Do you find yourself wondering how to fix a bathroom fan? Or perhaps your current fan is failing, and you are contemplating a bathroom fan replacement. You might be surprised to learn that replacing or installing a bathroom fan is a relatively straightforward DIY project.
If you have the right tools and some basic carpentry and electrical know-how, you'll be able to follow our brief installation guide.
But first, let's look at why bathroom exhaust fans are so important and discuss how to remove a bathroom fan in the first place.
Why You Need a Bathroom Fan
Exhaust fans are your first line of defense against mildew and mold in your bathroom. They ventilate and dry out the room, remove moisture, and help prevent the development of unpleasant odors. By removing moisture from your bathroom and venting it to the outside they can also protect paint and wallpaper from blistering and prevent windows and doors from warping.
Sure, bathrooms are designed to get wet. However, the materials we use to decorate and build our bathrooms are not supposed to remain damp for long. That’s why bathroom fans were created.
If you're wondering how to replace a bathroom exhaust fan or how to change a bathroom fan, it's relatively straightforward.
How to Remove a Bathroom Fan
You can remove your old bathroom fan in four easy steps:
1. Remove the fan's cover: Inspect the part of the fan visible on your bathroom ceiling. If screws are holding the cover in place, use a screwdriver to remove them and detach the fan cover. There is electrical work to this project so be sure to turn off the circuit breaker.
2. Disconnect the fan's wiring: First, switch off the main power to your bathroom. Next, remove the wires that lead to the fan's housing.
3. Disconnect the vent pipe: The vent pipe runs from a vent on your roof to the fan's housing. You'll need to detach this flexible pipe from the housing of your old fan.
4. Remove the vent fan’s housing: Identify the mounting screws that secure the fan housing. These screws will either be accessible from the ceiling or the attic. Once you've removed these screws, pull the old fan housing from the ceiling.
How to Install a Bathroom Fan Replacement
Installing a bathroom fan replacement is slightly more complicated than removing the old fan. However, if you follow these six steps, you'll complete your exhaust fan replacement in no time:
1. Adjust the ceiling hole if required: If the housing for the replacement fan is larger than the gap in your ceiling that housed the old one, you'll need to widen the opening. To do this, trace around your new fan's outline and cut along the area using a drywall knife.
2. Attach the new fan's housing to your ceiling joists: Follow the manufacturer's instructions. You'll either have to attach brackets from inside your attic or drive screws through brackets into the framing of your ceiling.
3. Attach the vent pipe to the housing: Slide the same vent pipe that was attached to your old fan over the circular duct connector on your new fan's housing. Use specialized HVAC tape to secure the tube in place.
4. Connect electrical wires: Turn off power to your home from the circuit panel. Unscrew the junction box's cover at the fan housing's side and pull out the three wires. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach these wires to the wires in your attic or ceiling that were attached to the old fan housing.
5. Attach the new fan cover: If plastic tabs hold on the cover to your new fan, push them into position and click them into place. If the cover secures with screws, use a drill or a screwdriver to drive them into place.
6. Test the fan: Switch the electricity back on, turn on the fan switch, and test that it is working correctly. If the fan doesn't run or emits loud noises, turn off the power and check your installation work. If the fan does not run after troubleshooting, you may have to call your electrician.
Bathroom Exhaust Fan Replacement Tips
Bathroom ceiling fan replacements are usually relatively straightforward. The following tips should help you if you're stuck:
- Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when joining electrical wires.
- Some fan models have a separate duct connector that must be attached to the fan's housing before securing the vent pipe. Check the manufacturer's instructions if you think this might be the case.
Home Warranties Help You Cover Many Repair Costs
Not everyone wants to take on DIY projects like repairing or replacing a bathroom fan, or fixing their own appliances, electrical, or plumbing. But paying someone to fix appliances or home systems when they break can be expensive, and finding a qualified professional can be a challenge.
That’s why having a home warranty is a great idea for many homeowners. With a First American home warranty, when a covered item breaks, you’ll have protection for your budget and we’ll assign a contractor to diagnose and fix or repair the item. Get a free quote today to see what’s covered.
The contents of this article are provided for general guidance only. First American Home Warranty does not assume any responsibility for losses or damages as a result of using this information.