Exhaust Fan Replacement Timer

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Shrapnel, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Hi, I'm replacing a conventional switch in the bathroom which controlled the exhaust fan. I am placing a timer instead. Upon opening the switch box, I noticed that I only have 1 - black, 1 - white, 1 - bare ground. Therefore, I assume the source is at the fixture.

    Exhaust fan is 13 Amps, therefore I figured I needed a 20A Timer (requires white neutral connection). Now, my question is, if the source is at the fixture (fan), would it be safe to use a 5A Timer (which doesnt require a white neutral connection)? If not, how do I connect the timer without access to the extra wire.

    Hope this makes sense, I am new at this.

    Thanks,
  2. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    Is this a residential exhust fan? Also if this fan actually draws 13 amps, this will definitely be a problem with a 5 amp switch....
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I see the sheet rock pulling off the walls and the commode lid standing straight up every time the fan is turned on.
  4. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    A bathroom fan that is rated at 13 Amps probably has a heater too.

    Why not use a spring-wound timer?
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    If those black and white wires were/are connected to the switch, I would guess the black is hot and that the white carries power from the switch to the fan motor already connected to a common (white) on the other side of its windings.

    As others have already suggested, that is very unlikely ... and here is a nice timer to consider once you get the amperage issue sorted out:

    http://www.wattstopper.com/products/details.html?id=105
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    timer

    If the timer has a separate neutral, it must be electronic, so unless you can extend a neutral to the timer you cannot use it. Why not use a mechanical timer that has a knob that turns to the amount of time desired with a maximum of say, 30 minutes?
  7. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE

    I'm with Furd and hj on this. Any good hardware, or big box, store will have a variety of spring wound timers, with different max. durations (some up to several hours).
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Ah, yes, I missed that.
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