Direct Wire or Plug-In for Gable Fan?

I bought a gable fan to install in my unfinished attic.
There is an outlet approximately 10' from where the fan will be
installed. I was going to hard wire it into that same outlet...but, then I was wondering why I couldn't just put a plug on the wire and plug it into the outlet. I bought a commercial 3-prong plug that is made to handle the amps and 12/3 wire that I'd be using.
So...Any reason why I shouldn't use it? One nice thing is that I can unplug the thing if I ever want to turn it off or whatever...I can't think of a reason why it won't work to do that, but then again, I'm not an electrician...
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The plug method is fine. If you do hard wire it, you'll need to install a switch for it to serve as a service disconnect. The plug connection serves this purpose in the first scenario.
John
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1) Plugs and sockets have exposed live surfaces accessible to contaminants even when seated, and 2) the gaps between the plug and the socket attract air-borne debris, attracted by the convection by the discontinuities and the heat associated with plugs and sockets. The bigger and the longer the draw, the more the accumulation.
Normally this contamination is insignificant because it is either small and/or because the time for accumulation is short, or because the contamination is benign. However, it is significant in places where a plug remains in a socket for some time; or where there is a lot of easily ignited material (e.g., bedrooms behind beds, pollen pulled in roof vents, etc.), that can, and does, combust; or in unattended areas where insects/spiders or animals may chew on the salt-contaminated insulation or make webs around the plug-socket; or where motors run for long periods.
Any material, e.g., dust or film, between the conductor prongs will conduct and heat. Enough material and/or enough time, and the potential for a fire occuring increases.
One nice thing is that I can

FWIW - I have three roof/gable fans in my unfinished attic ( the house has wings and els) . Two of the fans have switches in the power circuit so I can to turn them off when I am in the attic, with an outlet in that closed switch box for power when/if I work up there. My other roof fan has a three-position gem-light switch in the room below to turn the fan on or off manually. The light? With humidistats and temp sensors on that unit, I have had failures that had the fan running 24/7. Off switch? With fog and amp weather hanging on for a couple days, and then the attic gets damp enough to have the fan kick on due to too-high humidity in the attic, the fan draws in outside wet air 24/7 trying to lower the humidity. I want to overide that humidity sensor until it is drier outside. The on switch? In some real long hot spells, I want to draw in cooler night air into the attic overnight to cool the thermal mass (inside stone chimneys, palster ceilings, etc. ) so I run the fan 24/7 thru those hot spells. And I use it to annoy the squirrels when they are looking for a home. :-) Don;t know if it works, but it makes me feel pro-active.
...I can't

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I note that several of the bathroom fans I have cleaned had a plug and socket as part of their internal construction. (The housing was hard wired and the fan part was snapped into place and plugged in.) I presume the fan with its internal plug and socket was UL approved.
Most attic fans draw little juice and they are routinely thermally protected. It "makes sense" to plug them in. Whether that is "legal and proper" is another question.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Unless the manufacturer's instructions include directions on how to wire it up as a cord-and-plug connected device, doing so will not comply with the National Electrical Code. Article 110.3 (B) And even if they do, you are using the wrong conductors for the cord part of cord-and-plug. Article 400; table 400.3 You may also be in violation of 430.42 for the branch circuit, and 430.42 (C) for the plug and for the receptacle.
I would recommend hard-wiring it and adding a cut off switch in a j-box near the fan.
Ed
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A little warning to go along with cutting the plug off, doing so will void the warranty. However, I would cut the plug, and hard wire it with a single pole switch as a means of disconnect. Fuse stats. work as well.
wrote:

