Can't kill the power to attic fan


Old 04-19-06, 06:23 PM
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Question Can't kill the power to attic fan

I have an exhaust fan in my attic that is not working and needs replaced. I just moved into this house a few months ago and the breaker box is not labeled to tell me which circuit that fan is on.
I have tried testing it for power with a single probe tester that lights up when it detects power. I have tested the usage of this tester on various other switches and outlets, and it is working properly.
After turning off and on several different breakers with no luck, I finally decided to just turn of the main at the breaker box. To my amazement, the probe is telling me that that fan still has power going to it. How is this possible, or what have I overlooked?
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Old 04-19-06, 06:34 PM
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If you are using a tick tracer, be sure to hold it still when testing, as sliding it up and down the sheath of romex creates enough static electricity to set it off. Have you opened the control box of the fan motor? If so, which wire is showing power? I find it difficult to believe there is current to this fan after the main is disconnected.
Old 04-19-06, 06:37 PM
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Yes, I have disconnected the control box to the fan. that is where I am doing my testing. It is the "black" (com) wire that is showing power to it.
The power going to the fan is coming out of a junction box in the attic. I suppose i could try taking my readings from there instead...?
Old 04-19-06, 06:48 PM
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Tick tracers are infamous for false readings. But at least they don't false read a cold wire when it's really hot, well, not in my experience!

I switched from Greenlee's to Fluke's tic tracer for that reason. I get almost no false alarms on the now-discontinued Fluke, compared to lots with the Greenlee.

Fluke has a new one now that makes noise and is quite a bit bigger. I'm glad I got one of the old ones that just lights.

Anyway, the fool-proof way is a wiggy, but it will actually need to contact the conductors in some way.
Old 04-19-06, 08:28 PM
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Any chance there is another breaker panel at the house? Perhaps you actually shut off the main breaker in a sub-panel rather than in the main-panel. If this panel is the main panel, it should be close to the electrical meter (or else there should be a main disconnect near the meter).

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