Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


08:25PM | 05/03/08
Member Since: 09/24/06
50 lifetime posts
I've wired up a bathroom exhaust fan...simple series circuit with black from the receptacle going to switch and then to fan, then white from the fan going back to the receptacle.

The fan worked fine for 3 days, then seemed to burn out.

To test the fan, i plugged into a wall socket directly.

It worked before i installed it when i plugged it into a wall socket.

Now it doesn't.

This is the second fan i've gone thru. the first died immediately after plugging it in.

What am I doing wrong?

I tested the receptacle that i'm getting power from. It's more than 120 Vac. It's reading 130-135VAC.

Is my house wiring screwed? All my other appliances work fine. All the outlets read the same voltage.

Tom O

06:17AM | 05/04/08
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
Does the white wire run with the black one in the same cable or conduit from the receptacle to the switch to the fan? If not, this could be the cause of your trouble.


07:13AM | 05/04/08
Member Since: 09/24/06
50 lifetime posts
from the switch to the fan, there's only one cable, containing 1 white wire, 1 ground, and 1 black wire.

Black wire goes from switch to fan, and white wire in same cable runs back from fan to the junction box of the switch, where it's joined to the white wire from the receptacle.

I have a feeling I have a problem with overvoltage of my receptacles, though.

I'm definitely reading 130-135 V at the receptacle. The fan is rated for 120V. The last fan i tried ran really slow for 3 minutes, smelled burnt, and then died.

doug seibert

01:47PM | 05/04/08
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Two years ago you had a bathroom electrical problem....Plumbing delivering a shock.......did you ever resolve that one ?

The bath is a special circuit....adding the bath fan may not be allowed.....what does the circuit feed ?......any GFCI protection ?

I assume this is a digital VoltOhmMeter.....have you metered the incomming service at your main.......

Fuses or Circuit Breakers ?

IF the service voltage is Normal AND the voltage is High in the bath.........there is a cross connection to another circuit......The circuit is wired in SERIES with another circuit......with a potential of 220 volts split between them......

Maybe the neutral bar is cracked in the panel.....

Could be a multi-wired circuit problem (shared neutral)......

And the Original problem sounded like a bootlegged neutral......

One way to attempt to find the cause is to Monitor the voltage in the bath while flipping circuit breakers......I'm betting Two different circuit breakers will affect this receptacle.......

(Run an extension cord from bath to the panel an observe voltage on the cord)

"......measure Once.....cut Twice....

throw that one away and cut a new one...."


03:31PM | 05/04/08
Member Since: 09/24/06
50 lifetime posts
I never resolved my plumbing being live...

What I did was swap my taps with plastic ones so they don't shock me. I also fixed a leaky pipe behind my shower wall.

My electric taps problem seems to have improved anyways...

Actually I didn't run the fan circuit from my bathroom circuit. The junction box in my bathroom had a power outlet in it and also a switch for the bathroom light. The power outlet already had wires going to all 4 terminals, so I didn't use that receptacle to run the power.

I ran a cable from my computer room receptacle(on the other side of the wall from the bathroom)to a junction box in my bathroom. The computer room receptacle box has 1 terminal free for the white wire and 1 free for the black wire.

In the junction box in the bathroom that i installed, there's a switch which controls the fan.

Yes, I installed a GFCI in the bathroom as well. It works fine(when it trips, the lights in the bathroom go out).

Actually it's an analog's kinda hard to read actually, but i'm sure it reads at least 130 from the wall outlet.

I have breakers at the box.

I haven't metered the incoming service...

thanks for the response...


10:57AM | 05/05/08
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Are you sure something isn't preventing the fan from turning? Running slow for a few minutes then burning out sounds like you have something restricting the fan turning or something restricting the air flow out. Check both.


01:28PM | 05/11/08
Member Since: 09/24/06
50 lifetime posts
no, nothing is preventing the fan from turning. It's a regular Nutone 50 cfm 120 V, 3 Sones bathroom fan.

I have a duct going about 2 feet through the insulation up through the roof. Nothing is restricting the air out.


06:37PM | 07/06/15
So I see this is a pretty old thread, but I am having the same issue.
I just replaced a Broan-Nutone bathroom fan motor with a new one. It burnt out within a few days. It's rated for 115V 60 Hz. My voltage is fine.
Did you ever resolve this? Anyone else have any ideas?

The only thing I can think of is that when I installed it, it seemed a little loud, like maybe it was slightly out of balance. But, it seems hard to believe it would die so fast cause of that.


08:03AM | 06/14/18
anon; (google loves to land here for fan burnup)
10 years late. (safety first)
the fan in any nutone or Broan vent blower, of any kind
the fan motor needs to match the vent model exactly by number.
beside 3+ different sizes, shaft diameters and lengths.
(power sizes watts/amps)vary
and one more very important part.
the fan motors come in 2 wire motors and 3.
the 2wire motors are single speed, or variable triac controlled.
the 3 wire fans some have 2 inline capacitors, (low/high, 12/16uf)
if those are missing the motor burns up fast (minute to days)
that is the wrong fan motor there.

i just bought one for my Imperial stove vent hood.
the seller sold me the wrong fan, and it burned up fast.
ordered right, delivered wrong.

the correct fan was, # (just and example of a simple 2 wire fan)



the OP voltmeter is no good, buy a new one or get DMM
old needle meters will read wrong, when old,. all do.
a calibration issue. for sure if made in 1960


10:44AM | 03/11/20
I found that when the wiring setup is that main power goes into the fan housing first, and down to the switch and back up using a single 14-2 or similar Nomex construction (meaning the wires are close together inside the sheathing) that the ghost voltage is enough (40-50v) that when the swi h os “off” the motor is trying to draw current so but can’t get enough to start it turning. It quickly overheats and dies a quick death.
I had replaced the same motor twice before figuring this out, and had to rewire it to add a second Nomex sheathing just to carry the return voltage back up from the switch to to fan. A huge hassle but the only solution I could find.

Leo Alfie

03:12AM | 03/12/20
Member Since: 03/03/20
36 lifetime posts
No... I think your complete house wiring is not screwed. problem is in specific area where your exhaust fan is located. I think you cannot find the problem. check it, electrician.


01:29PM | 03/15/20
I have a similar problem and am looking for the possible solution


12:38PM | 10/05/20
same problem in two bathrooms. Contractor says the vent has such a hard draw on it's on, it's burning out the fans. Not sure I believe that. Any suggestions?


03:58PM | 05/18/21
My 20-year-old bath fan/lights finally died. I purchased new ones and installed one of the two. The light still works, but the fan died after about 4 months. Any ideas? Thank you!


03:58PM | 05/18/21
My 20-year-old bath fan/lights finally died. I purchased new ones and installed one of the two. The light still works, but the fan died after about 4 months. Any ideas? Thank you!

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