Hot Switch Whole House Fan


Old 06-15-06, 07:55 PM
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Hot Switch Whole House Fan

The switchplate on our Emerson whole house fan gets hot to the touch and it's fussy - doesn't always turn on when you turn it on and sometimes turns off by itself. We checked out the wiring and things seem to follow the owner's manual. Could this be in any way normal? Or do you have any suggestions on what to check next? Seems like we could have a potential fire hazard on our hands, but I'm not sure what to look at next.
Any help is appreciated!
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Old 06-15-06, 08:01 PM
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Rachael: The timer to your fan could be spring loaded. You can turn it on for 15 minutes or more in intervals and it will cut off by itself. Turning it one click the opposite direction will turn it on without the benefit of the timer. Your switch could be old, or a connection within the b-caps could be loose to cause the heat. Turn off the breaker that controls it and take the switch out of the wall, checking the wires and connections. Replacing the switch is an option. Post back if we can help further.
Old 06-15-06, 08:33 PM
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I'm sorry but I think this is definatley a bit more concerning than chandler believes it to be. Not that I think it is an immediate fire hazard but why wait until it is.

The switch should not be getting "hot". This is an indication the switch is being overloaded or there are some bad connections going on there.

If you mean "fussy" as in sometimes it doesn't want to work and you need to play with it to make it work, then this is an indication the switch is bad and should be replaced.

Chances are the switch is simply worn out. When replacing the switch, be sure to use one that is rated to carry the current the motor draws.
Old 06-15-06, 09:19 PM
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When in doubt.. Change it out....
How old is this switch ? Things do wear out.
We could go on for 300 threads, but it appears your device has gotten tired. Some times all you need is a new control.

Don't recycle, these items. when they go..they go....
Old 06-16-06, 05:44 AM
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Nap, in no way was my post taking the situation lightly. But more can be wrong than the switch itself. I have seen loose connections under a bcap cause a tremendous amount of heat and radiating out to the metal cover plate. Yes, I would recommend changing the switch, but make sure it is the switch and not the wiring that is causing the heat. Just changing the switch is like painting fingernails. Covers it up, but doesn't get rid of the ugly forever. Thanks for the heads up.
Old 06-16-06, 10:49 AM
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Is your switch a variable speed control, kind of like a dimmer switch? It is normal for that type of switch to get warm, but never hot. I would replace it anyway and check all connections for tightness.
Also, check the amp draw to be sure it is not exceeding nameplate amps.

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