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Need an electrician's help...

breamfisherbreamfisher Senior MemberPosts: 13,559 Senior Member
Or somebody experienced with home electrical work...

Been renovating the bathroom this week, helping a friend who knows more than I do. We've gotten everything done except for some minor details which I'll do, and getting an exhaust fan working in the bathroom. Before it had no fan, and in Central Florida no fan = mildew! So, we got a fan and are trying to get it to work. For power we're taking it off an existing outlet, but we can't get the bloody thing to work. The fan is wired up according to the manufacturer's instructions, it's just getting power to the switch that's driving me nuts. I'm trying to run the black wire as the hot and switching that. Anyone want to take a stab how to run this? Should I tie in all the commons to one wire, then patch that back into the outlet?

Thanks.
Overkill is underrated.
«1

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Have you powered up the fan directly to an outlet to see if the motor actually runs? I'd eliminate the fan motor as a possible source of the problem first, then figure out how to switch it on and off It's not uncommon to find an item new, but inoperative these days, particularly if it was assembled by a 12-year-old Chinese kid!
    Jerry
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,559 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Have you powered up the fan directly to an outlet to see if the motor actually runs? I'd eliminate the fan motor as a possible source of the problem first, then figure out how to switch it on and off It's not uncommon to find an item new, but inoperative these days, particularly if it was assembled by a 12-year-old Chinese kid!
    Jerry
    Not yet, but here's the thing... when I throw the switch, I get 0 volts with it in the "on" position as per the voltage meter.

    CPJ: I'm running all whites (commons) together with one going to the outlet.
    Black wire from power to outlet, then another black from the outlet to the switch, with the final black going to the fan.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Stupid question: Is there power at the outlet? I have been known to forget to turn a breaker back on doing electrical stuff. Sayin'.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    Not to be captain obvious, but, you do have a common going from the outlet, past the switch, and to the fan, right? Same for the earth ground?
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,559 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Not to be captain obvious, but, you do have a common going from the outlet, past the switch, and to the fan, right? Same for the earth ground?

    Power does go to the outlet. It's currently charging an electric toothbrush.

    Common feeds out of the wall and has two wires wire nutted to it. One wire goes to the outlet, other to the fan. Grounds aren't tied together.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    The ground, while important for safety....won't prevent it from working.

    Yes, I know.

    Another question. Is it a fan/ light combo?
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    Power does go to the outlet. It's currently charging an electric toothbrush.

    Common feeds out of the wall and has two wires wire nutted to it. One wire goes to the outlet, other to the fan. Grounds aren't tied together.

    Check your nuts. Could be something isn't making contact.
  • JLDickmonJLDickmon Senior Member Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Yes, I know.

    Another question. Is it a fan/ light combo?

    Does the light work?
    Never laugh at your wife's choices.
    You are one of them.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,559 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Yes, I know.

    Another question. Is it a fan/ light combo?
    Yes, and neither work. But I'm not getting power coming out of the switch (checked it with a meter and a voltage detector.) I'll check the nuts tomorrow and do something Chris Pierre Jordan suggested I do when I called him, as per his request.

    He has such a sexy, smooth, suave voice. I see why he's Zed's special friend.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,559 Senior Member
    Hey, I can wire DC just fine. Never claimed to be no home 'lectrician!

    BTW, this house is a bit of an electrical oddity. For one thing, the breaker box is unlabelled....
    Overkill is underrated.
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,624 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Check your nuts. Could be something isn't making contact.

    This is most quotable, as well as sound advice...:tooth:
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,559 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Ummm, that ain't odd. That's common.
    More common? It's labeled. incorrectly.
    It's just been painted over. Some outlets don't fully work (just the top or bottom, not both), others were wired backwards. Then there's the back porch/man cave area with multiple boxes with blanks and wires just stubbed in there. No outlets. Or the fact that they seem to have paid for wire by the inch so there's no extra wire to pull out when you want to work on things.

    But what do you expect, it's trimmed out with 2 styles of trim (clamshell and colonial), all of it stained. Even though some is paint grade and finger jointed all over. Or the doorway trimmed out in #2 spruce. I know it's that because THEY LEFT THE STAMP SIDE FACING OUT BEFORE THEY STAINED IT!!!! Or the floor tile that seems to have been laid by Ray Charles...

    This house was purchased before I came along.

    On the other hand, taking a shower in the new, non-cracking shower/tub combo or sitting upon the throne and not having it rock because the subfloor is rotted out is quite nice. Yes, quite nice.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Check the continuity of the switch in both on and off positions, see if it works at all. I got a bad one from home depot a yr or so ago.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    As long as I understood the monkey-ese, he hooked the hot feed to the switch to the neutral side of the outlet. He will try it tomorrow.

