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off topic allowed? attn: electricians

Old 01-26-21, 02:41 PM
  #1  
thook
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off topic allowed? attn: electricians

before posting any further, are OT postings allowed? i read over the rules and didn't see anything contrary, but if it's not permissible then do delete, of course

in short, trying to get my stoker fan going for the wood furnace. two new "rheostats"/variable speed control switches and neither activate the stoker. i tested them with my ohm meter, but neither read for continuity or resistance. same with a new wall mount ceiling fan VSC switch i used as a control to compare. i do have more than beginner's knowledge and experience with house and auto systems, so i know how to use my meter. i just don't understand why there's no continuity as would be with any other type of on/off switch...eg. toggles or buttons. i mean, all three new switches can't be bad

ps. the only reason i'm posting this is because i'm familiar and frequent here. moreover, i can't find any satisfactory advice or solutions with the other avenues i've tried...web/friends included. tried on an electricians forum, but no replies. trying to resolve this asap. it's cold, you know
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Old 01-26-21, 03:07 PM
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At worst, if this thread gets bumped over to Foo/off-topic, I've gotten good responses on general non-bike fix-it stuff there, since I see a lot of C&Vers there. Maybe, ahem, the mods will look the other way until you get some responses...
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Old 01-26-21, 03:13 PM
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It I have a thread cancelled because it was off topic. My guess is that anything to do with a furnace is a little off also. I do hope the discussion does not get too heated:-)
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Old 01-26-21, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
At worst, if this thread gets bumped over to Foo/off-topic, I've gotten good responses on general non-bike fix-it stuff there, since I see a lot of C&Vers there. Maybe, ahem, the mods will look the other way until you get some responses...
so, there is an OT subforum? how'd i miss that?

yeah, maybe. it'd be swell to fix this thing. it's almost 30years old, but it's swedish made jensen. and a big ol' firebox!!
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Old 01-26-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I do hope the discussion does not get too heated:-)
yeah, that would really blow...haha...ha!
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Old 01-26-21, 03:26 PM
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@thook - is the fan DC or AC? Are the switch for AC or DC?

Is there music?
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Old 01-26-21, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
@thook - is the fan DC or AC? Are the switch for AC or DC?

Is there music?
it's 120v switch and draft fan for a wood furnace. the only music is the purring of a fan and a crackling fire. unless i'm humming while loading it up
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Old 01-26-21, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
so, there is an OT subforum? how'd i miss that?
It's easy to miss -- it's at the top level of the site, two levels above C&V, not one level above. Also, both levels above C&V are called "Bike Forums."

Link: https://www.bikeforums.net/foo/
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Old 01-26-21, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
It's easy to miss -- it's at the top level of the site, two levels above C&V, not one level above. Also, both levels above C&V are called "Bike Forums."

Link: https://www.bikeforums.net/foo/
thanks!!
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Old 01-26-21, 03:49 PM
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With a rheostat, you should see a resistance. It is possible that you speed control may be a solid state device. Rheostats have a distinctive look. It is a doughnut with copper wire wound around it and wiper that touches the loops of the copper wire. I'll try to dig one up and get a picture later.

Is that what you have?
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Old 01-26-21, 04:04 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
With a rheostat, you should see a resistance. It is possible that you speed control may be a solid state device. Rheostats have a distinctive look. It is a doughnut with copper wire wound around it and wiper that touches the loops of the copper wire. I'll try to dig one up and get a picture later.

Is that what you have?
the furnace manual calls it the "rheostat". so, maybe the original 30yr old switch actually is one (i'll have to look per your description). these new switches i got to replace the original with are not, though. you see, i ordered the two off ebay advertised as variable controls for wood stoves, but when i got'em home and look at them, they're labeled "dimmer switches" for tungsten only. i am returning them for that reason. however, i am still wondering why i don't get any reading on them at all. nor the wall switch for a ceiling fan. this i would like to understand because i didn't get a reading on the original "rheostat", either.....which made me start wondering if it's really bad...ie. may not need replacing after all

it's possible, of course, the switches are not the cause of the draft fan not working. but, i need to rule it out because the relay...the only other part that could be the problem...is NOT cheap. and, i've yet to learn how to test that. oh...well...there is a thermal button disk inline, but i get continuity on that

correction: i went back to the ebay seller and the new switches are advertised as rheostats. so, i guess they are. i can't look inside, though, without voiding the return

Last edited by thook; 01-26-21 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 01-26-21, 04:10 PM
  #12  
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Velo Mule okay...the original switch is indeed a rheostat. no continuity....no bueno

the new variable switches have no indication of being solid state that i can tell. there'd be a "logo", right?
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Old 01-26-21, 04:28 PM
  #13  
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here's what i bought....

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rheostat-Va...UAAOSwMRZe~9Q8
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Old 01-26-21, 04:57 PM
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Is your meter working properly?
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Old 01-26-21, 04:58 PM
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That's a rheostat. It looks correct, including the wiring. When you set your multi-meter to Ohms, the omega sign, and connect one test lead to one connector the other test lead to the other connector, you should get a resistance reading.

