How to Replace a Bathroom Ceiling Exhaust Fan

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This instruction will tell you the basics of how to replace an exhaust fan with regards to safety. Basically, make sure the electric is really off!

Things You'll Need

  • Flat or Phillips screw driver
  • Electric tester
  • Turn off your electric to the exhaust fan or better yet just shut off main breaker to turn off all electric.

  • Use your ladder to reach the fan and remove the trim/grill. It may either be held on by a couple of screws or if you don't see screws it may have tension springs or snap in. In the case it doesn't have screws just pull down and it will come off.

  • Next un-clip the fan from the main housing and pull it down to access the wiring.

  • You will see black wires and white wires with wire nuts on them and a ground screw (usually green)with bare copper wire on it. Unscrew the wire nuts on black and white wires and loosen ground screw to remove ground.

  • Remove exhaust fan.

  • Install new fan and attach in the same manner you removed it. Wire nut black wires together. Wire nut white wires together. Attach bare copper ground wires. You may have to bend a "U" shape on the end of the new ground wire to make sure it stays behind the ground screw when tightening.

  • Snap or fasten exhaust fan back into main housing making sure all wiring is pushed clear when reinstalling to avoid pinched wires.

  • Manually spin fan to make sure there is free movement and reinstall fan grill cover.

  • Turn electric back on and check for proper operation. If done correctly the fan should not rattle and the electric breaker will not trip.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the electric is off! Simple testers are sold that will beep when you hold them near a live electrical source. I suggest using one of these to make sure your electric is really off. Testing to see if the fan turns on by the switch in the room is not a reliable check.
  • Make sure the electric is off!

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