Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Attic fans

Our attic fan stopped working.

Mrs ERJ did a yeoman's job clearing the closet beneath the entry door.
To get a sense of scale, the barrel of the steel hat is a little less than 1" in diameter and the downward pointing terminals are 1/4" in width.

It is usually the thermostat.  So I bought a 110F, close on rise, snap-disc thermostat.  Unlike the suspect thermostat, this is not adjustable. 

The 1/4" spade terminals proved to be a problem.  I needed to put some 6" pigtails (wires) on them so I could wirenut them into the wiring.

I was unable to get a crimp that I was happy with.  No matter how I tried to crimp them they always wiggled...not a good situation when vibration might be in the mix.

I ended up stripping off the vinyl insulating sleeve and soldering the female terminals onto my pigtails.  Then I wrapped the bare copper wire with electrical tape.

Everything is buttoned up all righty-tighty and now I am waiting for a hot day to see if the fan kicks on.  The thermostat is mounted on the east end of the attic.  That part of the roof is shaded by an oak tree and is NOT the hottest part of the attic. The anal part of my personality wanted to mount the thermostat on the south side of the peak in the midsection where the roof is not shaded, but sanity won out.


  1. Regional terminology. When I saw "attic fan" I thought you were talking about a fan from my youth. When I was growing up, every house had an attic fan, a big fan, normally mounted in the ceiling of a hallway. When it was on, it sucked air from all the open windows and provided positive ventilation all through the house. Big ol' fans, normally 5 feet in diameter, they were the only source of cooling in the pre-A/C days of my childhood. My Dad didn't install air conditioning until 1971.

    The fan you're talking about, we'd call a vent fan. Something to draft through the attic to keep it from holding heat.

  2. Smart move. I had one replaced, they did a crimp and three months later (middle of August) I was up in the attic trying to fix it... sigh

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