How to Install a Bathroom Fan Timer

Written by james werning
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How to Install a Bathroom Fan Timer
You'll be smiling when your wall switch timer is installed and working properly. (man in bathroom mirror image by Leticia Wilson from

If you have a bathroom fan that is left on for hours, consider removing the switch for the fan and replacing it with a timer. You can buy a new wall switch timer online or at your local electrical supply store, but make sure it is made to fit in a single-pole wall switch box. The timers come in all different styles, from simple 30-minute timers to 24-7 programmable models, so choose the features that suit your needs best.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wall switch timer
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Turn off the circuit breaker for your bathroom fan.

  2. 2

    Remove the fan switch cover by removing the two screws in the switch cover. Remove the two screws holding the switch to the switch box, and pull the switch out from the wall.

  3. 3

    Unfasten the negative (black), positive (white) and ground (copper) wires by unscrewing them from the fan switch.

  4. 4

    Fasten the three wires to the wall switch timer screws, according to the enclosed instructions.

  5. 5

    Fasten the wall switch timer to the switch box with the enclosed screws.

  6. 6

    Place the wall switch timer cover in place over the timer, if it is separate from the timer, and screw it into place.

  7. 7

    Turn on the circuit breaker.

Tips and warnings

  • When you remove the fan switch from the switch box, you might find the ground wire attached to the switch box and not to the switch. If this happens, unscrew the ground wire from the switch box and screw it to the ground screw on the wall switch timer.

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