You cringe whenever you turn on your bathroom fan because it makes so much noise. Over time, the parts loosen up and start to rattle. If you replace the fan with the same make and model, this is an easy DIY project that you can do in an afternoon with some simple tools. When you've had enough of that noisy exhaust fan, here is how to replace it yourself.
Supplies You'll Need for This Project
- step stool or ladder that will let you reach the fan
- flat blade screwdriver
- wire cutters/strippers
- work light or flashlight
From your local home improvement store:
- bathroom exhaust fan of the same make and model as the old fan
- wire nuts, if not included in the fan mounting kit
Step-By-Step Replacement Instructions
- Shut the power off to the bathroom at the circuit panel for the house.
- Position your ladder and light so you can easily reach the fan and work on it.
- Remove the cover grill from the fan. You'll use the cover that comes with the new fan so you can throw the old grill away.
- Loosen, but do not remove, all of the screws that hold the fan motor in the metal housing that is mounted in the ceiling.
- Hold the fan with one hand while removing the screws and lower the fan out of the housing.
- Pull the three wires attached to the back of the fan out of the metal housing and clip them off of the fan as close to the motor as possible.
- Place the old fan out of your way. You might be able to donate it to a thrift store, if it works at all, but you'll likely just throw it away.
- Remove about a half inch of insulation from the ends of the black, white and green wires that come out of the metal housing.
- Remove the new fan from the box and strip some insulation from the three wires attached to the fan, if they are not already bare. Unless you're good at juggling multiple items, you could use some help with the next step.
- Hold the new fan up to the metal housing and twist together the two black wires and screw a wire nut on the end. Repeat with the two white wires and the two green wires.
- Push the fan up into the housing and secure it in place with the screws provided in the kit.
- Put the new cover in place over the fan.
- Switch the power back on to the bathroom at the circuit panel.
Reasons to Ask for Help With This Project
There are a few situations where you'll need an electrical contractor to help you finish this project, such as:
- The old fan only has two wires going to it. You are likely missing a ground wire and an electrician will need to run one to the fan to prevent an injury from electrical shock.
- The wires are different colors than black, white and green. An electrician will need to sort through the wires and color code them to meet city building codes.
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