Can a timer run just the fan on a Panasonic Whisper Warm fan?

susanelewisJune 24, 2010

We have decided to replace a noisy Nutone bath fan with a Panasonic Whisper Warm fan. It is already wired for heat so it should be an easy swapout. However, we want to add a timer to the fan so that it turns off about 20-30 minutes after the shower has ended. Has anyone done this? The switches are really double stacked switches with Heat and Vent on the same side. Most timers are full switch timers. Do we have to add a third section (box) to accomodate a timer?

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I just posted about this in the other thread about fans & timers... Here's a switch Lutron makes which combines a dimmer for a light and a timer for a fan in the space of a single switch.

I'm not sure whether the dimmer portion is suitable for controlling the heater, though. You might have to see how much power the heater draws and compare it to what the switch is rated for (300W, I think).

-- Eric

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:18AM
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Eric, that link didn't show up but I found your other post. From what I see that Lutron only controls a far or a light. Perhaps it is a different model? I was looking at the Lutron MA-T51-WH Maestro Countdown Timer.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:21AM
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I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but I purchased a Lutron Maestro Count-Down timer, model MA-T51, for our Panasonic Whisper fan. Our fan does not have a light. This timer operates just the fan, but will work with a light as well. They have a model with a dual timer and dimmer to separately operate a light and fan (I think this is what Jacobse posted, but I can't see the photo for some reason). Here's a link to the Lutron web site, showing the different models they offer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lutron Timers

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:33AM
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Thanks, kkrazed. The MA-L3T251 is exactly what I'm looking for plus a dimmer which will be nice to have. I need the two switches separately.

I just got off the phone with Panasonic support which was pretty useless. They wouldn't verify compatibility with any switch as it is an "acessory". However, they did say that everything is 110v so most switches would work. I asked if I could hook up the switches in any order on the wall (the setup shown in the Panasonic installation doesn't pair light and fan on the same double switch) and they finally agreed you could. I have little to no confidence in what they said.

Kkrazed, did you vent your fan through the roof?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:40AM
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It's odd that you can't see the image I linked to; it shows up fine when I load this page. Anyway, yes, the MA-L3T251 is the one I was referring to. I'm sure this is fine with any light and fan, but if the timer is going to control a heater, you need to find out what the power draw for the heater on that Panasonic unit is. Because this switch combines a dimmer and a timer in the space of one switch, it is limited to 300 watts of power (whereas most switches and dimmers are typically rated for 600 watts, and some even for 1,000 watts). A heater typically draws a lot more power than a light or a fan. You might be fine with this, Susan, but I was suggesting you check the power so you don't end up disappointed with a burned out switch after a short time. I would think Panasonic should be able to tell you how many watts the heater draws.

(If you get a number in amps, that's just as useful. Multiple amps by 120 volts to get watts. So: this switch is rated at 2.5 amps x 120 volts = 300 watts.)

-- Eric

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 11:10AM
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I don't want to put a timer on the heater, just the fan.

The heater can't use a Maestro switch either because the heater draws 1425 watts(about 13 amps).

The Panasonic does not have an incandescent or halogen light;it uses a stupid fluorescent. So now I'm in a big quandary. I'm good if I just use the same switches I have. But it seems to add a timer, I have to find a timer beyond a Maestro that will fit in half of a box OR I have to expand to a larger box 3 gang box where I have a full Maestro countdown timer for the fan, one other full switch, and then a double rocker for heat and the last function.

This is ridiculous that there isn't a better solution.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Yes, we did vent the fan through the roof. We installed the Panasonic FV-15VQ4, which required a 6" vent as opposed to a 4" (which I think is standard or at least more common). Just something to keep in mind, as we didn't realize this until we opened the box and couldn't use our existing 4" vent. We hired a roofer to vent it properly using 6" duct. We went with the larger fan because it was actually quieter than the smaller model.

I hope you find a good solution. Will the dual timer work with a fan and separate light, or only a fan with a light?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 4:02PM
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