr 07-30-2012 07:24 PM

Is there a switch somewhere in the hall that you always wondered what it did?

electures 07-30-2012 08:07 PM


Originally Posted by Evstarr
Is there a switch somewhere in the hall that you always wondered what it did?

Or a closet somewhere?

bbo 07-30-2012 08:11 PM

i'd also take a non contact voltage tester up there to verify the wiring has current.

but before that, I'f check the fuse/breaker box to see if there is a fuse blown or a breaker tripped that could be for the attic fan.

gregzoll 07-30-2012 08:22 PM

You can also test the fan by pressing the switch at the bottom of the thermostat if there is one. To test the fan, you just have to unhook the thermostat from the fan, attach to a 120vac source and it should power on. The fans & thermostats you can buy a new unit for less than the cost of the parts, and then just scab the fan and thermostat out of it for the current unit that you are replacing.

Now a cheater way of working on the unit, is just to unscrew the screws that hold on the cap that looks like a mushroom, and you can usually remove the fan that way, without having to crawl through a 130+ attic, or just wait until it cools off in the fall and do the work.

Faucetguy 07-31-2012 04:22 PM

Update: The box near the fan contains the thermostat. A piece of paper fell off of it with thermostat information. I can't figure how to adjust it. There is a hole on top of the box about 3/8 in diameter. However it is in such an awkward place, I can't see what is inside of it. I tried sticking a screwdriver in but that was a bad idea because the power was not shut. Sparks came out of it. I must have hit an exposed live wire. There seems to be one other option but I am not sure if I have the courage at this point to try it. There is a screw that if you turn it, the side of the box becomes detached. I could probably get a better look inside if I were to try this.

Faucetguy 08-01-2012 01:16 PM

Some pictures. I am convinced that the hole that I can't get to on top of the box has the knob because it corresponds to where the hole is on the little piece of paper. Here are some photos. I could not upload them so I added them to Photobucket with a link. Hope fully this works

bbo 08-01-2012 01:26 PM

big pic you have there.

but on this pic, the left is incoming wiring, right? does it have current? did you blow a fuse/breaker paying with the hole in the top?
that hole on the front there with the dial thing, that is your adjustment.

if there is a hole in the top, DO NOT stick anything in there without knowing for sure what that is. Always a bad idea to act on a guess when dealing with electricity.

I'm guessing you should have someone look at this that is licensed electrician if you are unsure what to do.

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