A wall extractor fan is useful for removing the steam and smells of cooking from your kitchen. It’s an alternative to a range hood and easier to install. With some basic knowledge and tools, you can install a wall extractor fan yourself. They're also very useful for removing moisture from the bathroom. Expect the job to take a full day.
Step 1 - Locating Your Fan
You need to start by finding a good position in the kitchen for your extractor fan. Close to the stove is good as long as it’s by an outside wall, since the fan needs to vent to the outside.
Check the outside wall and make sure there are no obstructions such as downspouts. Next, use a cable finder to ensure there are no cables buried where you will drill through the wall. Once you’ve found a good spot, use the template in your wall extractor fan kit to mark the inside of the kitchen wall with the diameter and position of the hole you’ll need.
Step 2 - Cutting Through the Wall
Mark the center of the space to drill in the kitchen. If the wall is masonry, use a hammer drill and masonry bit to drill through. The drill needs to be angled slightly downward. This hole should go all the way through the outside wall. Now, drill a series of holes around the edge of the circle where the fan will sit. Take a chisel and hammer and knock through between the holes to create a full circle. Finish the edges neatly with the chisel. For drywall walls, use a drywall saw to cut the circle out.
With the interior hole created, you now need to drill through the outside wall. Once again, using the template to mark a circle, taking the hole you’ve drilled through as the center. For masonry or stucco, drill another series of small holes and use the hammer and chisel to knock out the full circle. For siding, use a saw to cut through the exterior in a circle.
Step 3 - Ducting
Your extractor fan kit should have come with the ducting for the fan. This will take out the steam and air to the outside of your home. Fit it into the opening. Wear gloves during this stage of the task since the aluminum will be sharp.
Once it’s in position, you can fit the outside cap to the fan. This will stop water and the elements getting into the fan. You’ll need to drill holes in the wall and screw the cap on.
Step 4 - Wiring
You still need to wire in the fan and fit it into place. Before doing any electrical work, turn off the house electricity at the breaker box. The easiest way to wire in an extractor fan is to use a fused connector unit and running a spur off an existing socket. You’ll also need a 30 amp junction box. Fit this close to the socket you’re using. Drill a hole in the wall and fit the box between the studs. Run wire from the socket using black wire for live, white for neutral and green for earth. Take note of any details provided on schematics that should have come supplied with your kit.
The next step is to fit the extractor fan into the kitchen wall by following the manufacturer’s instructions. The wires should come down the side of the wall to the junction box. Attach to wires the correct terminals.
Now, run wires from the junction box to the fused connector unit, which should be fitted into the wall. Make sure the connections are tight. Turn the electricity back on and test the extractor fan.