Replacing a Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Bathroom Exhaust Fan’s Motor

A how to guide on how to Replace a Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Fan Motor

By Mark J. Donovan

Replacing a bathroom exhaust fan frequently does not require the replacement of the entire unit. Typically it is the bathroom exhaust fan’s motor that only needs to be replaced. Many bathroom exhaust fan manufacturers offer replacement fan motors that a homeowner can install within an hour or two. Replacing a bathroom exhaust fan motor is much simpler and less invasive than replacing an entire bathroom exhaust fan.

It is important to note that a bathroom exhaust fan is critical for preventing the formation of mold and mildew in your bathroom, and thus it is imperative to replace a failed bathroom exhaust fan as soon as it has failed.

Shower steam that is not drawn out of the bathroom inevitably leads to the formation of mold spores. An exhaust fan works by drawing the shower steam out of the bathroom and venting it to the outside, thus preventing the formation of the mold spores.

To replace a bathroom exhaust fan motor start by inspecting the fan and writing down the model number, but first make sure you have turned off power to the fan at the electrical circuit breaker panel. Test to make sure the fan is actually off by flipping the fan switch on/off in the bathroom. If the fan does not turn on after flipping the fan switch on/off then proceed.

To obtain the fan’s model number, first remove the grill and inspect the fan housing box. The grille is usually connected via a couple of springs, screws or plastic tabs.

Once the grille has been removed, find the model number. The model number should be located somewhere in the fan housing box. You may need to wipe away some dust to see it.

Once you have recorded the manufacturer and model number unplug the fan motor and remove it along with the supporting plate. Usually the fan plate is connected via tabs or screws.

Bathroom ventilation using a bathroom exhaust fan.

After removing the fan motor and plate assembly from the bathroom exhaust fan housing unit, next remove the blower fan off of the motor’s shaft. The blower fan is usually attached with a screw or is simply pressed fit over the motor’s shaft. Removing the blower fan can sometimes be a challenge so be prepared for a little elbow work. If you damage the blower fan, don’t worry as replacement ones are readily available at your home improvement store.

Once you have removed the blower fan from the motor shaft, take the fan motor to a local home improvement center and find an equivalent replacement to it.

Once you have located a replacement bathroom exhaust fan motor simply work backwards to install it.

First install the blower fan onto the new motor’s shaft.

Next connect the motor assembly back into the fan plate.

Install the fan plate back into the bathroom exhaust fan housing unit, making sure you plug it in.

Reinstall the bathroom exhaust fan grille.

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Turn power back on to the fan at the electrical circuit breaker panel box.

Test the fan to ensure it operates correctly by flipping the fan switch on in the bathroom.

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