Electrician - Bath fan

Bill_L

Bill
Senior User
Hi,
I replaced what I thought was a faulty bath fan only to realize that there isn't power going to fan. It's a fan / light combo (HD / Lowes special) and the light works but not the fan. Any recommendations?

Fred - if that's in your wheelhouse you can replace my back deck door (door jamb and all) and look at the fan too. No rush on either project. Bath is the upstairs bath for the kids and they have their own places now so it's rarely used. The replacement door has been sitting in my living room since March (lying flat).

Thanks.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
Hi,
I replaced what I thought was a faulty bath fan only to realize that there isn't power going to fan. It's a fan / light combo (HD / Lowes special) and the light works but not the fan. Any recommendations?

Fred - if that's in your wheelhouse you can replace my back deck door (door jamb and all) and look at the fan too. No rush on either project. Bath is the upstairs bath for the kids and they have their own places now so it's rarely used. The replacement door has been sitting in my living room since March (lying flat).

Thanks.

It is but I do have a full time job and several other projects at the moment. Where are you located?
 

Bill_L

Bill
Senior User
Hi Fred,
Off Purnell road in Wake Forest. I know Steve just requested a door replacement so I wouldn't expect to jump him in line. Thanks.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
If you don't mind waiting I can probably get to you. Not sure about the bath fan.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Check where your power feed is coming from. See if it is in the light ceiling box or is it is being fed through the switch box. If you locate the power feed and it is live then the fix is a simple connection issue. If there is no power then you have to figure out why.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
It depends on how it was wired to start with. Bath fans and lights are not required to be on GFI as you can't touch them.
Anyway, do you have separate switches for the fan and light? Sometimes three, fan light, and night light. If you have only one switch, then you are faced at having an electrician add a switch or having fan and light on the same switch.

I recommend folks not do electrical work for others. If the rare issue occurs, friends are friends but insurance companies will go after anyone. I don't mind supervising as long as the homeowner is doing the work.

BTY. getting a nice fan that is quiet and also pulls enough is worth it. Be sure it is vented correctly. So many DIY just dump in the attic which is a very bad deal. I like Panasonic, but the higher end Broan are good too.
 

Bill_L

Bill
Senior User
There are two switches (light / fan). When I used the voltmeter, I could see that no power was going to the fan switch. That's about the extent of my skills when it comes to messing with electricity. I don't mind turning the breaker off and installing a light but after that I'll leave it to a professional. No GFCI outlet in the bath so it's not that simple - unfortunately.

We got a new roof a few years ago when the storm chasers came through our neighborhood. Noticed when I replaced the fan that the roofers didn't bother to reattach the vents to the exhaust pipes. They sent someone back out and that was fixed...

I'll find a licensed electrician.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Power to the switch depends on if the power feeds the switch, or if power feeds the fixture and loops to the switch. Only inspection will tell. If the later, it is probably just in the fan junction box.

Were there two cables coming into the fan or three? In the switch, were there two cables or three?

Really should put in a GFI for the bath. Personally, I use GFI breakers. More expensive, but reliable. Any outlet you can reach in the bath, any counter outlet in the kitchen, any outside, and any crawlspace outlets are current code.

A professional is wise.
 

LeftyTom

Tom
Corporate Member
If you don't mind a new tool, get a "no touch" voltage detector. About $6 (mine uses a AA battery). Simply touch the detector to a wire, and it will light/beep if there is voltage on that wire/cable.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
If you don't mind a new tool, get a "no touch" voltage detector. About $6 (mine uses a AA battery). Simply touch the detector to a wire, and it will light/beep if there is voltage on that wire/cable.
Not reliable as they pick up stray induction. Mine was a lot more than the $6 ones.
 

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
Most fan/light combinations have two input connections, so they can be separately powered from two wall switches. If both will be operated with the same wall switch, they can be connected together and both the fan and the light will both work from the one wall switch. Do you have a single wall switch or two wall switches, one for the light and one for the fan?

Charley
 

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
So, 2 switches. One obviously is controlling the light, so the one that doesn't is supposed to operate the fan. You will need to test the switch and wiring in the switch box to see if the switch is bad or a wire is broken. If that is OK, then at the fan there should be a wire that has power when that switch is on and no power when it's off. Connecting this wire to the fan wire, if no wires are broken and the switch and wiring behind the switch aren't broken, should make the fan turn on and off with the switch. Your mission is to find the bad switch or broken wire.
If you don't have a circuit tester or don't know how to use it, or are afraid of electricity, it's time to hire an electrician.

Where do you live, or how close to Kannapolis do you live?

Charley
 

Bill_L

Bill
Senior User
Hey Charley,
I’m up in Wake Forest so a bit of a trek. I will likely contact an electrician. Since it’s not a bath that gets used frequently I’m not that worried about it. Thanks.
 

Bill_L

Bill
Senior User
I had an electrician over to look at the bath fan and also running 220v in my garage. Ultimately, it was a wiring issue. I don't know how I totally missed seeing some wires but they weren't wired to the fan. Weird. It's like there were multiple white wires...
 

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