How to Install a Ceiling Bathroom Exhaust Fan

What You'll Need
Tape (electrician)
Wire nuts
Screw gun

Knowing how to install a ceiling bathroom exhaust fan is the first step to a healthier bathroom. The purpose of an exhaust fan is to eliminate odors that would most definitely take place in the bathroom. However, besides creating an aesthetic suited for even noses of royalty, exhaust fans prevent hazards against your health. Such safety hazards that the exhaust fan works to disrupt include air born bacteria, mildew and mold.

Mildew, which is basically just an excess of moisture clinging together in one area, is the first step towards mold, and mold is every unhealthy substance. Moreover, because there will not be any mold, there also will not be wasted money—exhaust fans deal in preventative care when it comes to mold, and so it will save you money from cleaning up the mold.

Step 1—Prepping

The first step is safety—safety always comes first. So, before starting anything, turn off the electrical power that is fed into the bathroom. What “turn off” means is not flicking the nearby light switch to “off.” Instead, you will need to go to the circuit breaker and turn the electricity off there. Often, the only convenient location to install an exhaust fan is where a lighting fixture is already placed.

The main reason is because of easy access to wiring, but also there will be no need to cut through the ceiling. Cutting through the ceiling could create problems if you cut too deep, going through layers you should not, including electrical. In other words, using a lighting fixture’s spot is highly suggested so that you do not cut through wiring or anything else unnecessary that could cause problems in the short or long run.

Step 2—Unscrewing

First, unscrew as needed that which is holding the existing ceiling light fixture in its place. Next, while holding the light fixture ajar, unhook any and all electrical wires connected to the fixture. Then, carefully pull the light fixture down. You may need to go to the attic to find a nearby electrical box, which should be directly above the bathroom itself. After locating the bathroom’s ceiling from the perspective of the attic, note a square box screwed to a ceiling joist. Unscrew the box, loosen the wires by taking them out, and discard the box.

Step 3—Getting Started

Lay the fan over where the electrical box was, trace the fan with a pencil on the drywall, and then begin to cut with your jigsaw. Next, connect the exhaust hose of the unit as needed, and cut a hole to run the hose to a nearby wall. Secure the hose with brackets. Then, with the loosened wires from before, connect the matching wires with wire nuts, and secure the wires with tape. Note there may be a copper grounding wire—attach it to the green grounding screw on the fan. Then, after dealing with the fan’s housing, which should hook in place, test the fan.