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Old 03-31-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


When i turn on my bathroom fan, the furnace fan kicks on as well.

The panel shows the furnace on breaker 3 and the bathroom is on breaker 5.

I switched the wires all around to test to see if the issue was at the panel and even if I switch the breakers around the furnace fan still comes on when i turn on the bathroom fan.

The only time the furnace fan doesn't come on. Is when i turn on the bathroom fan, and i disconnect the furnace or just switch off break 3 to the furnace etc.

I bought myself a multi meter and was wondering what a next step could be to fix this? Open up the wiring in the bathroom to see if an extra wire to the furnace is there? or maybe it's up in the basement ceiling downstairs. It would be easy to see as I don't have a finished basement yet.

Am i missing anything else?

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Old 03-31-2013, 05:56 PM   #2
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


If it were me Id first check to see if the furnace fan wires were transposed, meaning the power that should power that furnace switch was actually sent to the "On" connector instead of the "Off" connector.

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Old 03-31-2013, 06:22 PM   #3
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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Originally Posted by jayinwww View Post
When i turn on my bathroom fan, the furnace fan kicks on as well.

The panel shows the furnace on breaker 3 and the bathroom is on breaker 5.

I switched the wires all around to test to see if the issue was at the panel and even if I switch the breakers around the furnace fan still comes on when i turn on the bathroom fan.

The only time the furnace fan doesn't come on. Is when i turn on the bathroom fan, and i disconnect the furnace or just switch off break 3 to the furnace etc.

I bought myself a multi meter and was wondering what a next step could be to fix this? Open up the wiring in the bathroom to see if an extra wire to the furnace is there? or maybe it's up in the basement ceiling downstairs. It would be easy to see as I don't have a finished basement yet.

Am i missing anything else?
Have you just installed this set up ?
Or was it working at one stage ?
could be a wiring error !
Have you changed something ?
Or possibbly a bad neutral
causing backfeeding !
Which is dangerous !
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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If it were me Id first check to see if the furnace fan wires were transposed, meaning the power that should power that furnace switch was actually sent to the "On" connector instead of the "Off" connector.
Do i check this at the furnace itself?
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:44 PM   #5
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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causing backfeeding !
Which is dangerous !
Yes, i definitely don't want backfeeding, which is why this worries me a bit.

I bought this house like this, the inspector just claimed both where hooked up together. It's a 2004 house so I didn't think much of it at the time. I hope it's nothing serious hence why i would like to get to the bottom of this.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


There are some case I know few homes have " air tight " construction and when you turn on the exhaust fan the furance fan kick on some case it may do that to draw in fresh air in the house.

You should have a air make up unit it should be next or near the furance area and you should hear the blower kick in.

And of course there will be a extra conductor or cable will go to either furance or air make up unit.

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Old 03-31-2013, 06:48 PM   #7
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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There are some case I know few homes have " air tight " construction and when you turn on the exhaust fan the furance fan kick on some case it may do that to draw in fresh air in the house.

You should have a air make up unit it should be next or near the furance area and you should hear the blower kick in.

And of course there will be a extra conductor or cable will go to either furance or air make up unit.

Merci,
Marc
Do you think this would be the case for a house in Canada? Where the temperatures get well below freezing? The reason i ask this questions is because maybe the furnace fan will bring in come cold air via the fresh air intake.

Also where would that extra conductor cable be? connected right in the washroom or like 3 wires connected with a merit in the basement?
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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Do you think this would be the case for a house in Canada? Where the temperatures get well below freezing? The reason i ask this questions is because maybe the furnace fan will bring in come cold air via the fresh air intake.

Also where would that extra conductor cable be? connected right in the washroom or like 3 wires connected with a merit in the basement?
The Canada is not alone with air tight consturction I know in USA and over here in France with new home or remodeled homes they try to make it air tight as possible and try to save engery cost on them.

It should have a stand alone intake vent that where you will find it that typically found on side of the house.