    Ahhh, that'll do it. You gotta keep em separated.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,266 Senior Member
    See the brass part on the left with the wire in it? Right in the middle the brass can be snapped off (do both sides) to isolate the top plug from the bottom plug (you can make one hot and the other turn on and off with a switch). Make sure they aren't broken off if you are getting your power from the outlets connectors...

    5919d1359837684-afraid-what-you-plug-into-dsc03713.jpg.att
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    See the brass part on the left with the wire in it? Right in the middle the brass can be snapped off to isolate the top plug from the bottom plug (you can make one hot and the other turn on and off with a switch). Make sure they aren't broken off if you are getting your power from the outlets connectors...

    5919d1359837684-afraid-what-you-plug-into-dsc03713.jpg.att
    Never knew that. Nice!
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,266 Senior Member
    Black wires to the gold screws, white wires to the silver...............

    wired%20duplex%20receptacle%202%20cr.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    Black wires to the gold screws, white wires to the silver...............

    wired%20duplex%20receptacle%202%20cr.jpg

    Makes perfect sense, just didn't know that was an option. Neat.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,266 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Yep. Hello 1970's. Around here at that time they didn't install ceiling lights in some rooms. They just had a couple switched outlets. My house is like that, the ceiling fan and light was added after the fact.

    My house was built in 1987 and it is still that way. Only the kitchen has lights on the ceiling. Besides the hallway and bathrooms
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Your fan doesn't have a chain switch you need to pull to turn on does it? Like a ceiling-fan/ with lights does it.

    Are all the "twisters" twisted good in those plastic caps where you twist two or more wires together?


    Good luck and be safe.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    http://www.doityourself.com/stry/what-were-working-on-my-bath-fan#.UzgEmqL3HFw

    Maybe ask on Bob Vila's forum? Re-Read the instructions?????? Was/is there wiring options, more than one way to hook it up????? Fan alone switch or fan and lights together?

    http://www.bobvila.com/posts/83143-replaced-switch-on-bathroom-exhaust-fan-and-the-fan-doesn-t-work#.UzgFv6L3HFx
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    If you are trying to read voltage across switch with a volt meter, It will not read when switch is thrown on. To read the voltage at a switch, read from the input to neutral wire, then from the other side of switch to neutral
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,559 Senior Member
    sarg1c wrote: »
    If you are trying to read voltage across switch with a volt meter, It will not read when switch is thrown on. To read the voltage at a switch, read from the input to neutral wire, then from the other side of switch to neutral
    Ah, my experience with DC current didn't prepare me for this. Now I know. Thanks!
    Overkill is underrated.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Yes, it most certainly WILL read, regardless of if it's off or on.
    If it's on you see power at both terminals. If it's off, only the incoming side.

    In the other post, the key word is reading across a switch...If in the first pic both terminals will not read voltage back to white wire with switch open . I think we are both saying the same thing... Notice in the diagram someone posted..."IF strip on outlet is intack. will not work if swith has the strip cut on outlet to make it a switched outlet....

    'volt_zps4010f8d4.jpg
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Yep. Hello 1970's. Around here at that time they didn't install ceiling lights in some rooms. They just had a couple switched outlets. My house is like that, the ceiling fan and light was added after the fact.

    Yeah, it's common here too. My dad's house only has a couple ceiling lights, most rooms are switched outlets. But, both sides are switched. I've never seen one only switched on one side.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    If it's a current sensing outlet in a bathroom make sure it hasn't tripped out on you. you are taking power fron an outlet, right. The fan may trip the outlet.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Yeah, it's common here too. My dad's house only has a couple ceiling lights, most rooms are switched outlets. But, both sides are switched. I've never seen one only switched on one side.
    Most of the time only the hot side of an outlet is split to make it a switched outlet, leaving half of switch hot for devices like a tv . Usualy the one side is switched for a lamp sharing the neutral back to source.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    Before it had no fan, and in Central Florida no fan = mildew!
    Before you paint, treat any mildew with some sort of mildew cleaner, prime with a quality primer, and paint with this....
    http://www.sherwin-williams.com/painting-contractors/products/catalog/duration-home-interior-acrylic-latex/?referringCategory=interior-paint-coatings/paint-coatings/
    NOT cheap, but very mildew resistant. With the body sprays in my shower, my bathroom turns into a steam room. I haven't had problems yet and Michigan is very humid. Make sure that fan has plenty of CFM too.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    sarg1c wrote: »
    Most of the time only the hot side of an outlet is split to make it a switched outlet, leaving half of switch hot for devices like a tv . Usualy the one side is switched for a lamp sharing the neutral back to source.

    Makes sense.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,559 Senior Member
    Well, I got it working. Turns out that it wasn't hooked up in the attic. Did that, wired it like CPJ told me to, and it's all good now.

    OTOH, in throwing the breaker there seems to have been a power surge that the surge protector didn't catch, and now we seem to have fried the TV, Blue Ray, and UVerse receiver...
    Overkill is underrated.
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