Help t-shooting bathroom exhaust fan

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  #1  
Old 04-08-07, 10:11 AM
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Question Help t-shooting bathroom exhaust fan

This is my first day in this forum. It seems like a great place to start for a guy who has little knowledge about electricals. Thanks in advance for your help!

In our bathroom, we have a Fantech fan connected to 2 Fantech vent/light units via duct. Recently the fan quits working but the lights are fine.

In the attic, there is a line that goes from a switch to a GFCI and then to the fan. The GFCI is indeed flipped but it will not reset. I checked for any flipped breaker in the electrical panel. I have opened the wall plate and pull the switch in the bathroom that service the fan to look for burn/short but everything appeared normal there (no short / burn nor smell ). I also visual checked the switch in the attic, and the GFCI switch. Do you think it is the fan itself? how can I be sure? should I just called a repair man at this point? Supposingly, Fantech has a 5 years warranty on their fans (it was part fo a renovation).





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  #2  
Old 04-08-07, 10:17 AM
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Verify that you have power at the switch. If not, work back to the panel until you find the problem.

If you do have power at the switch, then verify power at the GFCI. If not then track down the problem between the switch and the GFCI.

If you have power at the GFCI then verify that the GFCI works with no load attached. If so then suspect the fan. You will have several options at this point.

If the GFCI does not work with no load applied, then replace the GFCI.
 
  #3  
Old 04-08-07, 10:23 AM
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Question

Thanks for speedy response!

"If the GFCI does not work with no load applied, then replace the GFCI."
If I disconnect the wiring to the GFCI altogether, should the Reset button hold? Is this what "no load applied" means?
 
  #4  
Old 04-08-07, 10:24 AM
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No load means nothing attached to the LOAD terminals.
 
  #5  
Old 04-08-07, 10:40 AM
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If there is a fault down stream of the gfi, usually when you push the reset button it will reset then click off again right away. In a quiet room you should be able to hear this.

If when you push the button, there is no noise, and it still will not reset, the problem is either no power to the gfi at all, or a bad gfi.
 
  #6  
Old 04-08-07, 10:40 AM
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no hot wire attached, GFCI won't reset

Sorry I feel so clueless
I removed the hot (black) wires to the GFCI, and it still doesn't reset. Is this testing valid to say the GFCI is faulty? Do I need to remove all the wires altogether to test?
 
  #7  
Old 04-08-07, 10:45 AM
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The gfi has four screws. Five but lets not worry about the ground one for now.

Hot and neutral line and hot and neutral load.

Line must be wired to the cable that comes from the panel direction. Load must be wired to anything downstream that you wish to be controled from this gfi.

Remove any load side wires from the gfi and then turn the power back on and see if the gfi will reset.
 
  #8  
Old 04-08-07, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by guitardadrocks View Post
Sorry I feel so clueless
this is the best reason that I have ever heard of to stop what you are doing right away and go get a book, from the library or bookstore, on residential wiring.

You are correct in your assumption that this is not rocket science and anyone can do it.

You are incorrect in your assumption that it can be done with no knowlege of the systems and concepts involved.

With just a little bit of studying you will be ready to take on any project in your home. If you do not take the time to study up, then you are just one more statistic waiting to happen.
 
  #9  
Old 04-08-07, 12:51 PM
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Thumbs up Thansk! Resolved - voltmeter show no power leaving the bathroom switch to fan

Is using voltmeter to check current in household in a FAQ document at this site? if not, it would be a good one to have.

I went back and check power at the switch in the bathroom. I saw power came into the switch but none came out (when it is On) so I simply replace the switch. After that the GFCI reset OK, and my problem is resolved.

*** Is using voltmeter to check current in household in a FAQ document at this site? if not, it would be a good one to have. ***

To share how I used the voltmeter to check power:

Of course I had to search the net for how to use the voltmeter to measure current in the household before entering the switch: someone says touch black post to a ground wire, touch red post to a black wire -> meter should show ~110 volts (and it does)

Then I connected the black / white lines that came from the panel to the switch, to check if power came through I then touched the red post to the connector on the switch where the black wire to the load would connect to(in this case it goes to the attic and the fan). The black post of the meter still touched the ground wire. I turned the switch on but did not see any power on the meter. This tell me the switch is faulty.
 
  #10  
Old 04-08-07, 04:01 PM
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Easy way to check your switch. Does your meter have a continuity mode. It should have an omega symbol. Cut the power to that circuit, remove the wires from the switch and place the meter leads across the switch terminals. With the switch in the on position your meter should read close to 0 ohms. With the switch in the off position it should read infinite ohms. If you read infinite with the switch on, replace the switch. If the switch checks out ok, can you try and spin the fan. If it doesn't move freely then the fan is the problem.
 
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