Your Trustworthy Guide: How to Install a Bathroom Fan

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bathroom fan

The bathroom is one of the core rooms in a home. This is where water is frequently used in the house. Therefore, if you do not dry it thoroughly, the bathroom is prone to mildew and mold growth. Bathroom fans not only remove moisture from your bath but also bad odor.

By eliminating humidity, you will not have to worry about peeling paint or the window becoming warped. Replacement or installation of a bathroom fan is a relatively easy DIY project. Anyone with basic carpentry and electrical skills can handle the job well. This article will take you through the steps involved in installing a bathroom fan.

How to Install a Bathroom Fan

a) Assemble Your Tools

  • The tools you require are jigsaw, screwdriver, combination pliers, and a power drill.
  • The materials needed are: flexible duct pipe, wire nuts, vent cap, caulk, screws, roofing nails, roofing cement, and shingles.
  • If the duct pipe is run through the roof, you will require roof brackets, respirator, safety google, stepladder, and roof cleats.

b) Determine Fan Location

  • Choose the installation point and drill a reference hole there. Use a 0.7-inch nail to mark the reference point.
  • Measure your vent fan housing.
  • Check the attic for the reference hole and clear insulation materials around it.
  • Refer to the fan housing measurements in determining whether the chosen spot is enough for the fan.
  • Measure the intake port in the bathroom. Measurements are needed to cut the right-sized hole in the ceiling.
  • Use a pencil and framing square to outline the intake port of your fan on the ceiling.

c) Cut the Fan Intake Port

  • Cut the area you have just marked on the ceiling with a jigsaw. You may use drywall or reciprocating saw for the same job. Also, don’t let the cut section come tumbling down. Otherwise, it will bring with it plaster and more drywall pieces.
  • Cut the section while supporting it with the non-dominant hand, and lower it gently to the floor.
  • Have respirator and safety goggles as you do the job for protection of your lungs and eyes.

d) Place the Fan in Position

  • Before you put the fan into the hole you have just cut, use a foil duct tape to attach a 90-degree duct elbow to the right outlet port. This is where your duct pipe will go into.
  • Check the fan housing side for a removable knockout hole, and insert a cable connector through it.
  • Locate the supporting metal brackets and slide them in place. Learn from an expert on how to install a bathroom fan to do this well.
  • Position the fan at the center of the hole and gently lower it in place. Make sure all the connection points are correctly oriented.

e) Secure Your Fan to the Joists

  • Extend the metal brackets up to the joists. You will find them on both sides of the housing unit. Do this once you have ascertained that the fan is positioned correctly.
  • Secure each bracket end with the respective joist using drywall screws.
  • After securing the fan, attach the flexible duct into the 90-degree duct elbow with a foil duct tape.
  • Run a new or existing electrical cable through the connector located on the housing unit of your fan. If you feel the cable is not well secured, tighten the screw on the connector.
  • Use a three-wire cable if the fan has a light.

f) Determine the Exit Point for the Duct Pipe

  • Choose the straightest and shortest route for the duct pipe. A long duct pipe decreases the efficiency rate of the fan.
  • Vent the exhaust outdoors. Venting to the attic will cause moisture problems, which leads to mold growth at the rafter.
  • You can vent through the roof or sidewall depending on convenience. However, ensure the duct pipe is straight and not too stretched when it comes to how to install a bathroom fan like an expert.

g) Attach the Fan’s Vent Cap

  • The vent cap attachment depends on the exit point.
  • If you are venting on the sidewall, go through two wall studs. Take measurements from the inside so that you can locate the exact position outside. The opening should be 4-inch wide.
  • When venting through the roof, create the ideal circle from the inside and cut it out on the roof too. Remove shingles on the hole and install your vent cap. Use roofing nails and cement to replace the shingles.
  • Go back to the attic to attach the duct pipe end to the vent cap connector. Use a foil duct tape for this job.

h) Wire the Housing Unit Connections

  • You can wire the connection from your bathroom or attic depending on the fan. Read the instruction manual, and make sure the power is off before wiring.
  • Open the fan housing unit and remove the fan wires from the splice unit. Strip at least 07. inches of the insulation material from the electrical and fan cables.
  • Twists wires of the same color together, and add the connectors.
  • Wrap the bare copper wires around the green grounding clip. You can also screw and tighten the cables to secure them.
  • Put the wires back to the electrical splice and cap the lid.
  • Note that a qualified electrician should handle aluminum wiring. Call a service company whenever you are dealing with aluminum wires to get more information on how to install a bathroom fan.

i) Attach the Grille

new interior design bathroom with bathroom fan on ceiling

  • Insert the blower motor to the electrical receptacle, securing it with screws.
  • Install the grille by slipping the wires to the respective slots on the housing unit.
  • Ensure the housing fits snugly in the ceiling hole.
  • Create more tension by spreading the mounting wires if needed.
  • Fix a light bulb (if the fan type allows for this) and switch the power on to test the functionality of the fan. If it works, congratulations you have just learned how to install a bathroom fan.

Final Word

Bathroom fan installation is a one-man job, but you can call for help if need be. When you are well conversant with how to install a bathroom fan, the installation process shouldn’t take a lot of time. If you follow the steps given above to the latter, you will have a functional fan without using a lot of money.

However, note that you should get a fan that can move enough air depending on the measurements of the bathroom you are venting. If you prefer a calming indoor environment, choose a quiet fan.

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