Wiring a Panasonic Intelli-Balance ERV
Hi team – any help much appreciated here. Got one of these fancy ERVs and hoping to wiring an on/off from the living area to the unit (so when the windows or doors are left open we can shut it off completely), and a 3-way circuit for the boost function (so you can control from both the bathroom and the kitchen).
1) Is a 3-way wiring possible?
2) Can I treat the ERV like any other fixture and use 110v with 14-3 for the 3- way and 14-2 for the wall switch?
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Tall guy here with a short answer. The wiring diagram is in the manual and schematic I believe is on the cover too. I’m yet to wire my booster switches to mine. One option is a smart switch or plug at the unit only if you use Any other “smart” tech. That way you can control it remotely too
Thank you corcon! I noticed the boost and wall switch connections have what I assume is a hot and neutral connection. Do you know if the orientation matters? Wiring diagrams don't seem to say.
Got one of these fancy ERVs and hoping to wiring an on/off from the living area to the unit (so when the windows or doors are left open we can shut it off completely)
An answer from another short guy! I have a Panasonic Intellibalance ERV too, and I turn it on and off (for the same reason--open vs. closed windows) with a smart switch. Just turns 120 V power on and off, by saying, "Alexa, turn on ERV." Works just fine--stays at the same control setting as before.
Don't have any useful information on the boost side of things though.
Thats awesome Kohta - a very elegant and simple solution! It might force us to enter the 21st century and get one of them smart home systems..... :)
Thank you for the help!
Since Kohta is using a smart switch, which is just a fancy wireless way to turn a plug on and off, that means the ERV itself is OK with it's power supply being cycled to control it's operation. That means YES, you can treat it as a normal fixture and wire it on a 3 way switch setup.
Note that when running the wire, you need that 14-3 to go between switches in most cases. Think of the current path as a loop or circle, so the power goes out to the far switch on one wire, then returns on one of the two other wires, goes through the second switch, then comes out on one wire to your load. The wires between the switches are known as "travelers" in the trade. You could bring power in at the near or far switch, and then come off either to feed the load, depending on your setup. It would be the power supply and wiring to the load receptacle where you could use 14-2 instead of 14-3.
Just don't use a dimmer switch and you should be fine.
Bill - this is hugely helpful - thank you so much. Gonna have a go today and see if I can make it work! Thanks again.
Just to add to what Bill said: Current electrical codes now require a neutral at the switch box, which they didn't in the past. Depending on how you wire the ERV, you may need to use 14/3 even for a single switch.
Ok - good to know. Thank you Malcolm. Does this chicken scratch diagram look compliant?
UPDATE: Akos reply below made me realize you might have been talking about the wall switch and not the boost wiring. Is that so?
There has been a couple of discussion on wiring up the IB100:
For on/off you want to drive the standby/run signal on the unit not switch the power. The cold climate units have dampers on the outside connections and the unit needs to close these to prevent uncontrolled airflow through the unit when not running. This can't happen if the power is pulled. This is especially important if the unit is plumbed directly into a furnace.
I would run a 14-2 and 14-3 from the ERV. The 14-3 should be line and neutral plus standby. You can put a paddle switch between the neutral and the standby single to enable the unit. This way you'll also have power at any of the device box the wiring is run to in case you want to do any fancy controls.
The 14-2 is for the boost+neutral. This runs to the first 3 way switch, from there a 14-3 to the 2nd 3 way switch (2 wires are the travelers, 1 wire is for the boost signal return). You can add as many boost 3 way switches as you want with further 14-3 runs.
I'm not the right guy to giver any useful advice on how to best wire up an ERV. I just wanted to make sure you knew that every switch box needs to have a working neutral in it.
The way I read the manual (page 6) there are two terminals for a wall switch and two terminals for boost. This would mean you could use a normal single-pole single-throw light switch to switch ventilation on and off.
I think you could put SPST boost switches in parallel on the boost switch terminals. No need to wire as a three way unless you want to turn the unit on from one switch and off from the other. Those could be bath fan timer switches for convenience.
Odd that these controls are all high voltage. I’m used to seeing low voltage.
Akos - forgive my stupidity. Just to confirm - are you suggesting running both a 14-2 and 14-3 line from the ERV to the wall standby switch or the boost switch? Or both? And would the extra line just be "in case" down the road or tied in?
I would run the 14-2 and 14-3 to the switch where you want both enable and boost. From there you have the option to continue with both or just run a 14-3 to the next boost switch. The boost could be wired in parallel as Norman suggest or as a 3 way so you can turn on/off the boost from both locations.
The extra line is power in case you want to add in smarts down the road. It is not needed if you are only using regular switches.
The wires would be:
-enable/boost supply neural
Thank you very much Akos - and apologies for this delay! I ended up finally getting hit by the bug and was offline for some time.
Planning on the following lines. Hopefully this is kosher.
Again - thank you so very much. I really appreciate all the help.
That should work.
Note that you can now get "14/2/2", which is a 14 guage cable with 4 conductors and a ground. It's similar to 14/3, but with an extra wire with a tracer (colored stripe). This is used to loop a neutral through switches when needed, but you can use it for other things too, such as bringing the extra wire for the ERV's boost or standby functions out in the same cable to a remotely located switch. The extra wire in the cable offers some increased flexibility.
Thank you Bill!
I would continue the 14-2 power feed from the kitchen boost switch to the bathroom and to the ERV. This would let you install smart controls in the bathroom as well. The power feed can then supply the receptacle the ERV power cord plugs into.
Thank you Akos!