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Question DetailsAsked on 7/8/2016

I'm replacing the fan blade only on an attic motor. Can I turn just switch off for the fan rather than all power?

I'd rathjer not turn all power off from breakers (I'd have no light in the attic). Since I'm not replacing the motor (no bare wires) will this be ok?

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1 Answer


Assuming the fan actually turns on when you turn the switch on, so that you KNOW that when it stops (after turning the switch or thermostat off) that the power to the fan has actually been cut off (as opposed to just the fan being stalled and might start up when you mess with the blade), I think you should be fine. However, if the fan does NOT turn when the switch is on, you do not know if the power is off to it, or it has stalled and might start up again with a turn.

Sometimes these motors have a small red on-off switch on the back too - but don't confuse a thermal breaker with an on-off switch - switch would be a side-slide or flip-toggle switch, thermal breaker are (as far as I have ever seen) push-to-reset.

This is NOT a good idea if changing the motor or thermostat out or otherwise messing with the wiring, unless you first confirm with a volt-ohm meter that the power at the device has actually been cut off. Reason - some people (electricians included) sometimes put the switch on the neutral wire rather than the live wire (which should be black or red but they sometimes screw that up too). In that case, turning the switch off shuts off the fan because there is no longer a complete circuit, BUT there might still be live power at the device if the wiring was done wrong.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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