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How to Replace a Bathroom Extractor Fan

The extractor, or exhaust, fan in a bathroom has a variety of uses, including the removal of odour from the air and the removal of moisture from the bathroom. The removal of moisture is especially important, since eliminating moisture in your bathroom helps keep mildew from forming on walls and fixtures. If a bathroom extractor fan has stopped working, you should replace the fan as soon as possible. It's a project that many homeowners can handle themselves.

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  1. Measure the bathroom extractor fan that is already installed in the wall or ceiling of your bathroom to determine the size of fan you need to replace it. You can buy a fan in a different size, but bathroom extractor fan sizes are based on the size of the room and, in most cases, the fan that is already installed will be the proper size. Buy a replacement fan of the same size.

  2. Turn off the power supply to the part of the house in which the bathroom is located by flipping the switch for that part of the house in the breaker box. Try turning on the lights in the bathroom to make sure that the power is off.

  3. Remove the bathroom extractor fan that is installed. To remove the fan, unscrew the screws on the front of the fan that hold it in place. Hold onto the extractor fan while unscrewing, so that it doesn't fall from the ceiling.

  4. Disconnect the wires from the back of the fan that connect it to the power supply. In most cases, you must remove three wire caps and unwind three sets of wires from each other. As you do so, note which coloured wire attaches to which wire from above. Pull the extractor fan away from the ceiling.

  5. Hold the replacement fan up to the hole in the ceiling and attach the wires in the same manner that they were connected with the original fan. Put the wire caps back into place over the connected wires.

  6. Align the replacement fan in the original hole in the ceiling so that the screw holes line up with the original screw holes. These holes should already be lined up with the ceiling joists, giving the fan a sturdier base to which to connect.

  7. Tip

    Many extractor fans can be removed from inside the bathroom, but, if the fan is installed in the ceiling and the house has an attic, the fan may have been installed from the attic. As long as you see screws on the front of the fan though, you can be fairly certain that it was installed from the bathroom.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire caps
  • Screws

About the Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.

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