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How to Wire an Extraction Fan in the Bathroom

Updated February 21, 2017

An extraction fan, more commonly called an exhaust fan, is an excellent addition for a bathroom. The fan will suck moist air out of the room, helping to keep mould and mildew at bay in the bathroom, and helping to keep your mirror free of condensation after a hot shower. The crucial step of wiring an extraction fan is not difficult and can be completed in a few minutes with simple tools and a little knowledge.

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  1. Turn off the power to the circuits you'll be working on at the main breaker box. If you're uncertain about which circuit it is, play it safe and turn the main circuit for the house off.

  2. Find the wiring leads for the extraction fan. There will be two wires, one black and one white. These are usually about 6 to 12 inches long, and they are attached to the side of the fan assembly.

  3. Connect the black wire coming from the wall switch to the black wire of the extraction fan. Strip the insulation off the ends of each wire so that 1/2 inch of bare wire is showing, then connect them together with a wire nut.

  4. Repeat Step 3 with the two white wires.

  5. Turn the circuit breaker back on and test operation of the bathroom extraction fan.

  6. Tip

    Some extraction (exhaust) fans also incorporate light fixtures. Use these if you want to add more light into your bathroom as well as improve the ventilation.


    Always turn off the power at the breaker box when working on electrical circuits. As an extra precaution, tape a note to the breaker box after you've switched off the power, warning that the power is not to be turned back on until you've given the OK.

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Things You'll Need

  • extraction fan
  • wire nuts
  • wire strippers

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.

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