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Old 06-12-2013, 05:08 PM   #1
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Bathroom vent fan repair...

Sometime back, I was cleaning up in the bathroom, getting all the dirt and accumulated leaves/debris, out of the overhead vent.

I noticed wiring to the factory installed fan looked messy, it was overly long and wrapped around the motor bracket, apparently in order to keep it from getting tangled in the spinning blade.

Foolish me, I thought I'd "prune" the wiring, shortening and zip tying it, for a neater installation.

Well, the best of intentions are most often fraught with unforeseen perils... I worked carefully, making sure NOT to pull hard on the coach wiring. I cut about 6" out of the snake pit the factory put in, put new ends on the wires and reattached everything, just as it had originally been.

I stepped back, flicked the switch (in the vent, not on the wall) and... Ta Dah!, nothing, not even a hum.

Long story short, I bench tested motor, it works, replaced the switch, I've checked every fuse or circuit breaker I can find... all seems Okay. When I put a test light on the wiring ends, I get nothing, not even a flicker.

I can only assume, at this point, I was not as careful as I should have been and somehow, pulled the connections apart somewhere in the ceiling. Hopefully, as a best case, one of you fine folks might point out something I've missed and it'll be a simple fix... or, send me in the right direction in reconnecting the wiring, hopefully without having to drop the ceiling panels.

Thanks for any hints or pointers...
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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Did you check for power from the wires before your splices ? Sounds like maybe you have a bad splice.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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These harnes are usually pretty durable I would check your connections for voltage like stearn suggested.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Your suggestions made perfect sense, so I cut out the connectors I'd put in, then checked for voltage... None. Just to make sure my test light was good, I verified it worked, then ran the motor by hooking it up directly to the battery... spins like a top.

I went through every fuse in the panel, just to ensure I wasn't missing a popped fuse somewhere... all good. I even tugged on the wiring to see if it would pull out of the ceiling... I figured, if the connection was already broken, it wouldn't do any additional harm. Apparently, it's still attached to something up there, just no juice comin' through.

Rather than tear into the ceiling too far, I think I'll fish a pair of wires off the switched bathroom light fixture, through an in-line fuse, in order to power the fan. It'll come on whenever the bathroom light is on, but what the heck, it won't hurt to have the ventilation.

Thanks for your ideas...
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:18 PM   #5
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I know it may seem obvious but is the wall sw. (ON)? some times it's easy to overlook the obvious.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:28 AM   #6
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I know it may seem obvious but is the wall sw. (ON)? some times it's easy to overlook the obvious.
(lol) I know... there are time I have to be beaten over the head with the obvious. I really wish it was as simple as an oblivious owner, too dumb to turn on the switch.

The fan is/was controlled by a switch in the vent itself, a flimsy little push button gizmo. To my knowledge, there's no other switch. If there's another switch, I've never seen it and it's been in the "ON" position for the last 10 years or so.

I'll be the first to rat myself out and suffer the consequences, if in fact, I've overlooked the obvious... let's hope that's the case.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:43 AM   #7
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You are checking for power in back of your new switch? If not then maybe it is the new switch.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:30 AM   #8
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Most likely fan motor came with a lead which was spliced into factory wiring. Remove vent trim and look for that splice. Even the most careful handling on your part would not prevent disturbing a poorly made factory connection.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post

Rather than tear into the ceiling too far, I think I'll fish a pair of wires off the switched bathroom light fixture, through an in-line fuse, in order to power the fan. It'll come on whenever the bathroom light is on, but what the heck, it won't hurt to have the ventilation.

Thanks for your ideas...
That might not be the best idea. When you flush, the ball valve to the black tank is open and the fan will pull air through the black tank vent into the bathroom.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #10
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You are checking for power in back of your new switch? If not then maybe it is the new switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctpres View Post
Most likely fan motor came with a lead which was spliced into factory wiring. Remove vent trim and look for that splice. Even the most careful handling on your part would not prevent disturbing a poorly made factory connection.
I thought about that, so I tested the wiring leading to the switch. I have removed any connectors I can see, so I'm assuming there's nothing between the connection to the power source and the point at which I cut and stripped the wires back.

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That might not be the best idea. When you flush, the ball valve to the black tank is open and the fan will pull air through the black tank vent into the bathroom.
Excellent point, keeping that in mind, it would probably be best to wire the fan through the switch in the vent, as it originally had been. I'll just be pulling the power from a different source.

Phew, I can only imagine just how, umm, "aromatic", the bathroom would've been, had you not mentioned that little detail.

Once again, thanks all for your input.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #11
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Well, I promised to be forthcoming if the "problem" was something too obvious and, well... there's no way around it, I can't sugar coat it or try and make excuses, the culprit was a blown 15 amp fuse. When I said I checked all the fuses, apparently I missed just one, the one that was blown.

Soooo, after all the head scratching and hair pulling, not to mention cursing the everlasting souls of the electrical installers at Winnebago, I take back everything I said, muttered, mumbled or even thought... and hang my head... assuming of course, the fan doesn't blow the fuse as soon as I turn it on!
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post
Well, I promised to be forthcoming if the "problem" was something too obvious and, well... there's no way around it, I can't sugar coat it or try and make excuses, the culprit was a blown 15 amp fuse. When I said I checked all the fuses, apparently I missed just one, the one that was blown.

Soooo, after all the head scratching and hair pulling, not to mention cursing the everlasting souls of the electrical installers at Winnebago, I take back everything I said, muttered, mumbled or even thought... and hang my head... assuming of course, the fan doesn't blow the fuse as soon as I turn it on!
Thanks for 'fessing up. It helps us all when we learn what the problem really was.
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