I bought replacement for my bathroom exhaust fan. Basically what i bought was this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-50-CFM-Wall-Ceiling-Mount-Roomside-Installation-Bathroom-Exhaust-Fan-ENERGY-STAR-7114-01/206159603 However, the fan (that was replaced by a licensed electrician) keeps cycling on and off. The electrician mentioned that i need to replace the timer switch for the fan.

So i bought this: https://www.amazon.com/Enerlites-HET06A-White-1-5-10-15-20-30-Countdown-Decorator/dp/B00IB0ZJXE/ref=sr_1_5?crid=B3E1ECT5H6H1&keywords=timer+switch+for+bathroom+fan&qid=1579763344&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&sprefix=timer+swit%2Caps%2C292&sr=8-5

However, when i opened the old timer i did not find a neutral wire while this needs a neutral.

Is there a way to have a timer replace the old timer . Without a neutral wire. And fix the problem with the bathroom fan going on and off.


1 Answer 1


You circuit is wired without bringing the neutral wire to the switch box and so only the HOT wire comes to the switch and the switched wire goes back to the fan. For a traditional (i.e. dumb) switch, this works fine.

When you try to use a "smart" switch, and your electronic timer switch is such a switch, you have to supply power to the switch itself and that requires a neutral.

Two options:

  1. Rewire the circuit between the fan and the switch to include a neutral wire.
  2. Fall back to a mechanical timer switch that doesn't require any power of its own.

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