Third Timer’s a Charm

28 Jul

For the second time now, our bathroom fan timer has gone bad. The first time it broke we exchanged it for a new one of the same model. This time I decided enough was enough so we replaced it with a different kind. The old one was a GE and manufactured by Jasco, and it had a bit of an odd design.

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The new timer is made by Leviton, a Long Island based company. The layout of the switches is a little more logical, longer times are higher up.

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This switch also does not require a neutral wire, which the old one did. This is a benefit for people who are replacing a standard switch, which would not have a neutral.
Once I installed the new switch I turned the breaker back on and…nothing! I turned back off the breaker and checked the connections and everything seemed fine, but it still wasn’t working. At this point I began to suspect that perhaps the fan itself had gone bad. I was about to install a standard switch to rule out the timer but then I consulted the manual. It turns out that there is a little shutoff switch so you can disable the timer altogether. This needs to be moved to the ON position for the timer to work, once I did that it worked right away and I reinstalled the switches and the cover plate.

The timer lets the fan continue to draw humidity from the bathroom after you shower so you don’t have moisture problems. Mike Holmes promotes the use of timers on bathroom exhaust fans all the time. It helps you leave it on after you shower without the chance of leaving it on all day by accident. I can’t say how long this timer will last but hopefully it will be longer than its predecessors, for now, we’re happy with it.

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