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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    I have a Panasonic WhisperSense bath exhaust fan that operates only by its motion sensor. I'd like to be able to manually control - it turns on when I merely enter hall, & cycles on & off everytime I move in the bath - sucking all heat out of the room. I live in a mostly very arid climate and used to just leave bath door open after shower or bath with no moisture issues, we need that humidity and it dissipates quickly.

    Is there any reason not to run the fan electric feed through a switch so I can override the motion sensor & shut the * thing off? If I run through a switch, is it OK to just cover the motion sensor, or does it need to actually be disconnected? Thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
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    623

    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    This is funny. Motion switches are now required by the 2009 ECC energy conservation code.

    What you have brought to our attention is that if the fan comes on when not needed and it actually cost you more in energy!

    You could check out covering the sensor with tape and if it works control it with a manual switch, as you suggested. I believe it will work.

    Let us know!

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon,http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    1,387

    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    Howdy can you reset the fan so the sencer does not pick up the hallway?
    Any an all of my comments are just my opinion and not to be confused with facts.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by daisy_08 View Post
    I have a Panasonic WhisperSense bath exhaust fan that operates only by its motion sensor. I'd like to be able to manually control - it turns on when I merely enter hall, & cycles on & off everytime I move in the bath - sucking all heat out of the room. I live in a mostly very arid climate and used to just leave bath door open after shower or bath with no moisture issues, we need that humidity and it dissipates quickly.

    Is there any reason not to run the fan electric feed through a switch so I can override the motion sensor & shut the * thing off? If I run through a switch, is it OK to just cover the motion sensor, or does it need to actually be disconnected? Thx
    If you don't want or need all the features --- Sounds like you could have simply purchased a standard type of unit for a fraction of the cost.

    More than likely a switched circuit to the fan would work. You might also try covering only half of the sensor ( the part closet to the door ) if you still want some motion sensor operation. Covering the sensor may or may not work depending on the type of operation --- normally open or closed detection circuit .

    A call to Panasonic would answer your questions.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    2

    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    Thanks all. I was unsure if this fan unit could be run from a switch because saw elsewhere that voltage differences in motor turning on from sensor vs. switch could burn out motor. Also,installer said this unit could not be run from swtich - now I see that may have been per code, not unit limitations.

    RE: SEMI-RETIRED ELECTRICIAN. I've sent this comment to the agency, but if any of you are able to bring it to attention of regulators/agencies, please do!
    Re: misguided Conservation Regs/Programs -This fan install was part of a Fed/local Energy Conservation Program - no choices offered. They also installed a new small, low end fridge that lacks the energy saver switch my good old larger Kitchen Aid had (20 yrs old but regularly cleaned & running fine - I just took new b/c it MIGHT have gone anytime; now kicking myself) The thing seems to run more often and my electric use has not changed - is slightly higher but may be other factors? New freezer is <2/3 size of old, reducing my ability to employ other green strategies such as storing home/locally produced seasonal produce, home-prepared frozen meals from bulk purchases... I am not a happy camper. Program may help manufacturing - if these units were even made in US. But as for impactful conservation, I'd suggest perusing utility bills to customize the plan. My electric bill is/was ~$20./mo, obviously electric usage could not be significantly impacted. My greatest resource use is gas/wood to heat; focusing on that would have provided biggest bang for buck. A fine job was done of weatherstripping doors, caulking windows, but rather than the $1000. spent on appliances, much greater impact could have been achieved by foaming ~25sq' of uninsulated window seats and replacing broken glazing in 1/2 of a sliding glass door - heck, they could have replaced the entire unit with one more weather tight - but I could not get them to address those items. Maybe I should be thankful, I may have gotten UV Code glass that cut solar gain from my large South glass door.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    Code/requirements be damned! I'd disconnect the motion sensor and install a timed switch. This would allow you to choose how long the fan runs and never forget that you left it on. Makes a hell of a lot more sense than a motion sensor. You'll save more electricity with a timer switch than any other method.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
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    The Great White North
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    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by daisy_08 View Post
    Thanks all. I was unsure if this fan unit could be run from a switch because saw elsewhere that voltage differences in motor turning on from sensor vs. switch could burn out motor. Also,installer said this unit could not be run from swtich - now I see that may have been per code, not unit limitations.
    It wouldn't matter if the fan was turned on by a manual switch or activated by a sensor-- the voltage to the motor is the same. The sensor is only a trigger that activates an internal switch to turn on the motor.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Keyport, NJ
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    I put a timer on my bathroom fan. I think a motion sensor is insane. Perhaps in your dry climate it isn't a problem, but in most climates, you need to get the moisture out of the house. The bathroom fan should run at least 30 minutes after a shower. I also like that I can set the timer for 10 minutes to remove odors and don't have to go back to turn the fan off.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    You can use 2 methods that won't require a switch to control your fan. Inside the whisper green fan after you have removed the grill you will find two controls. One is for the motion sensor timer delay. Turn it to "0". This will keep it from turning on even though the "led"motion light will be triggered. If you don't want to see the light triggered (like at night) then use white electrical tape to cover it up, which is also the second method.
    Caution: Make sure you are properly venting your home to avoid high levels of moisture which can cause mold and create bigger problems than an elevated fuel bill.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: any reason not to run motion sensing bath exhaust fan through wall switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by daisy_08 View Post
    Thanks all. I was unsure if this fan unit could be run from a switch because saw elsewhere that voltage differences in motor turning on from sensor vs. switch could burn out motor. Also,installer said this unit could not be run from swtich - now I see that may have been per code, not unit limitations.

    RE: SEMI-RETIRED ELECTRICIAN. I've sent this comment to the agency, but if any of you are able to bring it to attention of regulators/agencies, please do!
    Re: misguided Conservation Regs/Programs -This fan install was part of a Fed/local Energy Conservation Program - no choices offered. They also installed a new small, low end fridge that lacks the energy saver switch my good old larger Kitchen Aid had (20 yrs old but regularly cleaned & running fine - I just took new b/c it MIGHT have gone anytime; now kicking myself) The thing seems to run more often and my electric use has not changed - is slightly higher but may be other factors? New freezer is <2/3 size of old, reducing my ability to employ other green strategies such as storing home/locally produced seasonal produce, home-prepared frozen meals from bulk purchases... I am not a happy camper. Program may help manufacturing - if these units were even made in US. But as for impactful conservation, I'd suggest perusing utility bills to customize the plan. My electric bill is/was ~$20./mo, obviously electric usage could not be significantly impacted. My greatest resource use is gas/wood to heat; focusing on that would have provided biggest bang for buck. A fine job was done of weatherstripping doors, caulking windows, but rather than the $1000. spent on appliances, much greater impact could have been achieved by foaming ~25sq' of uninsulated window seats and replacing broken glazing in 1/2 of a sliding glass door - heck, they could have replaced the entire unit with one more weather tight - but I could not get them to address those items. Maybe I should be thankful, I may have gotten UV Code glass that cut solar gain from my large South glass door.
    Sounds like you're doing your part...$20/mo !
    Gov. programs paint with a wide brush and have many flaws.
    IMO this is not the time for more regulations.
    New rules have added $$$ to cost of a new home, which has really hurt the housing market.
    You seem to be doing all the right things, I wouldn't count on the Gov. to respond very well.

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