How to Install an Extractor Fan Timer

Exhaust fan on the side of a building
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-400
What You'll Need
Timer switch
Screw driver
Wire stripper
Wire cutter
Wire nuts
Electrical tape

An extractor fan timer makes it very easy for you to operate the fan. You do not have to be present all the time to ensure proper ventilation in your kitchen and bathroom. All you have to do is set the timer. You can install a timer to an existing extractor fan in a few simple steps.

Step 1 - Turn off Power

Before starting to install the fan timer turn off power at the circuit breaker. To avoid electric shock, remove the cover from the on and off switch of your fan and use the tester to indicate that the power is off. Do this by inserting the red electric wire into the hot side and the black wire into the neutral side simultaneously. If your connection glows, then the power is still on and should be turned off.

Step 2 - Remove the Switch

You will replace the fan on and off switch with the new timer switch. Unscrew the faceplate and consequently the screws attaching the switch to the wall. Pull the switch out of the wall. Detach the electric wires from the switch by unscrewing the screws connecting the wires to the switch. If the connection has wire nuts, pull off the wire nuts connecting the wires from the switch to the wall. Untwist the wires to free the switch.

Step 3 - Connect Wires

Ensure the hole in your wall will fit the new timer switch. If the switch is bigger than the old one, you will have to enlarge the hole. Use the wire stripper to strip the wires on the wall. Expose ½ to ¾ inch of the wire. Also strip the wires on your new timer switch. Connect the wires by twisting matching wires from the wall and timer switch together.

Match the black wires. After twisting them together, secure the ends with the wire nuts, and seal the connection tightly with the electrical tape. Your switch may have one black and one blue wire; you should connect the second black wire from the wall to the blue wire. The switch may come with a third wire that is not insulated or green insulated. You should join this with a similar ground wire from the wall. Fasten all connections with the wire nuts and electrical tape.

Step 4 - Attach the Timer Switch

With the wiring done correctly and properly fastened, push the connections gently into the switch box to fix the timer switch into position. Use screws to secure the switch into the wall firmly. Replace the switch faceplate and screw it on firmly as well. Turn the power back on and test your new extractor fan timer.