Inline / "hidden" fan speed reducer?


Hello, I have a bathroom fan that is really noisy. I don't mind it so much but my wife hates it as we live in a condo with neighbors.
To avoid having to replace the whole thing, I'd like to try reducing the speed with some sort of inline resistor; either at the switch or at the fan itself.
I have a basic electrical engineering background, so I can visualize a basic circuit that would limit the current. However, I'm hoping there is a device I can just buy so I don't violate any codes. Something like a dimmer would work, but I don't want it to be visible.
Any suggestions?
Thanks! Jason
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JasonC wrote:

Stick a small light bulb in series with it? Experiment what size bulb. Using a light dimmer in place of the switch may not be good idea because it may chop up the AC waveform (not affecting visible light) and cause fan motor to overheat. You may want to do some maintenance of the fan motor? How long since lubricated, worn bearings, dirt build-up on fan blades etc.?
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Thanks for the response! The light bulb is a good idea. Although, it might not work since I don't really have any place to put it.
Regarding maintenance of the fan- it is actually a new fan motor and blower that I put in place of the old one. I don't have access above the fan housing (its in the first floor of a two-story building), so replacing only the motor worked, and was 100% less trouble.
Thanks, Jason

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JasonC wrote:

I assume you need or want to continue having a fan. ( I would myself)
I suggest you consider replacing the fan with a better quality one. The better ones are a lot quieter. That said, you may run into some problems since it is a condo and to get the best results you may need to increase the vent size. I would think the condo association would be willing to work with you on this one, making it nicer for neighbors and all.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Yeah, I guess I was just looking for something simpler. The downstairs fan I am talking about is identical to the one we have upstairs, and so I am 95% sure it is fastened to a joist such that I can't easily remove it (nailed in above the housing). I'm planning on replacing the upstairs unit since I have an attic so its easy to access. I was hoping to keep the downstairs fan simple :)
- Jason
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Reducing current with a resistor is also reducing the voltage across the motor. Motor overheat is proportional to the square of the voltage drop.
Don't want a visible motor controller? How about replacing the motor with one with multiple speed taps?
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how about getting a switch with a slide dimmer on the side so you can set it to the speed you want and forget it and just turn it off and back on.... that will quiet it down....

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Phillip Devoll wrote:

A good point to repeat (I think Fred noted it) most motors are not designed to be speed controlled with a dimmer switch, any kind of dimmer switch. Doing so can cause overheating and fire.
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