Unless the manufacturer's instructions include directions on how to wire it up as a cord-and-plug connected device, doing so will not comply with the National Electrical Code. Article 110.3 (B) And even if they do, you are using the wrong conductors for the cord part of cord-and-plug. Article 400; table 400.3 You may also be in violation of 430.42 for the branch circuit, and 430.42 (C) for the plug and for the receptacle.
I would recommend hard-wiring it and adding a cut off switch in a j-box near the fan.
Ed
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From: snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com I bought a gable fan to install in my unfinished attic. There is an outlet approximately 10' from where the fan will be installed. I was going to hard wire it into that same outlet...but, then I was wondering why I couldn't just put a plug on the wire and plug it into the outlet. I bought a commercial 3-prong plug that is made to handle the amps and 12/3 wire that I'd be using. So...Any reason why I shouldn't use it? One nice thing is that I can unplug the thing if I ever want to turn it off or whatever...I can't think of a reason why it won't work to do that, but then again, I'm not an electrician...
-----------------------------------
I'll tell you what I know, but I will check the codebook further through, for any important facts about the fan installtion in question. One thing is sure the thermal/humidistat/switched control is a plus for your convenience & it's efficiency, i do believe the 1 fan must be installed to pull out the air, not blow it in [[[[with 2 opposing fans you could really vent the attic quick (must check code)]]]]., you'll need a seperate opening with a grill and probably some screening to keep pests and debris out., I'll get back to this post if I find anything relevant that may help you make the best of your fan installation. Like switch the receptacle and hardwire it into the bx with a cable connector, But< since you bought the Plug you're probably "vent" :-) on using it, so you can just unplug it for service, that sounds okay too... again I'l check to see if any codes govern your fan so it won't come back & bite us while everyone is sleeping or at work., or posting any NEC facts that may be of concern. oy
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I bought a gable fan to install in my unfinished attic. There is an outlet approximately 10' from where the fan will be installed. I was going to hard wire it into that same outlet...but, then I was wondering why I couldn't just put a plug on the wire and plug it into the outlet. I bought a commercial 3-prong plug that is made to handle the amps and 12/3 wire that I'd be using. So...Any reason why I shouldn't use it? One nice thing is that I can unplug the thing if I ever want to turn it off or whatever...I can't think of a reason why it won't work to do that, but then again, I'm not an electrician...
-----------------------------------
I'll tell you what I know, but I will check the codebook further through, for any important facts about the fan installtion in question. One thing is sure the thermal/humidistat/switched control is a plus for your convenience & it's efficiency, i do believe the 1 fan must be installed to pull out the air, not blow it in [[[[with 2 opposing fans you could really vent the attic quick (must check code)]]]].,
--- the residential fans, no matter the number, always vent out of the attic - the air needed to replace that vented air comes in thru the eave vents. If you used one fan blowing in and one fan blowing out, you will end up pressurizing the attic area near the intake fan - and even though its only a few inches of water pressure, moisture and outside contaminants will be forced (by that pressure) into your "sealed" light fixtures and electrical boxes, between walls, into living spaces, etc.
--- I got no "hit" on "roof vent" in the 2003 IBC Residential or Fire codes which addressed the direction of the venting.
(not to mention forcing flame down into the structure in case of fire.)
you'll need a seperate opening with a grill and probably some screening to keep pests and debris out., I'll get back to this post if I find anything relevant that may help you make the best of your fan installation. Like switch the receptacle and hardwire it into the bx with a cable connector, But< since you bought the Plug you're probably "vent" :-) on using it, so you can just unplug it for service, that sounds okay too... again I'l check to see if any codes govern your fan so it won't come back & bite us while everyone is sleeping or at work., or posting any NEC facts that may be of concern. oy
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<some portions deleted> From: snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com (hob)
gable fan to install
-------------- <One thing is sure the thermal/humidistat/switched control is a plus for your convenience & it's efficiency, i do believe the 1 fan must be installed to pull out the air, not blow it in [[[[with 2 opposing fans you could really vent the attic quick (must check code)]]]].,
--- the residential fans, no matter the number, always vent out of the attic - the air needed to replace that vented air comes in thru the eave vents. If you used one fan blowing in and one fan blowing out, you will end up pressurizing the attic area near the intake fan - and even though its only a few inches of water pressure, moisture and outside contaminants will be forced (by that pressure) into your "sealed" light fixtures and electrical boxes, between walls, into living spaces, etc.
(not to mention forcing flame down into the structure in case of fire.)
Got it ! Somethings just can't be imrpoved upon.
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Yes, I did use the commercial plug I bought and hooked it up to the 12-gauge wire I bought. Someone mentioned me cutting the plug off and I didn't do that as there was no plug to begin with, otherwise it wouldn't be an issue...
The gable fan I bought does her a thermostat as well as a humidistat. I have the temp set to about 100, I think they recommended 100-115, and the humidistat set to 65%. It's running without issue, but of course I'm still concerned about the code.
It wouldn't be too hard for me to hard wire it now that I've been up there and have seen where I'd need to go, etc. And, the circuit I'm on is already switched for a pre-existing light socket, which I just swapped out for a socket that has a pull-cord so I can leave the circuit on without leaving the light on...I used a string and eye hooks to bring the pull string over to the doorway where the switch is so it is easy to turn the light out without navigating my way through the attic in the dark. ;)
If you guys are telling me that it is against code to leave it hooked up the way it is I'll change it I guess...The last thing I want to do is cause a fire and then have the insurance company not pay the claim b/c I didn't do something "right"...Whether that's a valid concern or not I'm not sure...
Thanks again for all the opinions.
Mike
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From: snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (mikepence89)
Yes, I did use the commercial plug I bought and hooked it up to the 12-gauge wire I bought. Someone mentioned me cutting the plug off and I didn't do that as there was no plug to begin with, otherwise it wouldn't be an issue... The gable fan I bought does her a thermostat as well as a humidistat. I have the temp set to about 100, I think they recommended 100-115, and the humidistat set to 65%. It's running without issue, but of course I'm still concerned about the code. It wouldn't be too hard for me to hard wire it now that I've been up there and have seen where I'd need to go, etc. And, the circuit I'm on is already switched for a pre-existing light socket, which I just swapped out for a socket that has a pull-cord so I can leave the circuit on without leaving the light on...I used a string and eye hooks to bring the pull string over to the doorway where the switch is so it is easy to turn the light out without navigating my way through the attic in the dark. ;) If you guys are telling me that it is against code to leave it hooked up the way it is I'll change it I guess...The last thing I want to do is cause a fire and then have the insurance company not pay the claim b/c I didn't do something "right"...Whether that's a valid concern or not I'm not sure... --------------------------------
Mike , seems you got a handle on the situation, I've checked the codes and there is a secton on ventilation, but i don't think it covers connection specifics on any instalation, they require the use of Metal Clad (MC) Cable in environmental air handling circuit inside ducts etc. even with the exceptions for spaces such as your attic....
It is my opinion: Here are some Techncal options you can employ..
Hardwiring the Fan with BX, Amoured or MC cable fan box to outletbox it's Okay, stapled out of the way and neatly of course.
For Switching Control of your Fans Power this is a far better option than your jerry rigged pullchain socket. if you like., check out one of those Ceiling Fan Remote Control Modules they sell at the Home Depot., if your fan matches the specs in Amps etc most likely., you can install the module in an enclosure (ganged or extended boxes) along with the lighting & Fan conductors and control both Light & Fan. from a distance., I must be RF not line of sight control for more convenince.
I don't think the speed control will come into use since your fan has only one speed., but think of all the cords and hassle you can bypass remote controling it.... I do not think the codes demean this but I am still looking. *leave a hardwired pullchain light back to it's original install for back up lighting up there.
In any event, just an idea......
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