Change Out Your Old Bathroom Fans

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Exhaust fan kit
Handsaw or reciprocal saw
Wire nuts
Electric tester

Changing your old bathroom fan to a more efficient model can be very beneficial to lowering the moisture in your bathroom. A bathroom exhaust fan is an important part of your home’s overall ventilation system and can help to remove odors, dust, and allergens, as well as prevent the formation of mold and mildew. Whether your fan is broken or you just want to upgrade, changing out your bathroom fan is a project you can do yourself with a little basic knowledge and these directions.

Step 1 - Turn off Electricity

Cut the electricity to your bathroom fan and verify that it is indeed off. You can either remove the fuse supplying electricity to the bathroom or shut off the main breaker to turn off all electricity.

Step 2 - Access the Fan

Use a ladder to reach the fan and remove the main grill. This is usually secured by screws, tension springs, or snaps. If there are no screws pull the grill down and it will come off.

Step 3 - Access Wiring

Unclip the fan from the main housing and pull it down so that you can see the wiring. There will be a black and a white wire, both with wire nuts and a ground screw with bare copper wire on it. Unscrew the nuts on the black and white wires to loosen them and remove the ground screws. Remove the fan.

Step 4 - Plan Installation

installing an exhaust fan cover

If your new exhaust fan is a different size, you may have to cut an additional area from the ceiling. Use the enclosed template with your new fan to trace and then cut any excess ceiling if necessary.

Step 5 - Wire the New Fan

Wire nut the black wires back together and then wire nut the white wires back together. Attach the copper ground wires. It may be necessary to bend a “U” shape on the end of the new ground wire to keep it behind the ground screw when tightening.

Step 6 - Push Fan into Place

Snap or screw the exhaust fan back into the main housing and make sure the wiring is all pushed into the wiring box section of the fan to avoid pinching any wires. Use your hand to manually spin the fan and ensure there is free movement. Replace the grill cover using the provided screws or clips.

Step 7 - Return Power

Turn your power back on and check the fan for proper operation.

When replacing your bathroom exhaust fan it should take only about an hour or two because all the wiring is already in place. This is a great home improvement project that has fast results towards helping to improve the air quality of your bathroom.