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Attic vent louvers - motor control suggestions

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Pete View Post
    It is very old from the looks of the wall mounted switch.
    Not sure what qualifies as very old, but I installed one of these in the mid 70's. They were a popular alternative to AC. My wife's parents had one so we knew what they could do. We loved it, and when we moved 10 years later I installed another one, even though the new house had central air. We still use it, especially in the late spring and early fall when the evenings are cool. As far as I can tell, there are units available now that are virtually identical to the ones in use in the 60's, although the motors are probably built more cheaply.

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  • Pete
    replied
    Thanks Mike.

    It is very old from the looks of the wall mounted switch.

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Pete,
    My first guess would be that the fan is located directly above the louvers. If it is, you should be able to see it by manually pushing open the louvers. In that position, the louvers will open automatically from the pressure differential when the fan starts. Also, there may be no evident vent location from the outside if the fan vents through existing soffit, box, or ridge vents.

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  • Pete
    replied
    So right now the ones in the hallway are manually set to open or close eh?

    I noticed louvers in Mary DooLittle's house in the upstairs hallway. I need to do a walk around outside to see where the fan is.

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  • pbibm
    replied
    Pete, this set of louvers do as the fan is pushing air through

    The other set of louvers. that I want to automate, are not in the pictures and lie flat on the attic floor/second floor ceiling.

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  • Pete
    replied
    Paul,

    Do the louvers close when the fan is off?

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  • pbibm
    replied
    Pete, this is the original fan that I replaced last year:



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  • RAM
    replied
    Originally posted by pbibm View Post
    Thanks Dick! I will check it out. I did some searches last night and found there was more out there than I imagined there would be.

    Do you control your dampers with HA? If so, do you use contacts like an interface module or?
    I don't control the actuator with HA, just the fan. The actator comes on when the fan does and opens the louvers. When the fan shuts off the actuator closes the louvers up tight.

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  • pbibm
    replied
    Thanks UM!

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Paul,
    I found this description in Wikipedia:
    In one design, the motor is often a small shaded-pole synchronous motor combined with a rotary switch that can disconnect the motor at either of the two stopping points ("damper open" or "damper closed"). In this way, applying power to the "open damper" terminal causes the motor to run until the damper is open while applying power at the "close damper" terminal causes the motor to run until the damper is closed. The motor is commonly powered from the same 24 volt ac power source that is used for the rest of the control system.

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by pbibm View Post
    Here is what i don't get:
    • Does it need drycontacts to open / close to work the activator ...or..
    • Do you turn on / turn off power to the 24vdc supply; on opens the dampers and off lets gravity pull them back down?
    The damper controllers that I have seen have a motor that has two power terminals and an integrated switch. When you apply power to the 'close' terminals the motor activates until the switch reaches its limit and stops. If it's already closed, nothing happens. Similarly with the 'open' terminals.


    The way I imagine this working is that you use a double throw relay to send power to one set or the other, depending on whether you want the louvers open or closed.

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  • pbibm
    replied
    Thanks UM. The setup works well with the exception of automating the dampers. How do you technically instruct the damper what to do? It needs 24vdc, which I get. Here is what i don't get:
    • Does it need drycontacts to open / close to work the activator ...or..
    • Do you turn on / turn off power to the 24vdc supply; on opens the dampers and off lets gravity pull them back down?

    I am seeing them on ebay, but not seeing how to integrate automation to them.

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by RAM View Post
    I've used a damper actuator for years on my whole house fan. There are many listed on Ebay that will work, some for less than $50.
    +1 on the damper actuator.
    Another option, but more work, would be to mount a second "whole house" ventilator fan over the louvers. When you want to vent the house, turn on the new fan (and the attic vent fan). Then the louvers will open by the pressure differential as designed. To just vent the attic, turn on the attic fan only. I've had a setup like that for some time and it works very well. (The attic fan motor burned out a few years ago, so I now use the house fan alone.) As a safety measure, I do not allow HS to turn on the whole house fan, but it is set to turn it off under a variety of conditions.

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  • Pete
    replied
    Thanks Paul!

    Yes will do.

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  • pbibm
    replied
    Originally posted by RAM View Post
    I've used a damper actuator for years on my whole house fan. There are many listed on Ebay that will work, some for less than $50.
    Thanks Dick! I will check it out. I did some searches last night and found there was more out there than I imagined there would be.

    Do you control your dampers with HA? If so, do you use contacts like an interface module or?

    Leave a comment:

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