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Old 04-12-2017, 05:37 PM   #1
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Question about fan speed controller.


I have this fan that I would like to install to ventilate a bathroom in my home:

Question about fan speed controller.-bathroom-20inline-20fan-201_zpsfrpqfrdj.jpg

Question about fan speed controller.-bathroom-20fan_zpsarpvz7lh.jpg

It's an inline fan with a 1 amp motor. Brand is unknown. The label on the motor says: "single phase, thermally protected". I would like to be able to control the speed of the fan. I bought one of these:

Question about fan speed controller.-lutron-20ariadne_zpsjodvbpuc.jpg

It's a Lutron Ariadne AY2-LFSQ-IV. It has 1.5 amp fan speed controller. The instructions say to "set multispeed fans on the highest setting before installing the control" and "use AY2-LFSQ with a ceiling paddle fan only". Can anyone tell me whether this speed control will be OK to use with the above fan? If not, what kind of speed control should I use? I want to make sure that I do not create a fire risk, and that I do not burn out the motor or controller due to incompatibility.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:27 PM   #2
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Re: Question about fan speed controller.


The text you quote doesn't match the image. Right on the face of the device it says "for incandescent fixtures" which means lights, so it appears to be a dimmer not a motor controller.

Why would you not use a purpose-built bathroom fan? The one you show has a plug which means you would need a switched receptacle and the exhaust looks like it is square which will create difficulties matching it to ducting. That and it doesn't have a cover grill which will look kinda ugly.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:37 PM   #3
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Re: Question about fan speed controller.


The text does match the image. That Lutron is both a dimmer and a fan control. See the two sliders on either side of the main switch? One is for fan speed control, and the other is for dimming lights.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lutron-To...on+ay2-lfsq-iv

Why am I not using a "purpose-built bathroom fan"? My home has always had an inline bathroom fan, it was built that way. The "purpose-built bathroom fans" that I saw available at my local stores were not inline fans, they were ceiling-mount. They were made for 4" duct, not for the 7" ducts that I have in my house. They are about 10" - 12" square, so they would require me to cut a large square in the ceiling, instead of using the existing round 7" ceiling hole. They were made to be installed between floors, instead of in the attic space like I needed. They were also inefficient, because they have a 90 degree turn built into the fan box itself. And they were mostly very noisy: the quietest ones were rated at 60 decibels (for the 100 cfm fans), and went up to 80+ decibels. My bathroom is large, and 100 cfm is not enough air flow. I would prefer the quiet and the cfm capability of an inline fan. Please let me know if there are any specific fans you recommend.

Last edited by Steve Barker; 04-12-2017 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:24 PM   #4
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Re: Question about fan speed controller.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Barker View Post
The text does match the image. That Lutron is both a dimmer and a fan control. See the two sliders on either side of the main switch? One is for fan speed control, and the other is for dimming lights.
Yup. I stand corrected. I have not seen that before and was just going by the printing on the face of the image. The Lutron site seems to indicate that it is within specs for you but I can't comment on whether it is ok for you fan. I'm not that up on motors. There are others that lurk this forum that are and will hopefully drop by. Also sorry I can't comment on inline fans, I'm only (somewhat) familiar with regular ceiling fans.

You may still be challenged with wiring, since that fan looks to have a plug, and lights are typically hard-wired. You could possibly run a mwbc and switch the receptacle, but it might be a Code violation to have a receptacle connected to a dimmer or similar voltage limiter (I don't think there is a Code issue of having a receptacle in an attic). Again, others smarter than I will hopefully drop by.
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:56 AM   #5
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Re: Question about fan speed controller.


Yes any fan speed controller will work, the moptor you show is a pretty standard blower motor and they are controlled with this type of speed controller in many appliance (pellet stove fans)
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: Question about fan speed controller.


Lutron says their control is for ceiling paddle type fans only. They don't want you using it with other fans that may not function well/ have a long life when operated by the speed controller.

I believe what you have is a Hurricane centrifigual fan in the 6 inch size. It's a 435 cfm fan. If you drop the speed to medium or low with that controller, yes it will run quieter, but it will also move significantly less air. The air velocity in your ducts will drop significantly. You may have problems with moisture condensing in the ducts because it is not being ejected quickly enough.

I would suggest that you operate that fan at full speed, the way the mfg designed it to run. If you actually need to reduce the cfm, you buy a smaller fan and rerun all the ducting with smaller ducts to maintain the right air velocity.
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