April 20, 2014

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Conditions at Parkersburg, Mid Ohio Valley Regional Airport, WV
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Fall Fix-Up is HERE!

An update on the eternal home repair project that wont go away... Sigh.

So, here's the update on my long-running home improvement project.

You may recall from last week that I was FINALLY brave enough to climb back into the attic and try to run the electrical wire to a switch.

This has been a long running project that involved removing the old bathroom light, waiting almost a half year for the attic to warm up, and then for it to cool down (Can I help it if the seasons arrive like thunder?) and then to troubleshoot it.

It's not a bad project... very practical, to install an exhaust fan where there was originally just an incandescent light. 

In fact, it's a smart project to remove unwanted humidity during the summer, and to vent it to the outside...NOT just into the attic.

That was good enough for me.  But not for the wife.  SEPARATE controls, please.

I put in a dual switch, and took the advice of a friend to just run ONE simple wire (instead of a 3 element new romex wire) to supply power to the fan side.

After buying  a short, spare piece of wire from Lowes, I climbed up into the attic, and attached the new white wire to the white fan wires, and then attempted to thread it down the wall.

Have you spotted the error yet?  I made a simple, critical error above.  No, I'm not talking about fishing the wire DOWN the wall, which is a little harder than pulling it UP the wall after linking with a chain or string.

No, I connected the new wire supplying power to the wrong side of the fan wires.

The result is when the power was restored, and the switches thrown.... ta DA!  BOTH switches activated the light.  No fan.  (Not only that, but I probably blew a fuse.)

Boy, it took me a while to review it all and find the slip.  Not that it's all that hard... I just wanted to be SURE. I didn't want to go back into that attic again.  It's HOT UP THERE!

Confirming the switch was wired correctly (I got that right), the error HAD to be in the connection to the unit.  [A brief consultation with a Lowes employee confirmed that I wanted to connect to one of the black power wires in the fan.  My slip up was assuming because the spare 16 foot of white wire was to be connected to the white wires.]

A few minutes more in the attic, restoring the ganged white wires... and splitting off a blue power wire for the new wire to connect... and it's over!

Yes, the fan works. And the light works.  Separately!  Hooray!

"Uh, honey.... I wanted the fan switch on the TOP, not the BOTTOM."

I think I'll wait another half year to fix this one...

 

PS: I want to thank the person who sent me this link:

( http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=Improve/installbathfan.html ) and suggested that Lowes could be more helpful than I had implied before.  Yes, they were VERY supportive, even if the electrical clerks rightfully think that I'm a little slow... .

  Again, I want to stress that this isn't a terribly difficult project, if you have access to your attic, to re-frame the fan, to fish the wall, install the switch, and most importantly.... KILL THE POWER BEFORE STARTING!  Thanks to my wife for removing the fuse for me!

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