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Manage My Life

Speed Control Switch for an Attic Fan.

by Manage My Life Last activity date:
April 2nd, 2012

I recently purchased a Speed control switch from Parts direct. I entered the old model number and it directed me to the replacement switch for my fan. Since installation the switch gets very hot to the touch.

Is this a common occurance or should I be concerned. I wired per instructions. I am concerned that the fan

is drawing to much amperage causing a risk for fire, so I will not use as of now.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks

Don

Tags:
Electrical Supplies
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Answers (8)
Sam A
Thank you Donald for the update. I would suggest measuring to see in you have any voltage leaking to ground from that wire. Use you volt meter on the 120 volt scale between the green lead and a ground connection to see if you have any potential. If the motor does not get as warm without the ground wire connected then I would say the motor may have a winding that is bleeding some potential to ground.

Please let me know what you find out.

Sam A.
by Sam A
April 2nd, 2012
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Manage My Life
OK, thank you Sam. What are your thoughts on the ground wire issue that I mentioned
above. The switch is rated for 6 amps.
by Manage My Life
March 31st, 2012
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Sam A
Thank you for the update Donald. Most amp probes are of the clamp on variety and you will need to clamp it around one of the power leads for the motor.

If it is the clamp on variety I will give you a picture of how it goes around the electrical supplying the motor.
Look on the motor plate and it should give you the amp load under operation on the motor.

When running it should be around 4 to 5 amps but look on the motor plate to see what they list it to be. It will depend on how large the motor is. Also the new switch should have an amp rating on it somewhere.

Sam A.
by Sam A
March 31st, 2012
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Manage My Life
Also, I have an amp meter. Where would I actually touch the probe? To the hot lead coming of the switch to the fan?
by Manage My Life
March 31st, 2012
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Manage My Life
Thanks for your reply Sam. I was thinking that the original switch did not have/require a ground connection wire coming off of it where the new switch had a ground connection wire coming off of it. So today I removed the ground connection using just the hot lead in and hot lead out to the fan. It still works but does not get nearly as hot, just warm. Before it would get hot enough to where you had to remove your finger. Could this have been the issue?
by Manage My Life
March 31st, 2012
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Sam A
Thank you Don for your question on the replacement switch for you whole house fan getting hot.

If you have wired it correctly it will be warm from the internal resistance the switch.

When you say hot is it so hot that you cannot hold you hand on the switch? Some warmth will be normal.

If that is the case I would say that the motor may be drawing high amperage.

I would suggest if you can locate an amprobe meter to check how many amps the motor is drawing it may tell us if the fan motor is failing or if the switch is the problem.

I think you are right in not using the fan until you can check it out more thoroughly.

Please let me know what you find out and we can continue to troubleshoot the fan heat problem.

Sam A.
by Sam A
March 31st, 2012
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Manage My Life
Thanks, will have to climb in the attic as the fan was installed already when I purchased the house so I am unsure of the model # of fan. Never had an issue until the old switch quit working. Fan appears to be working fine.
Answered in 12 minutes
by Manage My Life
March 29th, 2012
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Joseph Perez
The overheating can cause some concern and its important to be safe. I suggest you add to the thread of this question and include the full model number of your fan so that the expert can provide you with a more detailed answer. I am adding a link below in where you can enter the model number of the fan and a if available the owners manual will pop up in where you can find detailed information about your fan. I hope this helps while you wait for your expert response.
Answered in 4 minutes
by Joseph Perez
March 29th, 2012
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