You Can Replace Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan Yourself

While you should never tackle an electrical project around your home unless you feel 100 percent confident in your ability to get the job done safely, there are some tasks that the average person can do with little difficulty. Replacing a worn-out exhaust fan is one such project. When you notice signs that your exhaust fan is no longer running correctly, it's time to visit your local home supply store, buy a suitable replacement and get ready to perform this relatively easy task. Although each fan setup can be slightly different, this is the overall approach to take — and, remember, you can call your local electrician if you get overwhelmed or if the project proves more difficult than you expected.

Prepare For The Job

You should always turn off the power to the area you'll be working before you do anything else. Then, it's a good idea to collect some tools that you'll need to get the job done correctly. For this simple project, a stepladder, screwdriver and flashlight are the main items that you'll need.

Remove The Old Fan

Removing the old fan is a simple task. Pry off the exhaust fan's cover; typically, you can simply pull down on it and wiggle gently to remove it. Then, it's time to remove the fan. Use the screwdriver to loosen the mounting screws that hold the fan in place, and then hold it with one hand and gently lower it. Doing so will reveal the wiring. Typically, there will be two wires — often black and white — and a ground wire, which is bare copper. Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws on the old fan that hold these three wires in place until you can slip the wires out from under the screws.

Install The New Fan

Installing the new fan is simply a matter of doing the reverse of what you did to remove the old one. Always read the installation instructions in the manual and consider taking a quick break if your arms, shoulders and neck are sore from working overhead to remove the fan. Begin by hooking the two wires and the ground wire up to their designated terminal. This is simply a matter of slipping the curved end of each wire under the screws and then tightening them. Then, slide the fan into place and affix it with the mounting screws. When the fan sits flush in the ceiling, snap the cover into place. Turn the power back on and then check that the fan runs properly. If not, call your local electrical contractor or check out websites like