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Reviewing Preset Bath Fan Timers – An Easy Solution for Fan Run Time

One of the most basic…and in my view…necessary home automation integrations is a bath fan control to help with daily circulation of air.

The installation of a bath fan timer will eliminate the need of remembering to turn the fan off while providing adequate run time to dispose of moisture, odors, and stale air.

Lutron Maestro preset bath fan timer switches
Lutron maestro light and fan switch controls

Each manufacturer shown has a unique style and design to provide options to suit varying bathrooms and personal preference.

Further Reading:  Casablanca Customized Ceiling Fans

What to know before upgrading to a digital bath fan timer.

Switch size difference

When retrofitting electronic switches, a common 1.5″ deep electrical gang box can get crowded, which normally houses smaller bodied toggle and paddle switches.

With new construction or remodels in mind, consult with your electrician about the advantages of using a 2″ or deeper electrical gang box to allow more room for the larger electronic switches and wiring.

Lutron Maestro light switch compared to a toggle switch
Lutron Maestro vs. a toggle switch size comparison

Different switch cover / wallplate

When replacing a toggle switch with a fan timer switch, the wallplate will have to be replaced as well with a decora style switch cover.

Looking for a wallplate where you can easily add a custom color or pattern too? Check out the Legrand adorne™ series wallplates.

Single toggle and decora wallplates
< Toggle wallplate | Decora wallplate >
WARNING: Electrical Hazard. Turn off power at breaker panel or fuse box to avoid injury. Contact a certified Electrician or HVAC tech if unsure of your DIY capabilities.
TOOL TIP: Using a non-contact voltage detector is an easy, safe, and economical tool to check if voltage is present at the switch location.
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Lutron Maestro Bath Fan Timers

As with the Maestro lineup, you get a clean and elegant looking switch.

The small toggle button on the right scrolls between time sequences and the large center button turns the switch on/off. Double click the large button to override the countdown and have constant On.

**View complete wiring instructions at Lutron

PROS

  • An array of colors to choose from.
  • 6 countdown increments and continuous ON.
  • No neutral wireA circuit conductor that normally carries current back to the source, and is connected to ground (earth) at the main electrical panel. required at the switch location for single pole models.
  • Non-polarity specific – Connect either in / out hot wire to either screw or push-in connection. No worries of miswiring.
  • Dual switch (fan and light / model MA-L3T251) available. (a) can combat overcrowding in a retrofit situation with a shallow 2 gang box. Use a dual switch only, then use a decora blank in the other location. (b) for a single electrical box, the light and fan can now be separated (additional wiring may be necessary) instead of both being powered ON by the same switch.
  • Screw and push-in terminals for wiring connection flexibility.

CONS

  • None, in my opinion. We have Lutron countdown timers in all our bathrooms and they have been very reliable, while adding an appearance improvement to a room.

Models Include:

  • MA-T51
  • MA-T51TN (multi-location, neutral required)
  • MA-L3T251
  • MA-T530G
  • MA-T530GH

**Check home improvement stores and the parts department of electrical and plumbing supply stores for purchasing options.
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Leviton Preset Bath Fan Timers

The large and BOLD 5-button design is easy to see and understand.

PROS

  • 3 face-plates included with LTB Series (white, ivory, light almond)
  • Advanced Programming Feature – Time sequences can be re-programmed without buying a new timer switch. A new matching time sequence faceplate is recommended.
  • Pre-wired – (a) eliminates or reduces the need for additional wiring. (b) color coded wiring simplifies wiring connections.
  • Timer over-ride for continuous ON (24 hour shut-off).

CONS

  • A neutral wireA circuit conductor that normally carries current back to the source, and is connected to ground (earth) at the main electrical panel. is required at the switch location. All timer switches that are fan use compatible have 3 way capability, which adds a neutral wire to the equation.
  • Pre-wired harness – (a) reduces wiring flexibility and adds clutter. (b) thick stranded wires for the black, red, and ground (optional) can make wiring more cumbersome compared to standard and much smaller diameter 14 awg solid wire.
  • Single switch application only – no dual switch applications.

Models Include:

  • 6215M series
  • 6230M series
  • 6260M series
  • LTB15-1LZ
  • LTB30-1LZ
  • LTB60-1LZ

**Check home improvement stores and the parts department of electrical and plumbing supply stores for purchasing options.
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All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. Products were purchased at retail locations and not provided by manufacturers as sponsorship. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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