How to install a bathroom fan in the shower stall ceiling

Written by kevin mcdermott
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A bathroom exhaust fan clears your bathroom of moisture and heat while you're using the shower, which can help avoid mildew and mould growth, and prevent plaster walls in the room from softening. If the bathroom has an unfinished attic above it, you will have the option of installing the fan in the ceiling rather than in a wall. By installing the fan in place of an existing ceiling light fixure, you can control the fan from the existing wall switch.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Exhaust fan kit (including exhaust hose)
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Wire caps
  • Electrician's tape

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  1. 1

    Turn off the power to the existing ceiling fixture at the house circuit box. Remove the existing fixture, using your screwdriver to take out the mounting screws that hold it in place on the ceiling, and disconnect the wiring.

  2. 2

    Go into the attic above the bathroom. Find the electrical box on the floor. (This is the box that feeds power to the fixture in the room below. You can find it by following the wire cable that will lead to it, and should be plainly visible.) Disconnect the wiring and pull it out of the box. Remove the mounting screws holding the box to the ceiling joists, and remove it. You should be left with a hole that looks down into the bathroom.

  3. 3

    Set the new exhaust fan unit on the floor, with the vent over the hole. Trace around the edge of the vent with a pencil. Remove the unit. Cut out the shape of the vent into the bathroom ceiling using your jigsaw.

  4. 4

    Set the unit into place with the vent showing through the hole. Attach the unit to the surrounding floor joists using the mounting brackets and screws that came with the exhaust fan kit.

  5. 5

    Wire the fan unit to the house wires that you took off the fixture earlier. Connect black to black and white to white, twisting wire nuts over the ends of the wires to connect them and wrapping them in electrician's tape. Wrap the copper grounding wire from the house around the green ground-screw in the fan unit.

  6. 6

    Pull the exhaust hose from the fan unit to the wall where you want it to vent outside. Trace around the end of the hose onto the wall. Use your jigsaw to cut out the hole. Push the end of the hose through the hole. Go outside the house and secure the vent cover over the end of the hose, using the provided screws.

  7. 7

    Go back into the bathroom and attach the ceiling vent cover over the hole in the ceiling using the provided mounting screws or spring hooks (depending on your kit). Turn on the power and test the fan from the wall switch that previously controlled the ceiling light.

Tips and warnings

  • Always cut power at the circuit box before working on any electrical circuit.

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