If you hate turning the exhaust fan on in the bathroom because it squeaks or rattles through the whole house, replace it yourself with a new, quieter fan. If you replace the old exhaust fan with the same brand and model, you can use the same space as the old fan. This makes the installation easier and can be done in about an hour. Here is what you'll need for this DIY project and the steps to installing a quieter bathroom fan.
Materials You Will Need
- ladder or step stool
- flashlight or work light
- flat blade screwdriver
- wire cutters/strippers
- Turn the electricity off to the bathroom at the circuit panel for the house.
- Position the light and ladder so you can see and access the fan.
- Remove the decorative cover from the exhaust fan.
- Remove any light bulbs from the unit.
- Loosen all of the screws securing the fan in the metal housing in the ceiling.
- Slowly pull the fan out of the metal housing with the three wires attached to the fan.
- Cut the three wires off of the old fan as close to the back of the fan as possible.
- Place the old fan aside and out of your way.
- Remove about a half inch of insulation from the green, black and white wires coming down from the metal housing.
- Remove about a half inch of insulation from the three wires coming off of the new fan, if they have not already been stripped.
- Hold the new fan up to the metal housing and twist together the ends of the two green wires. Twist one of the wire nuts included in the fan kit onto the ends of the wires to protect and secure them.
- Repeat by twisting the two black wires together and the two white wires together and securing them with a wire nut on each.
- Push the wires and the new fan up into the metal housing.
- Secure the new fan in place with the screws supplied in the fan kit.
- Place the decorative cover over the exhaust fan.
- Turn the electricity back on to the bathroom and test the new exhaust fan.
Problems You May Encounter
You'll need the help of a local electrician with the following issues:
- If you only have two wires coming out of the metal housing, you're missing a ground wire. You'll need to have a ground wire run to the metal housing and the new fan for it to be operated safely.
- If the wires don't follow the black/white/green building code standard, an electrician will need to sort through the wires to find the hot, neutral and ground wires for you.
If you want to upgrade your exhaust fan to a different model with additional features, you'll likely need an electrician to do the work for you. The opening in the ceiling and vent ductwork may need to be changed to accommodate the new fan. An electrician may also need to run more wiring for additional switches to control features such as humidity control and timers.