Look at the ductwork how the return air is layout and if you do see a hose that going to outside of the house there is a chance there is a make up unit but some case don't have one due sometime the furance have pretty strong return source so it can able draw outside air without issue.

Now for extra conductor take a look at the exhaust fan switch first to see how many conductors you have there depending on the lay out some case you may have a switch loop ( I doubt it but it can happened ) otherwise you may have power feed to the switch box itself first then two cables outgoing one is to the fan unit and the other one go to furnace or air make up unit.

Also look at your furance to see you have normal power supply plus extra cable beside the common thermoast cable that useally tell ya the situation what ya have there.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


Like Marc said, super tight built homes need make up air, and this may be the case.
How long have you lived there?
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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Like Marc said, super tight built homes need make up air, and this may be the case.
How long have you lived there?
Lived here now for one year now.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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Lived here now for one year now.
Is this a new home or it was remodeled home before ya move in ?

Merci,
Marc
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:35 PM   #12
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


Now, you stated "the inspector said they were hooked together"

If the inspector said this, and theyre both coming on at the same time, than logic says theyre both connected to that same switch.

Very simple,

Locate the wires from the breaker.
Locate the wires to the fan
Then locate the wires to your recepticle.
All this should be in your switch box
(you might have an extra set of wires -- the unstriped ones that were intended for a light - you can leave those alone unless you have a fan with light)

What type wire do you have?
Is it a black and white and bare copper? Or is it a Black white red and copper?

Explain to us what wires you have, and where are they coming from Or best would be to just snap a photo so we can see

Last edited by jratftcc; 03-31-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:41 PM   #13
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


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Now, you stated "the inspector said they were hooked together"

If the inspector said this, and theyre both coming on at the same time, than logic says theyre both connected to that same switch.

Very simple,

Locate the wires from the breaker.
Locate the wires to the fan
Then locate the wires to your recepticle.
All this should be in your switch box

The way it should be wired is

Pigtail the power wire to the receptacle wire and the fan wire.
Wire coming out of the fan, should connect to that switch's "ON" connector, and the Power goes on the "Off" connector
All your WHITES WILL ALL GET pigtailed, with one of your white wires going with your black wire to your receptacle. Black will connect to the Brass side, and white will connect to your silver side.
And dont forget to pigtail the grounds (bare wires) in the switch box

Make sure you have the little tabs on both sides of a duplex receptacle.
And thats pretty much that.
Not always the case majorty of my time which I ran into the furnace and air make up units are useally hardwired so what ya come up with it will goes out of the window.

And there is spefic reason why need the air make up on when you put the exhaust fan on to keep the air pressure equal especally with any fuel fired applaices like furance or dryer or whatever ya plan on that so they don't draw back in the house.

jratftcc., Did ya ever see big arse kitchen hood in resdentail useage ? if not this is the good time to check it out they are more powerfull than bathroom fart fans are. ( most farts fans useally go up about 150 CFM some case 200 CFM unless you get multi room verison then it can go higher )

THe big kitchen hood I have ran into they can draw much as 400 CFM some more some little less depending on what model it is.

Close all the windows and door and just leave one window ajar and turn it on and get a candle or smoke stick and watch it goes when it kick on you will get the idea how tight new / well remodeled homes are.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:42 PM   #14
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


That is normal operation for tightly sealed homes in Canada. I do not believe you have a problem. It was made that way on purpose.
Do you have a HRV(heat recovery ventilator)? If you do then it is for sure normal to bring in air and condition it as the bathroom exhausts it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:17 PM   #15
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Turn on bathroom fan and furnace fan turns on as well?


In some cases they use the HRV as the exhaust fan function for the bathroom and some HRV's have a low voltage connection to the furnce to bring the furnace fan on when the HRV runs to mix the "possible" cold air it brings in with the warmer air of the home.

You're more than likely not going to find a high voltage connection causing the situation. IMO

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