Is your meter auto-ranging? Does it automatically get the correct range value? Almost all the new ones are. So, I would guess that it is auto-ranging. You should be getting a resistance value then. Oh, wait. You might have a blown fuse in the meter.

Check the fuses in the meter. Oh, wait again. You got a resistance reading of, I would assume near zero, when you checked the thermoswitch.

When you are on ohms and touch the two test leads together you should get about 1 ohm or less. That means that you meter is working properly. You might have done all that already.
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Old 01-26-21, 05:17 PM
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Is there power to the switch?
Does the motor run if you bypass the switch?
Does the fan motor turn?
Is there a fusible link, thermal cutout, thermostatic cut in?
Is there a safety cut out on the access panel?
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Old 01-26-21, 05:22 PM
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Are your switches polar? Swapping terminals could correct that. Double check connections, it's easy for a wire to come loose within a wire nut to leads. Check the breaker or fuse box.
​​​​​​​
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Old 01-26-21, 05:55 PM
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Thread moved from C&V to Foo.
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Old 01-26-21, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
Is your meter working properly?
yep
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Old 01-26-21, 07:35 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
That's a rheostat. It looks correct, including the wiring. When you set your multi-meter to Ohms, the omega sign, and connect one test lead to one connector the other test lead to the other connector, you should get a resistance reading.

Is your meter auto-ranging? Does it automatically get the correct range value? Almost all the new ones are. So, I would guess that it is auto-ranging. You should be getting a resistance value then. Oh, wait. You might have a blown fuse in the meter.

Check the fuses in the meter. Oh, wait again. You got a resistance reading of, I would assume near zero, when you checked the thermoswitch.

When you are on ohms and touch the two test leads together you should get about 1 ohm or less. That means that you meter is working properly. You might have done all that already.
i have a greenlee DM40. good battery, checks continuity across both probes, and it checks every other circuit for continuity (beeps and all that) that's supposed to have it. the meter's working i get no readings on the switches, though
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Old 01-26-21, 07:36 PM
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that ebay thing looks a lot like it's a solid state device, a lot like a dimmer.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Is there power to the switch?
Does the motor run if you bypass the switch?
Does the fan motor turn?
Is there a fusible link, thermal cutout, thermostatic cut in?
Is there a safety cut out on the access panel?
-i'm simply testing for continuity, so there is no power to any of the three switches while testing
-i have not tried that. however, it ran when i had a working switch
-yes
-i don't think there's a fusible link. atleast the manual makes no mention of there being one. i'll get a photo image of the entire control unit, if that'd help
- there's not a "safety cut out" for the fan. there is a "hi limit" thermal disc that de-energizes (breaks the circuit) from the load relay to the rheostat when the stove reaches 170*F. as well, there is a relay operated by the wall thermostat between the switch and the draft fan. when
the room temperature drops below the thermostat setting, the relay closes the circuit to power the fan when/if the thermal disc circuit is also closed. i'll also try to get a photo image of the wiring diagram if that would help, too
*your last three questions will be become pertinent, however i'm not at the stage of troubleshooting beyond the switch issue just yet
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Old 01-26-21, 08:36 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
that ebay thing looks a lot like it's a solid state device, a lot like a dimmer.
i mentioned in an earlier reply to Velo Mule that they are dimmer switches (ordered two). i don't understand what it being solid state has to do with anything, though. thanks!
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Old 01-26-21, 08:38 PM
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thook You have a good meter. I think you guys are right. That eBay device might be labeled a rheostat but it does look solid state. You won't get an ohm reading through that device.

I would think it would still work on a blower motor. It would be a pulse width modulator circuit that turns power on and off quickly. The percentage of the on time (verses the off time) determines the lighting intensity or the fan speed. As long as the amperage rating of the dimmer/rheostat is higher than the amperage draw of the blower motor, the you should be good. Try bypassing the dimmer rheostat. The fan should turn at full speed. If that happens, the issue is the fan speed control unit (rheostat).

If bypassing the fan speed control unit doesn't turn on the fan, then check for power on the black and white wires going to the fan and the speed control unit. You should have ~115 VAC. If not, you might have a bad relay. Some relays have a button or tab that allows you to manually over ride the relay coil to activate the device. If you have that try that. Is the relay soldered to a board?

You could bypass the relay to determine if the relay is the problem.

Let us know what you find.

The thing about the relay is that although the company charges a lot of money for the relay, most relays are under $20. You may be able to replace it with something comparable, if it is the relay that is bad.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Are your switches polar? Swapping terminals could correct that. Double check connections, it's easy for a wire to come loose within a wire nut to leads. Check the breaker or fuse box.
thank you for replying. the switches are not polar. there's just an input and an output wire. connections good/bad are moot to the switch having continuity as neither of the new switches have that. the breaker's all good as the distribution fan (hot air to the room itself) is working

to all: so, if the rheostats/switches are good, then there should be continuity between the two wires. since there isn't, both new switches must be bad? if that's correct, then i will scrounge for a known working toggle to test for fan operation. if no worky worky, i'll start testing the circuit for a break in voltage somewhere
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